Faith groups to host diverse, trans-inclusive Evanston book fair

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond
February 15, 2017

JRC book fair promises not only to introduce a child to their new favorite book but open their eyes to the magnificently diverse world in which they can live “so fully.”

Novelist Marcel Proust once noted that “there are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.”

InterfaithFamily ( IFF )/Chicago. the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation ( JRC ) in Evanston and PJ Library ( a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation which sends free Jewish children’s books and music to kids and families across the world ) have teamed up for a Feb. 26 book fair at the JRC which promises not only to introduce a child to their new favorite book but open their eyes to the magnificently diverse world in which they can live “so fully.”

Rabbi Ari Moffic is the Director of InterfaithFamily Chicago—a local office of the organization dedicated to supporting interfaith families exploring Jewish life.

She told Windy City Times that the idea for the book fair was seeded following an introduction to author Jessica Herthel who co-wrote the 2014 children’s bestseller I am Jazz about the life of celebrated transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings.

“Jessica graciously offered to come into Chicago and share the book, how she came to write it and the lessons from it,” Moffic said. “So we took her up on it. The JRC were not only willing to host but put in a lot of volunteer and talent effort towards what now has become a book fair on increasing the diversity of the books we read to our kids.”

The event has blossomed in size and scope with nine different organizations participating including IFF/Chicago, JRC, the Jewish Child and Family Services ( JCFS ) Response Center and Project Esther, Keshet, the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the Evanston Public Library, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and Education Center and Spiritual Playdate.

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