The Lessans Family Literary Series

2017-2018 Literary Series

We heard from you and other festival patrons that you want to see more literary programming throughout the year at the Bender JCC. Therefore, we are expanding the book festival into a yearlong Literary Series.

Become a Literary Series Sponsor, today, by contacting: Jennifer Smith, 301-348-3778.

Literary Festival

November 2-5

The new Lessans Family Literary Series kicks off with an exciting Literary Festival to be held November 2 – 5, and will be followed by monthly author programs throughout the year. Planning is well underway for our exciting, revamped literary series and we are busy assembling an outstanding line up of speakers and programs.

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Buy Your Literary Festival Pass

Join us to engage with those telling their stories and be inspired to connect with your own. #GetLITerary

Literary Festival Events | November 2-5

Event Date: Thursday, November 2

Event Time: 7:00 PM, Dessert reception to follow

Ticket Price: $75 | Includes a copy of Little Bigfoot, Big City –and — Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing.

Event Info: One of the wittiest authors of the literary world, fiction queen Jennifer Weiner opens our festival with a brilliant evening of drinks, laughter, and a little debauchery. Join us to hear Weiner’s stories about writing fiction, writing for children, and publishing her memoir.

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We Were the Lucky Ones

Event Date: Friday, November 3

Event Time: 10:30 AM

Ticket Price: $25, Ticket Only | $46, Ticket & Book

Event Info: Inspired by the incredible true story of a Jewish family separated at the beginning of World War II, the extraordinarily compelling novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, demonstrates how in the face of the twentieth century’s darkest moment, the human spirit can endure and even thrive.

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Dinner at the Center of the Earth

Event Date: Friday, November 3

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Ticket Price: $36, Ticket Only | $59, Ticket & Book | $513, Reserved Table for 9 people & 9 books
*Dinner included.

Event Info: Nathan Englander, Pulitzer finalist and bestselling author of What We Talk about When We Talk about Anne Frank, brings his latest book to the Bender JCC. A political thriller that unfolds in the highly charged territory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Dinner at the Center of the Earth explores the complex relationship between a secret prisoner and his guard. A can’t miss event!

Read the NY Times Review

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Hosted by Amy Saidman

Event Date: Saturday, November 4

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Ticket Price: $36
*Light reception included.

Event Info: With a cast of storytellers chosen from our very own community, join us for an evening of hilarious stories about all those times they broke the rules and lived to tell the tales. This might event spark your own memories of your rule-breaking, wild days!

Our Fabulous Cast of Storytellers:

  • Heidi Brodsky
  • Aaron Dworkin
  • Dr. Perry Hookman
  • Liz Norton
  • Adam Polsky
  • Rabbi JoHanna Potts
  • Stephanie Shweiki

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Event Date: Sunday, November 5

Event Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Ticket Price: $10
*All materials included.

Event Info: Local featured artist, Adi Shani, will lead a workshop showcasing the method behind her breathtaking paper art showcased in the Goldman Art Gallery. Learn about her process, her materials, and begin to work on your own masterpiece.

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Event Date: Sunday, November 5

Event Time: 10:00 AM

Ticket Price: FREE

Event Info: Join us and our PJ library specialist for a special activity for your camper and the opportunity to flip through our all original camper produced book.

The Patriots

Event Date: Sunday, November 5

Event Time: 1:00 PM

Ticket Price: $20 Ticket Only | $34 Ticket + Book
*Lunch is included.

Event Info: From award-winning author and one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, Sana Krasikov — author of The Patriots, comes an epic multigenerational novel that explores idealism, betrayal, and family secrets within the context of the U.S. and Russia.

Read the NY Times Review

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My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew

Event Date: Sunday, November 5

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Ticket Price: $36, Ticket Only | $54 Ticket & Book
*Hors d’oeuvres and dessert included.

Event Info: Abigail Pogrebin, daughter of famed feminist, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, shares her sometimes funny, always moving stories and collected wisdom of her yearlong adventure observing all 18 annual Jewish holidays.

Read the NY Times Review

Future Literary Series Events

Event Date: Tuesday, December 5

Event Time: 10:00 AM

Ticket Price: FREE

Event Info: Join us for an interactive morning with Laura Gehl, author of Koala Challah!

Event Date: Thursday, December 7

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Event Cost: TBD

Event Info: Featuring Franklin Foer

Event Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018

Event Time: The Ritchie Boys @ 6:00 PM | Author talk @ 7:30 PM

Ticket Price: TBD

Event Info: Don’t miss a riveting evening with Bruce Henderson, author of Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler.

Event Date: Thursday, February 8

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Event Cost: TBD

Event Info: Featuring Lise Arin

Event Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Event Time: 10:30 AM

Ticket Price: TBD

Event InfoThe Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing,
Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport

Event Date: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Ticket Price: TBD

Event InfoThe Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis

Event Date: Thursday, May 24, 2018

Event Time: 7:00 PM

Ticket Price: TBD

Event Info: Featuring Jenn Segal

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Drs. Ellen and Stuart Lessans

Adele and Roy Igersheim
Helen and David Rubin
Janyse and Bernie Weisz
Joy and Herb Epstein
Lisa and Murry Gunty
B’nai Israel Sisterhood
Ellen and Michael Gold