Let’s be honest: it was crazy spending $150 million to create the world’s only Jewish boarding school and put it in rural Georgia. Crazier still was Jeff Taylor’s belief he could save Hampton Acres Hebrew Academy, or HAHA, before it went belly up.
Jeff, a former hedge fund manager and lawyer, thinks he’s seen all the curveballs life can throw…until he takes the HAHA helm. There he runs smack into Tower of Babel-like dysfunction. Between the school’s evaporating bank account, the founder’s daughter, who uses smoke and mirrors to hide HAHA’s financial frailty, the rabbi who always has one more fast day to add, the dynasty-building lacrosse coach, the school counselor who needs counseling, the needy students and needier parents, Jeff needs a miracle to keep HAHA afloat.
Not one to count on miracles, Jeff wants out before HAHA implodes. But then the danger becomes literal when HAHA receives a rapper’s bomb threat. Jeff must decide whether saving HAHA is possible…or whether he’ll be lucky to save himself.
The Academy of Smoke & Mirrors is hilarious and heartwarming, meshuga and moving. It will delight anyone who has ever been, or rooted for, the underdog.