Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine will keynote 2022 Jewish Book Festival


Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will be the keynote author kicking off the 2022 St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. The Jewish Community Center will host the 44th annual book festival from Nov. 6-13.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, Yovanovitch will be joined at the J’s Performing Arts Center by Professor James Wertsch of Washington University to discuss her new book, “Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir.”

“We are so honored that Ambassador Yovanovitch will be our keynote of the 44th St. Louis Jewish Book Festival,” said Rabbi Brad Horwitz, director of Jewish Engagement and Adult Programs at the J. “We invite the entire St. Louis region to join us at the J to hear from this true American hero who has dedicated her professional career to the service of our country and the fight for democracy, truth and freedom for all, even under the most trying and challenging circumstances.”

In addition to Yovanovitch, the festival will offer a diverse lineup of bestselling authors, investigative journalists, Netflix stars, nationally known chefs, true crime events and more. Highlights include:

  • Author Charles Bosworth Jr. and local criminal defense attorney Joel Schwartz, who will take the stage on Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. to discuss their book, “Bone Deep Untangling the Betsy Faria Murder Case,” which is the true story behind NBC’s mini-series, “The Thing About Pam.”
  • Investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Gregory Zuckerman on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. to speak about his newest book, “A Shot to Save The World: The Inside Story of the Life-Or-Death Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine.”
  • Star of the Netflix reality show, “My Unorthodox Life,” Julia Haart, who will discuss her Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling book, “Brazen,” on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

In addition to the weeklong festival in November, the book festival will host a bookend event with James Beard award-winning author Michael Twitty. He will discuss his book, “Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew” on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. This event is being held in conjunction with the Sababa Arts & Culture Festival, which occurs on Sunday, Sept. 18. Tickets for the Michael Twitty event can be purchased here.

The Jewish Book Festival’s Premiere Pass Tickets, which provide entrance to more than 18 author programs year-round, are on sale and can be purchased at A full lineup of over 25 festival authors will be announced in August. Masks will be required for all audience members at all book festival events.