The Lessans Family Literary Series

LESSANS FAMILY Literary Series

All year long, we will bring you the best and brightest authors and artists from around the country for special events!


 

A Conversation with Michael Dobbs Monday, January 27th - 7:00 PM
A Conversation with Marra Gad Wednesday, February 5th - 7:00 PM
A Conversation with Dr. Arye Carmon Tuesday, February 18th - 7:00 PM
A Conversation with Taylor Lustig Wednesday, March 4th - 7:00 PM
A Conversation with Matthew Goodman Wednesday, June 3rd - 7:00 PM

Special International Holocaust Remembrance Day Program
LESSANS FAMILY LITERARY SERIES Presents: A Conversation with Michael Dobbs

The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught In Between
Monday, January 27, 2020
Reception 6:30 PM
Conversation 7:00 PM

A Holocaust story that is both German and American, Dobbs describes the deportation of German Jews to France in October 1940, along with their continuing quest for American visas.

Drawing on previously unpublished letters, diaries, interviews, and visa records, Michael Dobbs provides an illuminating account of America’s response to the refugee crisis of the 1930s and 1940s. He describes the deportation of German Jews to France in October 1940, along with their continuing quest for American visas. And he re-creates the heated debates among U.S. officials over whether or not to admit refugees amid growing concerns about “fifth columnists,” at a time when the American public was deeply isolationist, xenophobic, and antisemitic.

Michael Dobbs was born and educated in Britain, but is now a U.S. citizen. He was a long-time reporter for The Washington Post, covering the collapse of communism as a foreign correspondent. He has taught at leading American universities, including Princeton, the University of Michigan, and Georgetown. He is currently on the staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“A heartbreaking and timely read…. With a reporter’s eye for narrative and a historian’s attention to detail and context, Dobbs…follows these Jewish families through harrowing cycles of deportation and desperation as they attempt to flee to safety.”–The Washington Post

Receive a 20% discount on the book price when you purchase a Ticket with Book prior to event day.

A Conversation with Marra Gad

Wednesday, February 5th
7:00 PM

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LESSANS FAMILY LITERARY SERIES Presents: A Conversation with Marra Gad
The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Reception 6:30 PM
Conversation 7:00 PM

An unforgettable memoir about a mixed-race Jewish woman who, after fifteen years of estrangement from her racist great-aunt, helps bring her home when Alzheimer’s strikes. The Color of Love explores the idea of yerusha, which means “inheritance” in Yiddish.

Moderated by Dr. Nicole Cutts, author, speaker, organizational consultant, success coach, and licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in diversity and cultural competence.

Dr. Cutts is an expert commentator on both television and radio and can be seen and heard frequently on WUSA Channel 9’s Off Script with Bruce Johnson and The Daily Drum on WHUR 96.3 FM. She is also a former executive producer and radio show host from WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC.

“Marra B. Gad’s The Color of Love is a timely and touching memoir of a biracial girl adopted by a Jewish family. It is a story of her ‘awakening’ to the inherent pressures of being black and female in a white world, pressures that are compounded by being adopted and raised in a white Jewish culture. Her pursuit to live a life of love in a world of racial, religious, and anti-feminist hate and bigotry was a continuous battle toward finding her soul. For a good life-affirming read, I highly recommend The Color of Love.”—Ron Stallworth, New York Times–bestselling author of Black Klansman

A Conversation with Dr. Arye Carmon

Tuesday, February 18th
7:00 PM

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LESSANS FAMILY LITERARY SERIES Presents: A Conversation with Dr. Arye Carmon
Building Democracy on Sand: Israel Without a Constitution
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
6:30 PM | Reception
7:00 PM | Conversation

On the eve of Israel’s third election this year, join Dr. Arye Carmon for a timely discussion of the history of Israel’s political system and its impact today.

Read more about the book here.

Dr. Arye Carmon is the Founding President and Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). He helped to found the institute in 1991 as an independent think tank dedicated to promoting and strengthening democracy and democratic values in Israel. Carmon has promoted democracy and political education in the classroom and as a member of the board of numerous national institutions and government committees. He has published and lectured extensively on education, Israeli-Diaspora relations and the Holocaust. In 2009, the State of Israel recognized Carmon’s great contributions to the Israeli state and society, awarding IDI the prestigious Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement.

Receive a 20% discount on the book price when you purchase an admission ticket and book combo ticket.

For more information, contact Gal Naor at 301-348-3849 or gnaor@benderjccgw.org.

LESSANS FAMILY LITERARY SERIES PRESENTS: A Conversation with Taylor Lustig
Yes She Can: 10 Stories of Hope & Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House
Wednesday, March 4
Reception 6:30 PM
Conversation 7:00 PM

Celebrate International Women’s Day with your special ones (mom, daughter, sister, friends) as we return to President Obama’s White House in this New York Times bestselling anthology for young women by young women, featuring stories from ten inspiring young staffers who joined his administration in their 20s with the hope of making a difference.

Yes She Can is an intimate look at Obama’s presidency through the eyes of some of the most successful, and completely relatable, young women who were there. Full of wisdom they wish they could impart to their younger selves and a message about the need for more girls in government, these recollections are about stepping out into the spotlight and up to the challenge–something every girl can do.

“There is nothing more powerful than an army of young women and their combined voices. Smart and sharply written, this is an excellent guide to the how and why of a life of public service.” —Amy Poehler, creator of Smart Girls.

Lessans Family Literary Series Presents: A Conversation with Matthew Goodman
The City Game
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
6:30 | Reception
7:00 | Film

The powerful story of a college basketball team who carried an era’s brightest hopes—racial harmony, social mobility, and the triumph of the underdog—but whose success was soon followed by a shocking downfall. Drawing on interviews with the surviving members of that championship team, Matthew Goodman has created an indelible portrait of an era of smoke-filled arenas and Borscht Belt hotels, when college basketball was far more popular than the professional game. It was a time when gangsters controlled illegal sports betting, the police were on their payroll, and everyone, it seemed, was getting rich—except for the young men who actually played the games. Tautly paced and rich with period detail, The City Game tells a story both dramatic and poignant: of political corruption, duplicity in big-time college sports, and the deeper meaning of athletic success.

Matthew Goodman is the author of three previous books of nonfiction: Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World; The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York; and Jewish Food: The World at Table, A New York Times bestseller.