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Letter to the Editor

Don’t forget community’s first Jewish Book Fair

I was excited to read that Chabad House Center planned to initiate their first-ever Jewish Book Fair on Dec. 20. But I wanted to correct the article in The Chronicle that suggested this is the first Jewish Book Fair in our community. My mother, Gloria P. Gershun, of blessed memory, helped co-found the Annual Jewish Book Fair at the Jewish Community Center in 1994 and was active in its growth and support for many years.

Many of us remember the wonderful month-long programming that my mom organized, bringing six to eight Jewish authors and authors of books with Jewish content to Kansas City every November (Jewish Book Month) for everyone in our community to enjoy. Sadly, this event did not continue after Mom “retired” as the volunteer organizer of this JCC event.  

Over the years, along with Mom’s dear friend Donna Gould Cohen, I have had the honor of bringing several prominent Jewish authors to Kansas City in Mom’s memory, including Deborah Lipstadt (in collaboration with the KC Public Library); Jules Feiffer, Norton Jester, and Louis Sacher (in collaboration with the JCC); and Art Spiegelman and — just this October — Ira Glass (in collaboration with the Kauffman Performing Arts Center).  

It’s wonderful to see that the Chabad House Center is beginning their own Jewish Book Fair tradition. But I wanted to be sure everyone in our community remembers the great debt they owe my mom, Gloria Gershun, for first introducing an annual Jewish Book Fair to Kansas City.