The Lessans Family Literary Series

LESSANS FAMILY Literary Series

Love to read? Enjoy meaningful discussions?  The Bender JCC is thrilled to announce our first in-person Summer Book Club, as part of our Lessans Family Literary Series. This program will be held outdoors.   We are fortunate to welcome Bender JCC community member Deborah Kalb who will serve as our moderator.   It’s a great way to safely gather, make new friends, and engage in interesting conversation.  All are welcome.

If you want to get a head start on your reading here is a list of upcoming book selections for the 2021-2022 season.

  • Beautiful Country – Qian Juile Wang
  • Can We Talk About Israel?  – Daniel Sokatch
  • Eternal – Lisa Scottoline
  • The Nazis Knew My Name –Maya Lee
  • 999 – Heather Dune Macadam
  • A Better Life for Their Children – Andrew Feiler
  • RBG’S Brave & Brilliant Women – Nadine Epstein
  • Defending Britta Stein – Ron Balson
  • Last Summer at the Golden Hotel – Elyssa Friedland


Friday Fiction with Elyssa Friedland, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel Friday, May 20th - 10:30 AM

The Lessans Family Literary Series Presents Friday Fiction with Elyssa Friedland, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

Friday, May 20 | 10:30 AM | Free | Virtual – Via Zoom

The Lessans Family Literary Series is proud to present the final installation of our Friday Fiction series. We are thrilled to welcome Elyssa Friedland for this last installment of our virtual book club-style program. Elyssa will discuss her new book, Last Summer at the Golden Hotel. Elyssa will be in conversation with JCC community member and author Deborah Kalb.


In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the Catskills vacation scene. The Goldman and Weingold families – best friends and business partners – presided over this glamorous resort for over 60 years. But the Catskills, the hotel, and the families began to fall apart. They decide to meet at “The Golden” for one last summer vacation to reminisce and discuss whether it’s time to sell up and leave the business. Long-buried secrets emerge, new dramas and financial scandals erupt, and everyone from the traditional grandparents to the millennial grandchildren wants a say in the hotel’s future. Fast-paced, hilarious, and nostalgic, this story helps us rediscover the magic of a bygone era of nonstop fun!


Elyssa Friedland is the author of five novels and a forthcoming picture book. She attended Yale University, where she served as managing editor of the Yale Daily News, and is a graduate of Columbia Law School. She worked as an associate at a major firm before turning to write full-time. Elyssa currently teaches creative writing at Yale. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, LitHub, POPSUGAR,, Bustle, Modern Bride, New York Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, CBS, Yale Alumni Magazine, and more. Elyssa resides in New York City with her husband and three young children.