Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts Celebrates 15th Anniversary at JCC

The annual Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts celebrates its 15th anniversary this year at the Jewish Community Center. This 3-week community celebration features special guest appearances by local, national and even internationally renowned authors, who will speak and answer questions about their latest books, which by the way, are also available for purchase as part of a book sale. Authors will autograph books afterwards.


In addition, there will be 3 evenings of film screenings, a literature-inspired art gallery show, interactive discussions, and a cake-baking contest & silent auction.


Several authors have already spoken, and a great musical performance by a local Klezmer-style band called INDYKLEZ took place last Saturday.

“One of the key aspects of the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts is indeed our book sale. We have brought various types of books of various interests, including many books from local authors, and (more) importantly, books of the authors who will be speaking,” says Larry Rothenberg, Director of Arts and Education for the Jewish Community Center.


Several more authors are scheduled to speak in the coming days. One high-profile author, Matthew Levitt, will speak about his latest book, Hezbollah, on November 17, the last day of the festival. This 400-page book, which received a favorable review by the Wall Street Journal, traces the militant Islamist group’s origins to Iran’s 1979 revolution and takes an in-depth look at Hezbollah’s covert operations.

Levitt is a senior fellow and director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is also a professorial lecturer in International Relations and Strategic Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


The art gallery features the works of internationally acclaimed artist Bonnie Stahlecker, whose exhibit, Time, Memory and Implications, is a thought-provoking fusion of literary elements and sculpture.

Film screenings will include the Indiana premiere of Nicky’s Family, the mostly unknown story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a young Englishman, who organized the rescue of 669 Jewish Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II, as well as a free Screening of Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.

The entire festival takes place at the Jewish Community Center, which is located on the north side of Indianapolis at 6701 Hoover Road. Almost all of the programming will take place in the Cultural Arts Hall of the JCC. There is ample, free parking.