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!


 

Lessans Family Literary Series Presents: Cocktails & Conversations with Eitan Hersh and Ben Sheehan Wednesday, October 21st - 5:00 PM
Book Club Brunch with Meg Waite Clayton Friday, November 6th - 11:00 AM

Lessans Family Literary Series Presents: Cocktails & Conversations with Eitan Hersh and Ben Sheehan
Wednesday, October 21 | 5:00 PM | $10

ABOUT THE EVENT

The election on your mind? The Bender JCC is pleased to partner with the Pozez JCC and JCRC to present the next event in our Cocktails and Conversations Series with political analyst, Eitan Hersh, and comedian and political savant, Ben Sheehan. Just in time for the election, Eitan and Ben will be discussing civic engagement and how to be a more active citizen. In true democratic form, tonight, we offer two cocktail options for your drinking pleasure, Eitan’s personal favorite, a Sazerac, or Ben’s constitution themed go-to, the People’s House Whiskey. You decide.

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Politics Is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change
by Eitan Hersh

Do you consider yourself politically engaged? Probably, yes! But are you, really? The uncomfortable truth is that most of us have good intentions. We vote (sometimes) and occasionally sign a petition or attend a rally. But we mainly “engage” by consuming politics as if it’s entertainment or a hobby. We obsessively follow the news and complain about the opposition to our friends or spouse. We tweet and post and share.

Instead, political scientist and data analyst Eitan Hersh offers convincing evidence that we should be spending the same number of hours building political organizations, implementing a long-term vision for our local communities, and getting to know our neighbors, whose votes will be needed for solving hard problems. We could be accumulating power so that when there are opportunities to make a difference—to lobby, to advocate, to mobilize—we will be ready. Aided by cutting-edge social science as well as remarkable stories of ordinary citizens who got off their couches and took political power seriously, this book shows us how to channel our energy away from political hobbyism and toward empowering our values.

In an age of political turmoil and as the 2020 election looms, Politics Is for Power is an inspiring, vital read that will make you hopeful for America’s democratic future.

OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? A Non-Boring Guide to How Our Democracy is Supposed to Work
by Ben Sheehan

Do you know what the Constitution ACTUALLY says? This witty and highly relevant annotation of our founding document is the go-to guide to how our government really works (or is supposed to work).

Written by political savant and entertainment veteran, Ben Sheehan, and vetted for accuracy by experts in the field of constitutional law, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? is an entertaining and accessible guide that explains what the Constitution actually lays out.

With clear notes and graphics on everything from presidential powers to Supreme Court nominations to hidden loopholes, Sheehan walks us through the entire Constitution from its preamble to its final amendment (with a bonus section on the Declaration of Independence). Besides putting the Constitution in modern-day English so that it can be understood, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? gives readers all of the info they need to be effective voters and citizens in the November elections and beyond.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

EITAN HERSH received a PhD from Harvard University in 2011. He served for six years on the faculty of Yale University as an assistant professor of political science and a resident fellow of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies before becoming a tenured associate professor of political science at Tufts University. His peer-reviewed articles have been published in major political science journals. Hersh is the author of Hacking the Electorate and Politics Is for Power.

 

 

 


BEN SHEEHAN is a former award-winning executive producer at Funny Or Die. He founded OMG WTF (Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida) to teach voters about state executive races during the 2018 midterms. The Hollywood Reporter listed him as one of entertainment’s 35 Rising Executives Under 35 and OMG WTF’s Gerrymander Jewelry was a finalist for Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2019. In 2016, he helped register 50,000 voters through digital videos as the executive director of Save the Day. The projects he’s been involved with have received over a billion views.

 

 

 


Both books can be ordered through Politics and Prose, a local bookstore in Washington, DC. Books ordered through Politics and Prose will include a signed book plate. Click the purchase link and use your 10% off promo code included in your registration confirmation email to order your copies.

The Zoom link for the event will be emailed to all registrants 24 hours before the program. Please check your email between 3:00 – 5:00 PM the day before the program to make sure you received the Zoom link. If it is not in your “inbox”, please check “junk” or “spam” folders. No confirmation? Please contact Marcie Blackman at mblackman@benderjccgw.org

Lessans Family Literary Series Presents: Book Club Brunch with Meg Waite Clayton
Friday, November 6 | 11:00 AM | $10 | $22 with Brunch Box

Purchase The Book

Please join us for this year’s Book Club Brunch (presented virtually) featuring New York Times bestselling author, Meg Waite Clayton. Her newest novel, The Last Train to London, tells a pre-World War II-era story centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe—and one brave woman who helped them escape to safety.

We are thrilled to partner with Shalom Kosher to offer the option to purchase brunch. Simply choose to add a brunch box when you purchase your ticket.

If you would like to participate with friends please request a “table” when you register and share a brunch and breakout room with your book club, friends, or family starting at 10:30 AM prior to the start of the program at 11:00 AM. You will be prompted to list the names of those you want to share a “room” with.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Based on the real Dutch resistance fighter, “Tante Truus” Wijsmuller, who brought more than 10,000 Jewish children to safety before and during WWII in the Kindertransport. Clayton’s enlightening, meticulously researched novel is enriched by a compelling cast of fictional characters. Stephan Neuman, son of a Jewish businessman in Austria, is a budding playwright at 17; his good friend, Zofie-Helene, is a math whiz. In chapters alternating with those describing Tante Truus’ dangerous trips between Austria and the Netherlands, Clayton relates the struggles faced by the young pair. This is a standout historical fiction that serves as a chilling reminder of how insidious, pervasive evil can gradually seep into everyday lives.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MEG WAITE CLAYTON is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller and book club favorite and the author of seven novels. Her most recent, the Jewish Book Award finalist The Last Train to London, is a national bestseller in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands, and is published or forthcoming in 19 languages. Her screenplay for the novel was chosen for the prestigious Meryl Streep- and Nicole Kidman-sponsored The Writers Lab. Meg’s prior novels include the #1 Amazon fiction bestseller

Beautiful Exiles; the Langum Prize honored The Race for Paris; The Wednesday Sisters, named one of Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Essential Best Friend Novels of all time (on a list with The Three Musketeers!); and The Language of Light, a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Runner’s World, and public radio, often on the particular challenges women face. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she has also written a monthly audiobook review for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Last Train to London can be ordered through Politics and Prose, a local bookstore in Washington, DC. Books ordered through Politics and Prose will include a signed bookplate. Click the purchase link and use your 10% off promo code included in your registration confirmation email to order your copies.

The Zoom link for the event will be emailed to all registrants 24 hours before the program. Please check your email between 9:00 – 11:00 AM the day before the program to make sure you received the Zoom link. If it is not in your “inbox”, please check your “junk” or “spam” folders. No confirmation? Please contact Marcie Blackman at mblackman@benderjccgw.org or (301) 348-3808.

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