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JBC Author Series

Jewish Book Council is the longest-running organization devoted exclusively to the support and celebration of Jewish literature. 
For over seventy years, they have used literature to bring people together for meaningful discussions around Jewish life, identity, and culture. As a part of the JBC network, we are thrilled to welcome authors from far and wide to our community here in Port Washington, to share their teachings with us throughout the year. 

You can see our upcoming events below. Click here to view our past events. 


Upcoming Events


Tom Dugan
Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30 PM

Hosted by Chaverim

Register Here

Simon Wiesenthal was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who became internationally famous for relentlessly pursuing and bringing nearly 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice. He is best known for his role in capturing Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Final Solution.

This award-winning one-man play, now available in book form, begins on the day of his retirement when Simon Wiesenthal invites one last group of students into his office. With warmth, wit, and surprising humor, the famed ​“Nazi Hunter” recounts how he tracked down history’s most notorious killers, warning his young friends that although progress has been made since WWII, the human savage still lurks just below this wafer-thin veil of civilization. Author Tom Dugan captures the essence of this extraordinary man in the context of Holocaust history as well as the legacy he left behind.

The book includes the entire off-Broadway production playscript of this riveting drama and a complete study guide, production photographs, and book club questions.

Click here* to purchase Wiesenthal
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.



For the past twenty years, Tom Dugan was dubbed by critics ​“A National Treasure.” Dugan’s one-man plays have thrilled audiences and have been the subject of many PBS programs throughout North America. Now available in bookform, Wiesenthal was honored with multiple awards and nominations (N.Y. Drama Desk, N.Y. Outer Critics Circle, L.A. Ovation, L.A. Drama Critics Circle.) Website | Facebook

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Daniel Levin
Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 PM

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Documentary and conceptual art photographer Daniel Levin traveled to the work-shop of Israeli luthier Amnon Weinstein, the founder of the renowned Violins of Hope program, to explore this great man’s life’s mission. In doing so, he uncovered not only beautiful photographic representations of Amnon’s processes of restoration of delicate violins that miraculously survived the Holocaust, but his intimate workshop as well. With Violins and Hope From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall, Levin has brought the workshop out of itself, to be seen by the world for the very first time. Levin’s research led to extra­ordinary stories that include figures such as Bronislaw Huberman, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Joshua Bell, Shlomo Minz, Arturo Toscanini, Johannes Brahms, and even actors Daniel Craig, and Adrien Brody, each whose lives are inextricably intertwined with Weinstein’s.

Click here* to purchase Violins and Hope From the Holocaust to Symphony Hall
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.

Daniel Levin is a contemporary artist, photographer, professor, and author. He holds an MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Art, and a BFA in Documentary Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. No matter the medium, his works primarily address his societal concerns, his interest in how history relates to today, and his search for kindness. Website

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Lisa Barr
Wednesday, November 16 at 12:00 PM on Zoom

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This event will be facilitated as a "meet & speak" with the author.
It is recommended that attendees read the book prior to the event.

Click here* to purchase Woman on Fire
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.
 

After talking her way into a job with Dan Mansfield, the leading investigative reporter in Chicago, rising young journalist Jules Roth is given an unusual--and very secret--assignment. Dan needs her to locate a painting stolen by the Nazis more than 75 years earlier: legendary Expressionist artist Ernst Engel's most famous work, Woman on Fire. World-renowned shoe designer Ellis Baum wants this portrait of a beautiful, mysterious woman for deeply personal reasons, and has enlisted Dan's help to find it. But Jules doesn't have much time; the famous designer is dying.

Meanwhile, in Europe, provocative and powerful Margaux de Laurent also searches for the painting. Heir to her art collector family's millions, Margaux is a cunning gallerist who gets everything she wants. The only thing standing in her way is Jules. Yet the passionate and determined Jules has unexpected resources of her own, including Adam Baum, Ellis's grandson. A recovering addict and brilliant artist in his own right, Adam was once in Margaux's clutches. He knows how ruthless she is, and he'll do anything to help Jules locate the painting before Margaux gets to it first.

Lisa Barr is the New York Times best­selling author of Woman on Fire, The Unbreakables and the historical thriller Fugitive Colors, a suspenseful tale of stolen art, love, lust, deception and revenge on the ​“eve” of WWII. The novel won the IPPY gold medal for ​“Best Literary Fiction 2014” and first prize at The Hollywood Film Festival (Opus Magnum Discovery Award). In addition, Lisa served as an editor for The Jerusalem Post, managing editor of Today’s Chicago Woman, managing editor of Moment magazine, and as an editor/reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and has been featured on Good Morning America and Today. In exciting book news: Actress Sharon Stone is set to produce and star in the film adaptation of Woman On Fire.  Website | Twitter

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Nomi M. Stolzenberg & David N. Myers
Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 PM via Zoom

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Nomi M. Stolzenberg and David N. Myers have written a heavily researched, readable, and exceedingly interesting history of Kiryas Joel, the Satmar Hasidic community established in 1977 with­in the boundaries of upstate Monroe, New York. It was named for Joel Teitelbaum, its beloved leader, who sought to establish a community of true believers who would live, study, pray, and procreate in a Torah-true environment bereft of modern temptations.

Teitelbaum died in 1979, and Kiryas Joel has flourished beyond even his most fervent expectations, but not, as American Shtetl argues, in a manner that he would have always welcomed. KJ has grown from a few hundred residents to nearly twenty-five thousand today, and town authorities anticipate its population will increase to nearly seven­ty-five thousand by 2035. This phenomenal growth is due to an exceptionally high birth rate, combined with the migration of Satmar devotees attracted by its excessively insular and rigorous religious lifestyle. Although not the first, KJ is unquestionably the most significant Jewish utopian community in America, and it is, as the title of this book implies, not merely a shtetl but an American shtetl, and its history is ​“an especially fascinating manifestation of American identity politics.”

American Shtetl also provides a detailed analysis of the various legal battles that accompanied the growth of KJ and often led to violent confrontations. These instances mostly involved church-state issues and control over the town’s religious institutions. Some town residents feared that involvement in the secular legal system would undermine Teitelbaum’s hallowed goal of isolating the town’s residents from the non-Jewish world. Other dissidents in the town took an opposite approach. They accused the town’s leadership of seeking to create a ​“theocracy.” This legal history of KJ is fascinating and thought-provoking.

American Shtetl is the second book on Satmar Hasidim in America recently published by a distinguished university press; the other is Nathaniel Deutsch and Michael Casper’s superb A Fortress in Brooklyn: Race, Real Estate, and the Making of Hasidic Williamsburg (Yale University Press, 2021). These two volumes are part of a popular and scholarly fascination with Hasidic Jews in general and the Satmar community in particular. A plethora of television shows, movies, and books have appeared analyzing Hasidic drop-outs, as well as the ability of Hasidic groups to flourish despite the social, economic, and cultural threats to their way of life that they confront daily. How, one might ask, have the Satmar Hasidim and other such groups not succumbed to assimilation? American Shtetl provides many thought-provoking answers to this question.

Click here* to purchase American Shtetl: The Making of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Village in Upstate New York
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.

 

 

Nomi M. Stolzenberg holds the Nathan and Lilly Shapell Chair at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She has written widely on law and religion. Twitter

 

 

 

David N. Myers holds the Sady and Ludwig Kahn Chair in Jewish History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His many books include Jewish History: A Very Short Introduction. Website | Twitter

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Faith Kramer
Tuesday, January 10 at 7:30 PM via Zoom

Hosted by Sisterhood

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52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen invites every­one to honor Shabbat with a special meal on Friday evenings. It has more than 90 modern recipes (including many vegetarian options) that add flavor and meaning to the Shabbat or holiday table. Let 52 Shabbats be your guide if you have ever thought about starting, sharing, or expanding your celebration of Shabbat, or just adding to your Jewish food repertoire with dishes such as Pomegranate Molasses Brisket, Matzah Ball and Pozole Soup, Falafel Crust Pizza with Feta and Herbs, Sweet-and-Tart Silan-Roasted Carrots with Lentils, and Mango and Cardamom Mini Cheesecakes. The book’s many essays and stories also explore Shabbat traditions, the Jewish calendar, and the symbolism of foods in Judaism, offer descriptions of Jewish communities around the world, and investigate the global Jewish pantry. Kramer’s cookbook won gold in the Foreword Reviews Indies Book Award for 2021 in the cookbook category.

Click here* to purchase 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.

 

Faith Kramer learned to love Shabbat from her grandmother, who was a terrible cook, and how to improvise recipes from her mother, who was a fearless one. Now Kramer is a writer, recipe developer, and speaker on Jewish food­ways. She is cooking columnist for j., the Jewish News of Northern California, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Meg Waite Clayton
Wednesday, March 15 at 12:00 PM via Zoom

Register Here

This event will be facilitated as a "meet & speak" with the author.
It is recommended that attendees read the book prior to the event.

Click here* to purchase The Postmistress of Paris
*For each purchase using the link above, the synagogue receives a small commission.
 

Wealthy, beautiful Naneé was born with a spirit of adventure. For her, learning to fly is freedom. When German tanks roll across the border and into Paris, this woman with an adorable dog and a generous heart joins the resistance. Known as the Postmistress because she delivers information to those in hiding, Naneé uses her charms and skill to house the hunted and deliver them to safety.

Photographer Edouard Moss has escaped Germany with his young daughter only to be interned in a French labor camp. His life collides with Nanée’s in this sweeping tale of romance and danger set in a world aflame with personal and political passion.

Inspired by the real life Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold, who worked with American journalist Varian Fry to smuggle artists and intellectuals out of France, The Postmistress of Paris is the haunting story of an indomitable woman whose strength, bravery, and love is a beacon of hope in a time of terror.

Meg Waite Clayton is the New York Times best­selling author of eight novels, including the forthcoming The Postmistress of Paris and the National Jewish Book Award finalist The Last Train to London (publishing in 20 languages). A graduate of the University of Michigan law school, Meg’s short works have appeared in major newspapers and magazines and on public radio. 
Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Mon, October 3 2022 8 Tishrei 5783