If you are traveling in northern Florida, please make a point to visit the wondrous Story & Song in Fernandina Beach. Owners Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of what they call their “neighborhood bookstore bistro’’ which offers “books, light bites, coffee, wine, music, art and conversation.” As you can see by the blissful look on their faces in the photo, the business is truly a labor of love for them.
I loved the place and you will too. Besides marvelous books and scrumptious food, the programming schedule is amazing. For example, this coming April 17, at 7:30 in the evening, operatic soprano Robyn Marie Lamp will be in concert there singing “Songs from the Jewish Heart.” Check out the website StoryandSongBookstore.com for more details of the fabulous happenings there.
People are often surprised when they learn that the longest continuous Jewish Author Series in the Chicago area is not at a synagogue or a Jewish Community Center, but at Max and Benny’s Restaurant and Deli in Northbrook. The Max and Benny’s series began in March 2011 and is now going into its ninth year. Since 2014, the series has been running on a monthly basis. There have been about eighty author presentations so far and around 5500 people have attended these. There have been several non-Jewish authors featured as well, but these authors have each had a significant connection to the Jewish community.
The next featured author will be Nina Barrett, who will be discussing her book, The Leopold and Loeb Files, on March 25. The presentation begins at 7:00 in the evening, but most people arrive early enough to enjoy a delicious meal beforehand. Reservations are required and can be made by going to “Upcoming Events” on the homepage at maxandbennys.com.