The Center will CLOSE at 6:00PM on Sunday, September 29 in observance of Erev Rosh Hashanah. (Pools close at 5:30PM) The Center will be CLOSED on Monday, September 30 in observance of Rosh Hashanah. Thanks!

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Conversation: Learning Through Literature

Through the literary programs of the Arts + Ideas subscription series, the Weinstein JCC brings sought-after authors, celebrities, and influencers to our community, as well as a popular annual book fair.

The Fife-Davis Family Annual Jewish Book Fair

For more than 35 years, the Weinstein JCC has celebrated Jewish books and authors at its annual Book Fair. The goal of this event is to educate the community about Jewish literature and to stimulate discussion and thought regarding current Jewish issues, history, philosophy, literature and poetry. Check below for the dates of this year's fair! 

Book Fair Featured Event with David Makovsky

Co-written by David Makovsky and Dennis Ross, Be Strong and Of Good Courage is a portrait of modern Israel’s founding fathers -- the generation of brave, defining leaders unafraid to make bold decisions in order to safeguard the country’s future. David Ben Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon were all present at the creation of the new nation in 1948. Over the next sixty years, each served as prime minister at a time when the country’s existence was directly imperiled. In those moments, extraordinary acts of leadership and strategic judgment to secure its future were needed and these leaders rose to the occasion. 

Today, Israeli may be on the verge of sacrificing the essential character that its greatest citizens fought to secure. Be Strong and of Good Courage is the story of that epic struggle. 

David Makovsky is one of America’s leading experts on Israel.  He is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations.  He has been an adjunct professor of Middle East studies at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced Interational Studies since 2000 and was a senior advisor on Israel-Palestinian affairs in the Office of the Secretary of State during the Obama Administration.

Book Fair Event with John Simon

First published in Finnish in 2017 under a different name, Strangers in a Stranger Land was one of four books listed for History Book of the Year and tells the story of how one country’s Jews fought an unwinnable war alongside Nazis troops… and survived.

During World War II, 260,000 German soldiers arrived in Finland. The Nazis murdered millions of Jews around Europe, but in Finland Jews fought alongside the Germans against the Soviet Union. Not a single one was harmed by their Nazi brothers-in-arms. A field synagogue functioned on the front line, and several openly Jewish soldiers were even awarded the German iron cross. This happened nowhere else. How was it possible in Finland?

John Simon has special ties to Richmond as well as Congregation Beth Ahabah. His great-great grandfather, Abraham Hutzler, was one of the earliest members of Congregation Beth Ahabah and his great grandfather, Charles Hutzler, served as the congregation’s president from 1909-1919. Charles was also chairman of Richmond Public Schools and Laurel Reformatorie School. He founded the Central National Bank in 1911.

Chutzpah - Why Israel is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Tech insider Inbal Arieli reveals the secrets behind how Israel, a tiny country with the highest concentration of start-ups per capital worldwide, is raising generations of entrepreneurs, disrupting markets around the globe, and bringing change to the world. Arieli goes against common belief that Israel’s outstanding economic accomplishments are the direct byproduct of its technologically advanced military, or long-standing Jewish traditions of study and questioning. Instead, she posits that in today’s modern Israel, it’s the result of the unique way Israelis are raised in tribal-like community, where childhoods are purposely sharped by challenges and risks. In this culture that encourages chutzpah, supports creative thinking, and risk taking, children grow up and develop to have the courage to pursue unorthodox and often revolutionary approaches to change and innovation.

Inbal Arieli is a serial entrepreneur and former officer in the Israeli Defense Forces Elite Intelligence Unit 8200. She has held numerous executive positions in leading Israeli tech companies, founded a series of programs for innovators, has led the Strategic Partnerships for Start-Up Nation Central and is currently Founder and CO-CEO of Synthesis.

Book Fair Event with Mark Federman

Russ & Daughters is a New York and culinary and cultural icon, known for the highest quality appetizing food: smoked fish, caviar, bagels, bialys, babka and other traditional baked goods. The home of bagels and lox since 1914, Russ & Daughters has been continuously owned by four generations of the Russ family. The original landmark shop on East Houston Street has been in the same spot for 105 years. Russ & Daughters continues to provide the taste and traditions of a true New York experience. Mark Federman, the former owner of the beloved appetizing store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, tells the delightful, mouthwatering story of an immigrant family’s journey from a pushcart in 1907 to “New York’s most hallowed shrine to the miracle of caviar, smoked salmon, ethereal herring, and silken chopped liver” (The New York Times Magazine).

Book Fair Family Event/Community-Wide Concert

Celebrate Jewish Book Month at the Weinstein JCC. Books, art and gifts plus a concert for all ages to enjoy.

Book Fair Event with Peter Gethers

With his trademark wit and knowing eye, Peter Gethers has written an unforgettable memoir about how food and family can do much more than feed us—they can nourish our souls.

Restauranteur daughter of Ratner’s, New York City’s legendary restaurant, Judy Gethers didn’t discover her passion for cooking until in her late 50’s. After a very successful career mentoring the most famous chefs in America (Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman), Judy was robbed her ability to cook by a debilitating stroke. Her son, Peter, sets out to give his aging mother a very personal and perhaps final gift: a spectacular feast featuring all her favorite dishes. The problem is, although he was raised to love food and wine, he doesn’t really know how to cook. In an exuberant and entertaining memoir, novelist, screenwriter, playwright, editor, and producer Gethers pays homage to his mother, an accomplished cook, and to the amazing food they both loved. 

Peter Gethers is an author, screenwriter, playwright, book editor, and film and television producer. His eleven previous books include "The Cat Who Went to Paris," the first in a bestselling trilogy about his extraordinary cat, Norton. He is also the cocreator and coproducer of the hit off-Broadway play "Old Jews Telling Jokes." He lives in New York City, Sag Harbor, New York, and, whenever possible, Sicily.

Book Fair Event with Rebecca Erbelding

*Winner of the National Jewish Book Award*

Intriguing history of the only U.S. government agency ever founded with the express purpose “to save the lives of civilians being murdered by a wartime enemy.”

Holocaust historian, Rebecca Erbelding, pieces together years of research and newly uncovered archival materials to tell the dramatic story of America’s little-known efforts to save the Jews of Europe.

Rebecca Erbelding is an archivist, curator and historian at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. She has a PhD in American history from George Mason University. She and her work have been profiled in The Washington Post, The New York Times and The New Yorker and featured on the History Channel, NPR and other media outlets.

Book Fair Community Read Event with Amy Blumenfeld

Inspired by the actions of her own circle of caring friends and family when she was battling cancer as a child, Amy Blumenfeld’s debut novel centers on a group of ninth graders who produce a Saturday Night Live-style video to cheer up their ailing friend, Becca. The show’s running time was only ninety minutes, but it had a lasting impact: Becca laughed her way through recovery, and the group became her supporting cast for life.

25 years later, on the anniversary of Becca Night Live, the friends reunite over the Fourth of July to celebrate Becca’s good health—but nothing goes as planned. The happy holiday card facades everyone’s been hiding behind quickly crumble and give way to an unforgettable three days filled with complex moral dilemmas and life-altering choices. Through humor, drama, and the alternating perspectives of five characters, The Cast explores the power of forgiveness, the importance of authenticity, and the immeasurable value of deep, enduring friendships to buoy us when life plays out differently than expected. 

Amy Blumenfeld’s articles and essays have appeared in various publications including "The New York Times," "The Huffington Post," "O," "The Oprah Magazine" as well as on the cover of "People." A graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism where she was the recipient of the James A. Wechsler Award for National Reporting. "The Cast," her first novel, is the 2018 IPPY Gold Medal winner in Popular Fiction, an International Book Awards finalist in Best New Fiction and was listed by the New York Post as a “Best Book of the Week.”

20+ Years of Tradition

Janet Reno. Kirk Douglas. Richard Dreyfuss. Dr. Ruth. Carl Bernstein. These are just a few of the many fascinating speakers who have graced our stage in the more than 20 years of the JCC Forum. This highly popular event sells out quickly. By becoming an Arts + Ideas subscriber, you can guarantee your attendance at this year’s fascinating presentation, sure to engage, enlighten, and impress!

The Weinstein JCC is thrilled to welcome Jamie Bernstein as the 2020 Adolf Adams JCC Forum speaker this coming January! Patrons of the Arts subscribers are the only people guaranteed tickets to this incredible event, so sign-up today to be sure you have a spot! Click here to purchase tickets. 
Presented by McGuireWoods LLC and McGuireWoods Consulting PC

For more information about the Weinstein JCC Forum, contact Director of Donor Relations Lisa Looney at 545-8608 or

Weinstein JCC Gift Shop

The Weinstein JCC Gift Shop has the largest and best selection of new Chanukah and Judaic items!

Everyone is invited to shop for all gift giving occasions—Chanukah, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, anniversaries, birthdays, hostess gifts, new baby gifts, teacher’s gifts, etc. We also have a large selection of Judaica for all your needs throughout the year—Menorahs, Shabbat candlesticks, Mezzuzot, Kiddush cups, Tzedakah boxes and a large selection of jewelry and housewares.

Questions about the Gift Shop? Call (804) 285-6500.

Literary Events

Every year, thousands of book lovers come together at the Center to explore writings, hear author’s takes on their work, and interact with celebrated authors in a variety of forums. Our events include author meet-and-greets, book signings, a community read, panel discussions, children and teen’s activities, and more. Check below for information on this year's authors.

Literary Event with Rabbi Shlomo Pereira

Jewish Voices of Portugal, co-authored by Rabbi Shlomo Pereira and Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld, features commentaries on the Torah from six rabbis with direct connections to Portugal. While their work spans two centuries (mid-1400's – mid 1600’s), the messages couldn’t be more relevant to our lives today. Rabbi Pereira will be joined by Mario Martins, Political Counselor and Sandra Pires, Cultural Attache, for the U.S. Embassy to Portugal.

Rabbi Shlomo Pereira is a native of Lisbon, Portugal and moved to the United States in 1982. He received his rabbinical ordination in Jerusalem in 2004 and has served in the last two decades as assistant rabbi and education director at Chabad of Virginia. He got his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University and is better known in Portugal as an economist and by his Portuguese name of Alfredo Marvão Pereira. Rabbi Pereira lives with his wife Elisheva in Richmond, Virginia. They have five children and six grandchildren who live in the USA and in Israel and who all share a great love for Portugal. His passions, aside from Judaic Studies and Economics include history, in particular Portuguese history.

For more information about Literary Programs and the Gift Shop at the Weinstein JCC, contact Cultural Arts Director Leslie McGuigan at 545-8644 or