Jewish Book Festival patron event

Columnist Lois Caplan

by Lois Caplan

WHAT COULD BE MORE FUN than a congenial party with like-minded people who are there to share information and laughs? That’s how I think of the Jewish Book Festival’s opening night patron event – warm, fuzzy and fun. This year’s event on Sunday night, Nov. 7 follows the 5:30 p.m. keynote presentation at the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex. It promises to be extremely entertaining as Hollywood mogul/writer/movie producer/storyteller Jerry Weintraub and his co-author, acclaimed writer Rich Cohen, take the stage. Together they have recently written Weintraub’s memoir, “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead.”

The party following the keynote presentation is a glamorous Gala Patron dinner, with dancing and probably some schmooze and laughs with Jerry and Rich. The dress for the evening is “Hollywood-chic” and it will be held at the Sheraton Westport Lakeside Chalet in the Versailles Ballroom where there will be valet parking. Patron dinner reservations at $390 a couple or $195 for an individual include Patron Dinner tickets, Series tickets for admission to all Festival presentations from Nov. 7 – 18, preferred section seating for the keynote program and a copy of Weintraub’s book. Individual tickets for the keynote are available at $36. For reservations, call 314-442-3299 or email at All proceeds from the Festival benefit JCC Scholarships and Cultural Arts programs.

To tell you a little about Jerry Weintraub is impossible since he is a larger-than-life character whose movies include “Nashville,” “Oh, God,” “Oceans Eleven,” (and Twelve and Thirteen) and the old and new “Karate Kid.” He counts George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon among his close friends. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but with the help of Weintraub’s co-author Cohen, you will learn much more about this interesting man.

A special Book Festival event will be a concert at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14 at Washington University’s 560 Performance Center, 560 Trinity Avenue. (Those of you old enough will remember that facility as the former Temple Shaare Emeth). It features Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Concertmaster David Halen and members of the orchestra with pianist Orli Shaham as soloist. She, of course, is David Robertson’s wife. The concert event joins the Daniel Pearl Foundation’s World Music Days Harmony for Humanity, inspired by the life and work of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter and musician kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in 2002.

Among the numerous writers, fiction and non fiction, there will be an unusual special event at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at the J featuring Jonathan Adler, one of the hottest names on the decorating scene whose designs for pottery, furniture, textiles, lighting and home accessories can be found in leading department stores and his own signature boutiques.

MEMORIES AND MELODIES on Thursday, Nov. 11 is a delightful musical evening to benefit Memory Care Home Solutions, a unique organization whose mission is to extend and improve quality time at home for families caring for loved ones with memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This is the fourth annual Memories and Melodies to be held this year at 6:30 p.m. in the Starlight Room of the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. Following dinner at 7:30 the Muny will provide entertainment for the evening featuring music from the “Big Band Era.”

This event is vital to the organization. Over 2,400 caregivers benefit from the program annually. In the last 18 months, families in the low income bracket being seen at Memory Care Home Solutions increased by 85 percent. The goals of MCHS are to reduce family caregiver stress; to present the tools, techniques, and skills that increase confidence to handle difficult situations; to help prepare for the future; and to improve quality of life at home. These are wonderful goals but for those dealing with financial stress they are non-existent. That’s why the organization comes up with an annual very good party to increase the coffers to help those who cannot afford their services.

For reservations at $175 per ticket or $70 for young friends under 40, contact Lisa Baron at 314-645-6247 or online at

THE ARRIANA STRING QUARTET (ASQ) will perform at the Touhill on Friday, Oct. 29, a program they call By Request, because this it is audience- selected. Over a five-month period votes were collected, giving chamber music lovers a choice of 12 works. The final selections were Schubert’s “Quartettsatz,” Ravel’s “Quartet in F Major” and Grieg’s “Quartet in G minor.” Tickets at $23 are on sale now at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus where the recital will be held in the Desmond and Mary Ann Lee theater. You can also get tickets by phone at 314-516-4949 or online at