JCC BookFest pages turn to matchmaking

Andrea Peskind Katz to moderate authors’ event Dec. 5

By Deb Silverthorn

The Margot Rosenberg Pulitzer Dallas Jewish BookFest, presented by the Aaron Family JCC and Central Market, will become a matchmaker. Jewish authors Lynda Cohen Loigman and Sara Goodman Confino will meet in conversation with Dallas’ Andrea Peskind Katz and the public, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at The Legacy Midtown Park.

“It’s time for fiction, for a light night, some make-believe and some laughter. With the backdrop of the concept of the ‘matchmaker,’ a time-honored treasure of our Jewish tradition, these authors provide a contemporary twist and wonderful stories. Having Andrea here to moderate the conversation is the cherry on the sundae,” said Rachelle Weiss Crane, the J’s director of Israel Engagement and Jewish Living and BookFest producer.

Cohen Loigman, the attorney-turned-author, has also written “The Two-Family House,” “The Wartime House” and “The Love Elixir of Augusta Stern,” coming next year. Her own “match” to her husband came through a blind date arranged by a mutual friend.

Her book “The Matchmaker’s Gift,” which the J shared in a Zoom event in September 2022, is the story of the granddaughter of an early-century matchmaker with a knack for connecting meant-to-be-souls. When she passes away, the granddaughter, who is a divorce attorney, inherits her handwritten diaries with details of matches made.

“‘The Matchmaker’s Gift’ came to me after getting to know my daughter’s college roommate. We were watching a matchmaking series and one night she mentioned that her grandmother had been a matchmaker in New York. I did some research, found an article about her in the New York Times and was inspired. I dedicated the book to my girls,” said Cohen Loigman.

“I’m excited to be in Dallas in-person and I look forward to connecting with readers,” said Cohen Loigman. “‘The Matchmaker’s Gift’ is historical and timeless. It has a bit of magical realism that I love.”

Goodman Confino has also written “For the Love of Friends” and “She’s Up to No Good.” Her third book, “Don’t Forget to Write,” came to her on a family beach vacation. In addition to writing, she teaches high school creative writing and journalism. When her editors requested a quick turnaround for this book, she complied by submitting the final draft just two months later. Her next book, “Behind Every Good Man,” will be published next summer.

“Don’t Forget to Write” is the story of Marilyn Kleinman, who, after getting caught making out with the rabbi’s son in front of the congregation, is sent to her great-aunt Ada — a 70-something matchmaker with platinum-blond hair and a convertible.

“Marilyn’s summer is filled with life’s lessons, ups and downs and rules that she may not appreciate but she’d better connect to,” said Goodman Confino. She added that she herself was set up with her husband by her mother, who knew his aunt.

Peskind Katz shares fiction books with more than 6,000 followers each day through her Great Thoughts Great Readers book salon. In the last few years, she has become friends with both writers. She says that this event, two nights before Hanukkah starts, will offer attendees last-minute shopping for these books and the authors’ previous works.

“These ladies and their books are delightful. I promise everyone a great night out,” said Peskind Katz. “Please bring your friends! We’ve never needed Jewish joy, or to celebrate who we are, more than today. As always, the J comes through, showcasing the authors we need at this time.”

For more details or to register, visit tinyurl.com/JCC-bookfest-matchmaker.

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