Getzville, NY: 716-688-4033
Buffalo, NY:   716-886-3145


51st Annual JCC Book & Arts Fair

Share this page:

Welcome to the JCC Book & Arts Fair, celebrating 51 years of bringing the community cultural arts events. This year we celebrate acclaimed, award-winning authors, musicians, poets and photographers, all from Western New York.

The JCC Book & Arts Fair is for everyone. All JCC events include receptions, as well as book sales and signings for author events. Tickets for events requiring admission may be purchased at the door, or prior to events at either JCC member services desk.

This program is supported in part by the People of the Book Fund, administered by the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies. Your support is sincerely appreciated. Please see the donation card enclosed.

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

Download our Ticket Form here!


Two Soldiers’ Stories

Brian Castner is a Buffalo-born war veteran turned memoirist, who served three tours of duty in the Middle East. His memoir, The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows is the story of his struggle to survive modern combat in Iraq and his personal tale of confronting who he had become upon returning to his family.

Toronto-born Matti Friedman was a reporter and editor in the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press (AP) news agency between 2006 and 2011 and has worked as a reporter in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Moscow and Washington, D.C. In 2016 he was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, Canada’s most prestigious literary award, for his most recent book, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War.

FREE – due to limited seating, reservations recommended.  716-204-2084

Presented by the JCC Book & Arts Fair and Just Buffalo Literary Center

Sponsored by the Burchfield Penney Arts Center, Gabe and Andrea Ferber, and the Sam and Sophie Memorial Fund



Mindy Fried

Author Mindy Fried Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir is Mindy Fried’s moving and colorful account about caring for her 97-year-old father, Manny – actor, writer, labor organizer, and survivor of political persecution during the McCarthy Era – in the final year of his life.

Fried is a sociologist and co-principal of Arbor Consulting Partners (www. and a teacher of Evaluation Research at Boston College.

She co-produces music/arts festivals in Boston that provide opportunity to local talent, and bring people together across race, culture and class.

Sponsored by The Tanya Ganson Memorial Fund

$10/general, $5/students



Gunilla Kester and Shiri Kester

Gunilla Theander Kester (Ph.D.), a native of Sweden, has published and edited six books in three genres. An accomplished guitarist she often performs and also teaches classical guitar.

Shiri Kester, daughter of Gunilla, graduated summa cum laude from the University at Buffalo with degrees in English and Media Studies.

She has visited 30 countries on six continents. She works with children at the Jewish Community Center and Congregation Shir Shalom.

Sponsored by People of the Book Fund

FREE – due to limited seating, reservations recommended.  716-204-2084


from history.png

Preston (Pete) Niland

Pete Niland grew up knowing about his family’s contribution to WWII and D-Day but never imagined he would one day be invited by Stephen Spielberg to attend the Hollywood opening of Saving Private Ryan, the film based on his father and uncles. Join this very special presentation to learn about the “real” Private Ryan, and this remarkable family.

Niland is a native of Niagara Falls, NY whose love of sports led him to Ithaca College and later to Buffalo State College where he received a Master of Science Education. Now a retired teacher and coach, you can find him most mornings working out at the JCC Fitness Center.

Sponsored by Amherst Memorial Chapel

FREE – due to limited seating, reservations recommended. 716-204-2084


on teh cusp.png

Author Daniel Horowitz

A Jewish “townie” from New Haven, Horowitz reconstructs the undergraduate career of the class of 1960 and follows its story into the next decade. He ponders the role of the university in protecting the prerogatives of class while fostering social mobility, and examines the growing significance of race and gender in American politics and culture.

Daniel Horowitz graduated from Yale in 1960 and later earned a doctorate in history at Harvard. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the National Humanities Center; the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, Harvard; and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Sponsored by Judy and Len Katz

$10/general, $5/students



Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension, by author Sam Arbesman, June 12, is CANCELLED due to a scheduling conflict.



Barry Schonfeld

Barry Schonfeld presents a Buffalo WNY premier concert of Goyascas, pieces for the piano, inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya, the Spanish romantic painter and printmaker. These wonderfully rhythmic music pieces evoke colorful imagery as they “gallop along, racing to a fantastic finish.” Barry Schonfeld’s love of music has traveled with him to the University of Rochester and the University of Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as travels through Europe including Germany, France, England and Italy.

Sponsored by the Schonfeld Family

$10/general, $5/students


a new bathtub.png

Author Dick Hirsch

Dick Hirsch discusses his latest non-fiction book, a collection of 100 stories that cover a variety of topics, many of them off-beat and all of them readable.

A native of Buffalo, Hirsch had a long career as a columnist, starting at the Courier-Express and currently continuing for over three decades writing the BfloTales column every week in Business First. He also

spent 19 years producing and moderating weekly interview programs on WNED-TV. He is the author of “The Bubble Didn’t Burst,” the story of the late Nathan Benderson, “Firm Beliefs,” the history of Phillips Lytle, the prominent law firm headquartered in Buffalo.

Sponsored by The Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies

$10/general, $5/students


still smiling.png

Author Linda Pellegrino

Join Linda Pellegrino for a compilation of memories of a life in front of and behind the camera by one of WNY’s most known and respected reporters. Calling her experience, “The front row of life” Pellegrino has interviewed world leaders, sports stars, Hollywood royalty and social leaders. Pellegrino has made her mark in both Buffalo radio and television, especially as the longtime host of WKBW, Channel 7’s AM BUFFALO.

Pellegrino’s work at Channel 7 has earned her awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters and two New York State Emmy nominations. As a breast and thyroid cancer survivor, Pellegrino is a vocal advocate of women getting annual mammograms.

Sponsored by: Northtown Automotive Companies

$10/general, $5/students


the secret room.png

Author Sandra Block

Sandra A. Block graduated from college at Harvard, then returned to her native land of Buffalo, New York for medical training and never left. She is a practicing neurologist and proud Sabres fan, and lives at home with her husband, two children, and impetuous yellow lab Delilah. She has been published in both medical and poetry journals. Little Black Lies is her debut, and The Girl Without a Name is the next novel in the series.  

Book signing and reception to follow author presentation. 


Presented by JCC Book & Arts Fair and Buffalo Jewish Federation

Sponsored by Brian and Margery Block

$10/general, $5/students


People of the Book

Please help keep our JCC Book & Arts Fair strong by becoming a People of the Book supporter!  People of the Book is a special Jewish Center Endowment Fund, administered by the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies.  Call 688-4114 x 337 for more information.

Thank you to our Sponsors! 

logo 2.png


logo 1.png


Back To Top