OCT. 23-29

Hawkish blowhards such as Charles Krauthammer, William Safire, and Martin Peretz tell us how Israelis and Palestinians think and act. Of course, they do so from their respective safe perches in Washington, New York, and Cambridge, Mass. Authors David Horovitz and Adina Hoffman offer more heartfelt portraits from their day-to-day lives in Jerusalem, where both witness Zionist idealism turning into something less than divine. “I scream at this country,” writes Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Report, in his book, A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel. “It exasperates me. I might forever be a slightly displaced Brit in a slightly foreign land, but this is as close to home as it gets. I don’t want to get off the roller coaster.” Hoffman’s first book, House of Windows, offers its own window into one Jerusalem neighborhood that borders the East (Arab) and West (Jewish) sides of the city, where Hoffman has lived for eight years. Horovitz and Hoffman will present their perspectives in person on Oct. 24 at 8:15 p.m. as part of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. The weeklong celebration of the Jewish literary tradition presents other insights into the Jewish Diaspora, from Frederick Reicken’s magical novel Love and Loss in New Jersey (Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.) to Jerry Aronson’s documentary film The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.) to Ursula Hegi’s extraordinary book Stones from the River (Oct. 29 at 7 p.m.; the author is pictured). At the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $7.50-$30. For reservations call (800) 494-8497. (Elissa Silverman)

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