Monday, September 30, 2013

DCJCC 2013 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival

Opening Night - E.l. Doctorow

From our friends at Rabinowitz Communications...

E.L. Doctorow, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Columnist Dan Savage Headline DCJCC’s 2013 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival

Ten-day festival includes the Great Children’s Read, Local Author Fair and crime writer Walter Mosley

World-class authors will showcase their work and share their insights and creative process for Washingtonians at the ten-day Washington DCJCC Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival, October 6-16. Headliners include an American master’s exclusive look at a hotly anticipated novel, a lawmaker’s sweeping vision for a stronger nation, and a sex columnist’s frank talk about sex, love and marriage. The Festival will be a lively celebration of the depth and breadth of literature impacting Jews in America today.

Literary master E.L. Doctorow opens the festival on October 6 with an exclusive preview of his newest book, Andrew’s Brain: A Novel, a story that questions what we know of truth and memory, brain and mind, due for release in January 2014. A special VIP ticket option provides front-row seating and a private reception with the author. Doctorow is the author of 10 novels, including Ragtime, and is the recipient of numerous prestigious national and international literary awards.

“This year’s festival is a celebration of the diversity of Jewish literature from Washington and around the world,” said Carole Zawatsky, CEO of the DCJCC. “The bar is raised higher than ever this year with an exclusive preview of E.L. Doctorow’s upcoming novel, along with some of today’s leading newsmakers talking about sex, politics and everything in between. As always, the festival has something for Washingtonians of all ages and celebrates our homegrown authors as well as national and international talent.”

Closing night of the festival, October 16, features Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussing her new “owner’s’ manual” for America’s democracy, For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems, which explains the challenges facing America today and how we can and must move beyond our differences on behalf of the next generation. Special VIP tickets to this, the Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture, include priority book-signing and front-row seating.

A special evening with oft-controversial columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage will feature his insights on topics ranging from marriage and sex-ed to the “gay agenda” and faith communities. Savage is the co-founder of the It Gets Better Project which combats suicide among LGBT youth, and his latest book is American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics. VIP tickets include a private reception with Savage and front-row seating.

Also part of the festival is the Great Children’s Read on October 13 featuring crafts, folktales, a sing-along, story time with Pamela Mayer, author of Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding and a special appearance by Elmo. The free Local Author Fair on October 13 connects book lovers with DC-area authors, who will each be given three minutes to describe their work. Other events feature the extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the rise of the multi-billion dollar Food Network and a screening of Tiger Eyes, the first film adaptation of a Judy Blume novel, followed by a conversation with her son Lawrence Blume, the film’s director.

The Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival presents the year's best in Jewish writing by both emerging and established authors from around the world. The Festival takes place annually and features engaging author panels, readings and talks for lovers of fiction, history, politics, humor, children's stories and much more. Tickets are available online at and several events are free. Discounts are available for DCJCC members, students with ID, and seniors. A full festival listing is below. Events take place at the Washington DCJCC unless otherwise noted.

E.L. Doctorow
Opening Night

Sunday, October 6, 7:00 pm
$30, Discounted $25

VIP $100 (private author reception and front-row seating)

Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD

Literary master E.L. Doctorow gives an exclusive preview of his newest book, Andrew’s Brain: A Novel (Knopf, January 2014). Doctorow is the author of 10 novels, including Ragtime, which was adapted into a Broadway musical and film. His honors include the National Book Award, two PEN/Faulkner Awards, three National Book Critics Circle Awards and the PEN Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

Opening Night is sponsored by Tamara and Harry Handelsman

Man of Mystery: Walter Mosley
Presented with Moment Magazine

Monday, October 7, 7:30 pm
$18, Discounted $15, VIP $40 (priority signing and front-row seating)

Bestselling author Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress. His latest, Little Green, the 12th book in the Easy Rawlins series, is an engrossing and atmospheric mystery. Mosley brings his signature grit and panache to this tough-minded exploration of good and evil and the power of guilt and redemption.

Mark Cohen
Overweight Sensation: The Life and Comedy of Allan Sherman
The Chaim Kempner Author Series

Tuesday, October 8, 7:30 pm

$12, Discounted $10

Hear long-lost parodies of Broadway favorites! Fifty years ago Allan Sherman released his megahit song “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” and a comedy legend was born. Sherman changed American comedy and popular culture, bringing ethnicity into the mainstream. Mark Cohen, the leading expert on Sherman, was given exclusive access to Sherman’s papers, recordings and interviews to write this first biography of the groundbreaking song parodist.

Supported by the Chaim Kempner Collection Library Fund, the Chaim Kempner Author Series brings authors of recently published books to the DCJCC for the learning and enjoyment of the entire community.

Jeremy Dauber
The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem: The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye

The Bernard Wexler Lecture on Jewish History

Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 pm


Novelist and playwright Sholem Aleichem was a founding giant of modern Yiddish literature. His memorable characters, which include Fiddler’s “Tevye the Dairyman,” offer a window onto late 19th century Eastern European Jewish life. But Sholem Aleichem’s own life story, complete with dramatic reversals of fortune, is just as compelling.

The Bernard Wexler Fund for Jewish History, established in 1996, supports an annual lecture that brings outstanding speakers, scholarly research and contemporary issues to the forefront of learning at the DCJCC.

Ben Urwand
The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler
In Conversation with Jenna Weissman Joselit

Thursday, October 10, 7:30 pm
$12, Discounted $10

Scholar Ben Urwand tells the astonishing story of Hollywood’s dealings with Nazi Germany. Throughout the 1930s, Hollywood studios abandoned or changed movies that would have exposed the horrors of Nazism in order to keep the German market open for American films. Urwand draws on a wealth of archival documents—including Hitler’s own notes on American movies—to reveal the shocking history of Hollywood’s collaboration.

Dan Savage
American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics

Saturday, October 12, 8:00 pm

$30, Discounted $25, VIP $100 (private author reception and front-row seating

Foundry United Methodist Church

1500 16th Street NW

“America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay rights activist” (Publishers Weekly), Savage is best known for his honest social commentary, his globally-syndicated column “Savage Love,” and the It Gets Better Project, a video campaign launched  in response to a wave of LGBT youth suicides. Dan will share insights on topics ranging from marriage and sex ed to the "gay agenda" and faith communities.

The Great Children’s Read: Bringing Books to Life
Featuring Pamela Mayer, author of Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding

Sunday, October 13, 10:00 am

$12, Discounted $10 per family

Celebrate books with crafts, folktales, a sing-along and story-time with Pamela Mayer, author of the 2013 Sugarman Family Children’s Book Award-winning Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding. We’ll also have a book fair with a wide selection of Jewish and other children’s books and a special guest: Elmo! We are collecting new or gently used books to donate to Reading Partners, an organization that helps children become lifelong readers.

Local Author Fair: Discover a New Book
Featuring Melissa Ford and David Bruce Smith
Sunday, October 13, 7:00 pm


Meet and greet authors at the Local Author Fair! A selection of DC-area authors will each be given three minutes to tell you all about their books. Buy a locally-grown book and network with area readers and writers at a wine and cheese reception. Authors: please apply by September 16 at

Allen Salkin
From Scratch: Inside the Food Network

Monday, October 14, 7:30 pm

$18, Discounted $15

Big personalities, high drama – this is the extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Food Network. In October 1993, the Food Network debuted to little notice. Today it’s in 100 million homes and brings in billions in revenue. Journalist Allen Salkin was given extensive inside access to hundreds of Food Network stars and executives, including Paula Deen, Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain and more. Includes delicious samples of some of the Barefoot Contessa’s best Jewish recipes!

Jonathan Schanzer
State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State

Tuesday, October 15, noon


To many supporters of Palestinian statehood, Israel is the main roadblock to independence. But Jonathan Schanzer, an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, argues that the Palestinian Authority’s political dysfunction and corruption are the true threat to a Palestinian state. Schanzer’s exploration of internal Palestinian politics highlights the reforms necessary to bring the Palestinians peace, prosperity and stability. Bring a bag lunch or pre-order online.

Film: Tiger Eyes
The Helen and Milton Covensky Fund

Tuesday, October 15, 7:30 pm

Dir. Lawrence Blume (92 min, USA, 2012) $11

Seventeen-year-old Davey Wexler’s life is turned upside down when her father is killed and her mother moves the family from Atlantic City to Los Alamos, New Mexico. There Davey meets Wolf, a mysterious young Native American who sees past her pain. The film, directed by Judy Blume’s son Lawrence, is the first major motion picture adaptation of a Judy Blume novel. Followed by a conversation with director Lawrence Blume.

The Helen and Milton Covensky Fund helps the DCJCC present a number of unique cultural programs throughout the year.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems

The Gerald L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture

Wednesday, October 16, 7:30 pm
$25; Discounted $20, VIP $50 (priority signing and front-row seating)

Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz challenges America to resolve the toughest issues of our day for the sake our children. An owner’s manual for America’s democracy, For the Next Generation explains the challenges facing American today, how we got here, and how we can and must move beyond our differences for our children—the next generation.

This annual lecture is made possible by a generous endowment from Tamara and Harry Handelsman in honor of the memory of Tamara Handelsman’s brother, Gerald L. Bernstein.

Writing Contest

Community Prize for Writing on a Festival Theme

Many of our Festival books feature the intersection of biography and memoir with history. Tell us about a time when a major world event had an impact on your life.

Submissions are open to all. Send original, unpublished submissions of 500 words or less to by September 20, 2013. The first-place selection in both categories (18+/under 18) will win the Community Prize for Writing, online publication and $100. Further details can be found online at