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One Bay One Book – Events

Elizabeth Graver’s acclaimed novel Kantika (Henry Holt & Company, 2023) is the One Bay One Book selection for 2023-2024.

Below are Jewish Community Library events, mostly virtual, that link to Kantika‘s themes, which include exploration of family history; approach to disability in the Jewish world; the Jewish experience in the Ottoman Empire, Spain, and Cuba; and the history, language, and culture of Sephardic Jews. More events will be added in the spring, culminating in an opportunity to meet virtually with author Elizabeth Graver on May 5.

All programs are offered free of charge. Advance registration is required. Click the links for full descriptions and registration links.


Past Events

Dwell Time: A Memoir of Art, Exile and Repair

Sunday, November 5, 2 PM Pacific Time
Rosa Lowinger will present her portrait of her Cuban Jewish family, understood through the lens of her work as an art conservator.  

Jewish Life in Medieval Spain: A Religious Minority during the Best and Worst of Times

Sunday, November 19, 2 PM Pacific Time
Jonathan Ray (Georgetown University) will explore the complexities of the Jewish experience in Iberia from the ninth century to the expulsion of 1492. 

We Are Not Strangers

Wednesday, November 29, 7 PM Pacific Time
Josh Tuininga will present his graphic novel about a Sephardic immigrant in Seattle who helped his Japanese American neighbors during World War II.

Book Discussion: The Postcard

Sunday, December 3, 2 PM Pacific Time
In person at the Jewish Community Library                                       
Jim Van Buskirk will lead a discussion of French author Anne Berest’s celebrated new novel, which, like Kantika, is drawn from researching her own family’s experiences.  

Jewish Languages Today

Wednesday, January 10, 7 PM Pacific Time
Sarah Benor (Hebrew Union College) will highlight the current statuses of Jewish vernacular languages such as Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic (Iraq-Iran), and Judeo-Malayalam.

Demystifying Sephardic Song

Wednesday, January 17, 7 PM Pacific Time
Judith Cohen (York University) will provide musical examples of the Sephardic repertoire from  Ottoman lands and North Africa and examine some of the myths that have grown around this tradition. 

Ladino in the Twenty-First Century

Sunday, January 28, 2 PM Pacific Time
Bryan Kirschen (Binghamton University) will offer an overview of Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) and spotlight current efforts to preserve and sustain the language.  

A Twentieth Century Sephardic Journey

Wednesday, February 7, 7 PM Pacific Time
Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA) will relate the story of Salonica’s prominent Levy family, chronicled in her book Family Papers. 

The Kennicott Bible: A Masterpiece of Jewish Book Art

Sunday, March 31, 11 AM Pacific Time
Katrin Kogman-Appel will share the extraordinary illuminated Bible created in the Spanish city of La Coruna in 1476.

Drop-In Book Discussion: Kantika

Sunday, April 7, 2 PM Pacific Time
In person at the Jewish Community Library                                       
Jim Van Buskirk will lead a discussion of Elizabeth Graver’s novel Kantika, this year’s One Bay One Book selection.

Moses: The Provocations of a Disabled Prophet

Sunday, April 14, 7 PM Pacific Time
Rabbi Julia Watts Belser (Georgetown University) will explore how the Bible and its commentators have addressed Moses’ speech disability.

Pathways to Preserving Family History

Wednesday, April 17, 7 PM Pacific Time
Basya Schechter will offer motivation and guidance for recording life stories and preserving family history and values for future generations.

Elizabeth Graver on Kantika

Sunday, May 5, 3 PM Pacific Time
Elizabeth Graver will discuss the process of writing Kantika and answer questions from readers.

Sephardi Jewry and the Rise and Fall of Ladino

Thursday, May 9, 7 PM Pacific Time
In person at the Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto
Aron Rodrigue will explore the history and enduring impact of the language spoken by Jews expelled from Spain in 1492.