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Chicago Jewish Book Fest


The inaugural Chicago Jewish Book Festival (March 25, 2023) is set to be a gathering of writers, editors, publishers and book lovers from Chicago and beyond. Presented by 5959 Chicago, the one-day event will feature panel discussions and author interviews, as well as an evening-of celebration. Proceeds benefit Emanuel Congregation. 



Rosellen Brown has published eleven books — novels, poetry, stories, essays — including New York Times best-selling Before and After and her most recent novel, The Lake on Fire, which Entertainment Weekly named one of the best historical novels of its year. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute.


Goldie Goldbloom’s most recent novel, On Division (FSG), won the 2020 Association of Jewish Libraries Book of the Year and the Prix des Libraires. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and Le Monde, and was selected as one of the international top ten short fictions of 2023. She is grateful to have received fellowships from the NEA, Dora Maar House, Yaddo, and Ragdale. Goldie is Chassidic, the mother of 8 children, and an LGBTQ activist. 

Amy Guth is a broadcaster (Crain's Chicago Business, WGN), writer and filmmaker. (website)

Leah Jones is the President (and a Past-President) of Emanuel Congregation. She is also the host of Finding Favorites podcast. (website)

Riva Lehrer is an artist, writer, and curator whose work focuses on issues of physical identity and the socially challenged body. She is best known for representations of people with impairments, and those whose sexuality or gender identity have long been stigmatized. Ms. Lehrer’s work has been seen in venues including the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, Yale University, the United Nations, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the Arnot Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the Frye Museum, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the State of Illinois Museum. She is the author of Golem Girl: A Memoir. A longtime faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Riva Lehrer is currently an instructor in medical humanities at Northwestern University. More at


Samuel Elijah Rose is an artist, writer, and community organizer living in Evanston. His work blends the personal and the political with Jewish tradition to build power in community. His essay "The Medicine In My Jewish Self, The Torah In My Lakota Practice" was the Literary Honoree of the Ein Sof International Arts Festival. (website)

Deborah Siegel-Acevedo, PhD is Executive Director of Artists Book House. A collaborative initiative builder and a writer with a special interest in amplifying our less-heard voices in public spaces, she has founded and furthered multiple initiatives at the intersection of creative expression, community, and the literary arts. An erstwhile Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University and Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University, she has taught courses on personal and public narrative both inside and outside university settings. In addition to widely publishing essays and op-eds, Deborah is the author of two books, Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild (Palgrave Macmillan) and Only Child (Harmony/Random House), and is currently working on a third.

Ruth Spiro is the author of over 30 children’s books, including the best-selling Baby Loves
Science series, How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up, and Made by Maxine. Her books have
been praised by The Los Angeles Times, NPR, TODAY, Popular Science, and the National
Science Teaching Association. Spiro speaks regularly at schools and early childhood conferences across the country and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and many, many plants. (website)




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