October 6 – November 29, 2020
Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors and participants for a great series!
Stay tuned for possible "Extra chapters"!
Book descriptions & Event Details
My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me
Tuesday, October 6
On March 3, 2017, ten days before her untimely death from ovarian cancer, bestselling children's author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal set the stage for her husband's life without her in an op-ed piece for The New York Times's "Modern Love" column: "You May Want to Marry My Husband." The column reached more than five million people worldwide. In Rosenthal’s memoir, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, he describes what came next; his commitment to respecting Amy's wish while struggling with her death, striving to appreciate every day, and trying to help others cope with loss. Jason's Ted talk "The Journey Through Loss and Grief" has been viewed over 1.4 million times since June 2018.
On My Watch: A Memoir
Tuesday, October 13
Generously sponsored by Virginia Dodge
As the nation came together to mourn, support each other, and rebuild in the aftermath of 9/11, local Marblehead resident, Virginia Buckingham, the head of Boston's Logan International Airport at the time, was publicly singled out for blame and forced to resign. She was also sued for wrongful death by the family of a 9/11 victim who held her personally responsible for the terrorist attack. A rising political star at age thirty-five, Buckingham had served as chief of staff to two consecutive Massachusetts governors before becoming the first woman to head the state's Port Authority. This unique memoir shares her struggles to rebuild her life and come to terms with being blamed for an unimaginable tragedy that occurred on her watch.
In conversation with Rabbi David Meyer, Temple Emanu-El, Marblehead
Eric Jay Dolin
A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred Year History of America's Hurricanes
Thursday, October 15
From the moment European colonists laid claim to this land, hurricanes have had a profound and visceral impact on American history. Eric Jay Dolin, local bestselling author and historian, presents the intriguing five-hundred year story of American hurricanes, from the nameless storms that threatened Columbus' New World voyages, to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In A Furious Sky, a finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, Dolin explores the escalation of hurricane season as a result of global warming and uncovers the often surprising ways humans respond to natural crises.
In conversation with Bethany Groff Dorau, historian, author and North Shore Regional Site Administrator for Historic New England.
Lynda Cohen Loigman
The Wartime Sisters
Tuesday, October 20
Author of The Two-Family House, Lynda Cohen Loigman presents this historical fiction which takes place at the Springfield, MA armory in the early days of World War II. Loigman, who grew up in nearby Longmeadow, writes about two estranged sisters raised in Brooklyn and reunited at the armory in Springfield. The Wartime Sisters describes the complex bond between the sisters, and tells the moving story of women coming together to succeed in the face of extreme personal and global challenges
Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad's Fake Diving Resort
Sunday, October 25
In the early 1980s, on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury resort opened for business. Little did the guests know that the staff members were undercover spies, working for the Mossad - the Israeli Secret Service. Written by longtime BBC Middle East correspondent, Raffi Berg, Red Sea Spies: The True Story of Mossad's Fake Diving Resort tells the true story that inspired the recent Netflix drama The Red Sea Diving Resort. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help later turned into the secret evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews, and the spiriting of them to Israel.
In conversation with Debbie Cenziper, investigative journalist based in Washington DC and author of Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler's Hidden Soldiers in America.
What We Will Become: A Mother, a Son, and a Journey of Transformation
Thursday, October 29
Raised in an ultra-orthodox Jewish family with every aspect of her life dictated by ancient rules, Mimi Lemay’s role as a woman seemed preordained from cradle to grave. What We Will Become is Lemay’s heartfelt memoir of her transgender child's odyssey, and her own journey outside the boundaries of the faith and culture that shaped her life. Dual narratives of faith and motherhood weave together to form a heartfelt portrait of an unforgettable family. Brimming with love and courage, What We Will Become is a powerful testament to how painful events from the past can be redeemed to give us hope for the future.
In conversation with Alison Rosalie Brookes, MD.
Eat Something: A Wise Sons Cookbook for Jews Who Like Food and Food Lovers Who Like Jews
Sunday, November 1
Written by Rachel Levin, a journalist, and Evan Bloom, accomplished chef, entrepreneur, and founder of Wise Sons Deli in San Francisco, Eat Something is part comedy, part nostalgia, and part cookbook. In scrapbook-style, this book layers food photography illustrations by artist George McCalman, with Jewish cultural memorabilia sourced from Wise Sons customers and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Stemming from the thesis that Jews eat by occasion, the book is organized into 19 different events and celebrations chronicling a Jewish life in food, including: Bris, Shabbat, Passover, High Holidays, first meal home from college, J-Dating, weddings, and more.
A discussion about the difference between East Coast vs. West Coast Delis -A conversation with Alon Munzer, owner of Mamaleh's Deli, State Park and Cafe du Pays.
The Book of V.
Tuesday, November 10
Anna Solomon is the two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize and author of Leaving Lucy Pear and The Little Bride. Her latest novel, a Good Morning America Book Club pick titled The Book of V., intertwines the lives of a Brooklyn mother in 2016, a senator's wife in 1970s Washington, D.C., and the Bible's Queen Esther, whose stories of sex, power and desire overlap and ultimately converge - revealing how women's roles have, and have not, changed over thousands of years.
In conversation with Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us, The Stormchasers, and The Lost Family.
The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China
Thursday, November 12
Generously sponsored by Bryna Litchman and Arthur J. Epstein
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Director of the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, Jonathan Kaufman has written and reported on China for thirty years for news outlets including The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Kaufman writes about the Sassoons who, by the 1930s, had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty - the Kadoories. The book tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect 18,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.
In conversation with Dan Urman, Director of the Undergraduate Law and Public Policy program and Director of Online and Hybrid programs at the School of Law at Northeastern University.
Co-sponsored with The Jewish Journal
Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier
Tuesday, November 17
Alan Zweibel, an original writer for Saturday Night Live who has won multiple Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards for his work in television, started his comedy career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt stand ups. As one of the first writers at SNL, he penned classic material for Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and all of the original "Not Ready for Prime Time Players." From SNL, he went on to have a hand in a series of landmark shows, including It's Garry Shandling's Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm. In Laugh Lines, Zweibel weaves together his own stories and interviews with his friends and contemporaries, touting such celebrities as Richard Lewis, Eric Idle, Bob Saget, Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Dave Barry, Carl Reiner, and more.
Girls Night Out!
Camp Girls: Fireside Lessons in Friendship, Courage and Loyalty
Thursday, November 19
New York Times bestselling author of seven books, Iris Krasnow was eight years old when she first attended sleep-away camp, beginning her journey of building lasting friendships and essential life skills amid the towering pine trees and open skies of Wisconsin. Decades later, she returned to Camp Agawak as a staff member, where she is now entering her seventh summer, running the camp magazine where she got her literary start. With a universal message on the importance of long-term friendship for campers and non-campers alike, Krasnow fills the pages with cabin pranks, canoe trips in rainstorms, crushes on boys from brother's camps, and lessons in independence and resilience from childhood that can shape fulfilling and successful adulthoods. Camp Girls powerfully demonstrates that camp is more than just a place or a collection of activities: it's where we learn what it feels like to truly belong to a family-not of blood, but of history, loyalty, and tradition.
A Rosenberg by Any Other Name: A History of Jewish Name Changing in America
Sunday, November 29
Generously sponsored by Judy Rosenberg
Our thinking about Jewish name changing tends to focus on clichés: ambitious movie stars who adopted glamorous new names or insensitive Ellis Island officials who changed immigrants' names for them. As Fermaglich reveals, the story is often much more profound. This first history of name changing in the United States demonstrates how historical debates about immigration, antisemitism, race, class, mobility, gender, family, the boundaries of the Jewish community, and the power of government are reshaped when name changing becomes part of the conversation. Mining court documents, oral histories, archival records, and contemporary literature, Fermaglich argues that name changing had a lasting impact on American Jewish culture.
Thank you to our family of sponsors
*Special thank you to our Cultural Sponsors who support both Jewish Book Month and Jewish Film Festival, denoted in bold.
Sharon and Howard Rich
Izzi and Howie Abrams
Rhonda and John Gilberg
Bryna Litchman and Arthur J. Epstein
VIRTUAL EVENT SPONSOR
Mindy McMahon - Coldwell Banker
Law Office of Betsy G. Rooks, LLC
Josene Steinberg and David Fromm
Beth and Marc Andler
E.B. Horn Jewelers
Leslie and Bob Ogan
Sagan Harborside Sotheby's International Realty
Debby and Howie Brooks
Susan and Michael Cohen
Michael and Roslyn Eschelbacher
Margie Detkin and Fred Feldman
Susan and Larry Goldberg
Lori and Larry Groipen
Myra and Paul Gulko
Ethel and Stephen Harris
Helaine and Jim Hazlett
Maria and Arnold Kline
Diane and Eddie Knopf
Susan and Vinny Lloyd
Ina Resnikoff, ESQ.
Ruth K. Rooks
Karen and David Rosenberg and Family
Shelley A. Sackett
Anne and Robert Selby
Sheckman/Wilcher Fund for the Arts
Linda and John Smidt
Margie and Jerry Somers
Sara and Marc Winer
Diane Knopf, Chair
JCCNS Executive Director
JCCNS Adult Program Director
JCCNS Director of Development