The Lessans Family Literary Series

2018-2019 Literary Series

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

Stuart Eizenstat – President Carter: The White House Years Monday, November 5th - 7:00 PM
David Litt – Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years Thursday, December 6th - 7:00 PM
Rebecca Erbelding – Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe Sunday, January 27th - 7:00 PM
Ariel Burger – Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom Thursday, February 21st - 7:00 PM
Idra Novey – Those Who Knew Thursday, March 7th - 7:00 PM
Yvette Corporon – Something Beautiful Happened Thursday, May 2nd - 7:00 PM

An Evening with Stuart Eizenstat
President Carter: The White House Years

The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes.

Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 5,000 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time, to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president―and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works.

Two types of tickets are available:
$15 Ticket Only
$50 Ticket & Book

Purchase Tickets

Laugh Out Loud with David Litt
Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years

More than any other presidency, Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House were defined by young people – twenty-somethings who didn’t have much experience in politics (or anything else, for that matter), yet suddenly found themselves in the most high-stakes office building on earth. David Litt was one of those twenty-somethings. After graduating from college in 2008, he went straight to the Obama campaign. In 2011, he became one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history. Until leaving the White House in 2016, he wrote on topics from healthcare to climate change to criminal justice reform. As President Obama’s go-to comedy writer, he also took the lead on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the so-called “State of the Union of jokes.”

Two types of tickets are available:
$15 Ticket Only
$32 Ticket & Book

Purchase Tickets

International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Rebecca Erbelding
Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe

America has long been criticized for refusing to give harbor to the Jews of Europe as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. Now a lauded Holocaust historian tells the extraordinary story of the War Refugee Board, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s little-known effort late in the war to save the Jews who remained.

In January 1944, a young Treasury lawyer named John Pehle accompanied his boss to a meeting with the president. For more than a decade, the Jews of Germany had sought refuge in the United States and had been stymied by Congress’s harsh immigration policy. Now the State Department was refusing to authorize relief funds that Pehle wanted to use to help Jews escape Nazi territory. At the meeting, Pehle made his best case–and prevailed. Within days, FDR created the War Refugee Board, empowering it to rescue the victims of Nazi persecution, and put John Pehle in charge.

Two types of tickets available:
$15 Ticket Only
$42 Ticket & Book

Inside Professor Wiesel’s Classroom with Ariel Burger
Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

In the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie, a devoted protégé and friend of one of the world’s great thinkers takes us into the sacred space of the classroom, showing Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel not only as an extraordinary human being, but as a master teacher.

The world remembers Elie Wiesel—Nobel laureate, activist, and author of more than forty books, including Oprah’s Book Club selection Night—as a great humanist. He passed away in July 2016.

Ariel Burger first met Elie Wiesel at age fifteen. They studied together and taught together. Witness chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over decades, as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant to rabbi and, in time, teacher.

Two types of tickets are available:
$15 Ticket Only
$40 Ticket & Book

 

Idra Novey – Those Who Knew

Thursday, March 7th
7:00 PM

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Idra Novey
Those Who Knew

From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear, a taut, timely novel about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down.

On an unnamed island country ten years after the collapse of a U.S.-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who’s been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship.

Two types of tickets will be available:
$15 Ticket Only
$40 Ticket & Book

A Special Yom HaShoah Program with Yvette Corporon
Something Beautiful Happened: A Story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil

Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about how the people of the small Greek island Erikousa hid a Jewish family—a tailor named Savvas and his daughters—from the Nazis during World War II. Nearly 2,000 Jews from that area died in the concentration camps, but even though everyone on Erikousa knew Savvas and his family were hiding on the island, no one ever gave them up, and the family survived the war.

Years later, Yvette couldn’t get the story of the Jewish tailor out of her head. She decided to track down the man’s descendants—and eventually found them in Israel. Their tearful reunion was proof to her that evil doesn’t always win. But just days after she made the connection, her cousin’s child was gunned down in a parking lot in Kansas, a victim of a Neo-Nazi out to inflict as much harm as he could. Despite her best hopes, she was forced to confront the fact that seventy years after the Nazis were defeated, remainders of their hateful legacy still linger today.

Two types of tickets available:
$15 Ticket Only
$32 Ticket & Book