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Author Kaplan to Discuss Power of Gratitude

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm MST

What started as a challenging idea — to spend a full year living gratefully — became a life-changing experience for author, magazine editor, and producer Janice Kaplan. Her inspirational memoir, “The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Transformed My Life” (Dutton 2015) reached the New York Times bestseller list. Gratitude will her topic on Wednesday, March 18, for the second annual Rabbi Lee A. Kivel Lecture on Jewish Life, open to the public and presented by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

Kaplan is the author and co-author of 15 books, including the New York Times bestselling memoir “I’ll See You Again,” written with Jackie Hance. Her novels include “The Botox Diaries,” “Mine Are Spectacular!” and “The Men I Didn’t Marry” and the Lacy Fields mysteries “Looks To Die For” and “A Job To Kill For.” Her books are translated and published in more than a dozen countries.

As the past editor-in-chief of “Parade” magazine, the most widely read publication in America, Kaplan worked with major political figures and interviewed celebrities and stars. She was deputy editor of “TV Guide” magazine, and executive producer of the TV Guide Television Group, creating more than 30 television shows that aired primetime on major networks. Kaplan began her career as an award-winning producer at ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America.” She has appeared dozens of times on television shows including “Today,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and “CBS This Morning.” A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, she won Yale’s Murray Fellowship for writing.

“The concept of spending a year being more grateful started out as a literary device,” Kaplan says. “It had a profound effect on me. I ended up having the best year of my life.” Kaplan kept a gratitude journal during her first year. “I don’t do that anymore, it is so completely incorporated into my daily attitude. We can’t always change events in life but we can control what I call the reframing – turning it in a different direction.

“Most of us understand that grateful people tend to be happier,” she says. “This is not touchy-feely stuff. Research proves that gratitude makes us healthier, improves sleep, lowers stress, blood pressure, and some inflammatory disease, and lessens depression. Gratitude can have a profound effect on tragedy and sadness. If we can help ourselves and help others, I think that matters.”

Kaplan promises that attendees can profoundly change their family relationships with what she will share in the lecture. “Improve relationships with your children, your spouse, and the whole family. Knowing how to appreciate your children brings gratitude to their lives.” She also will talk about gratitude at work, “how it can help transform a workplace and make you more successful.”

The event will be held at Tucson Hebrew Academy, 3888 E. River Road, 7-9:15 p.m. Advance registration is $5 until Feb. 28, at Registration at the door, for $10, opens at 6:30 p.m. Kaplan’s keynote will be followed by breakout sessions related to gratitude with community rabbis. Refreshments, book sales, and a book signing will follow the program.

About the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona: For more than 70 years, the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona has served as its community’s coordinating body for fundraising, planning and communal services. The Federation helps sustain and improve the lives of Jews and non-Jews in Southern Arizona, Israel, and around the world.

Today nearly 30,000 people are part of the Southern Arizona Jewish community, one of the fastest-growing in the country. The Jewish community has several synagogues and a family of caring, local agencies, and organizations that enrich the lives of residents.

Through a network of affiliated agencies, the Federation helps individuals and families, the old and the young, the unemployed, the homeless, the sick, the poor, and those who are persecuted or oppressed. In this way, the Federation fulfills a sacred Jewish promise that has shaped Jewish culture for generations: the promise to build and care for our community here and around the world. The Federation strives to meet the community’s needs today while planning and building a dynamic and vibrant Jewish future.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:15 pm
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Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona
(520) 647-8474


Tucson Hebrew Academy
3888 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ United States
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