Nextbook: a Jewish organization that produces an online magazine, publishes a book series, and presents events around the country.      

Nextbook Washington DC is a project of Nextbook and the Washington DC Jewish Community Center.

ASL interpretation is available upon request. Please contact Margalit C. Rosenthal
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Fall 2009

Tuesday, October 20         Zoë Heller: The Believers
Tuesday, October 27         Dara Horn: All Other Nights

Wednesday, December 16  Ari Y. Kelman: Station Identification
Thursday, January 7          David Kushner: Levittown

Just announced! Ari Y. Kelman is one of the five finalists for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry! Congratulations to our December author, and don't miss your chance to hear him at the 16th Street J!

Zoë Heller
The Believers
Tuesday, October 20, 7:30 pm
In conversation with Ron Charles, Senior Editor of The Washington Post's Book World.

Book clubs that read The Believers will receive discounts on the book and event tickets. Sign your book club up by emailing litfest@washingtondcjcc.org. Please include the name of the club and an approximate number of members.

Set in New York City in 2002, this social satire dissects the dysfunctional family of renowned leftist lawyer Joel Litvinoff, a life-long radical who suffers a stroke in court while defending a Muslim man accused of terrorist activity. The Believers follows the Litvinoff clan as they spin off from Joel’s irresistible orbit and begin to examine the long-held articles of faith that have formed the basis of their lives together and their identities as individuals. In the end, all the family members will have to decide what—if anything—they still believe in. Zoë Heller is the author of Everything You Know and What Was She Thinking? Notes On A Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003.

Part of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. Festival Fiction is sponsored by Francine Zorn Trachtenberg and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg in loving memory of Bruce J. Zorn.

Purchase Tickets and/or the Book           

Dara Horn
All Other Nights
Tuesday, October 27, 7:30 pm


With an introduction by Laura Cohen Apelbaum, Executive Director of The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

How is tonight different from all other nights? For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army during the Civil War, it is a question his commanders have already answered for him; on Passover, 1862, he is sent to New Orleans and ordered to murder his own uncle—a cousin of confederate leader Judah Benjamin. Jacob is then recruited to pursue another enemy agent. But this time, his assignment isn’t to murder the spy, but to marry her. Dara Horn was named one of Granta’s “Best Young American Novelists” in 2007 and received the National Jewish Book Award for her first two novels, In the Image and The World to Come.

Part of the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival. Festival Fiction is sponsored by Francine Zorn Trachtenberg and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg in loving memory of Bruce J. Zorn.

Co-sponsored by the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

Supported by a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC.

Purchase Tickets and/or the Book 



Ari Y. Kelman
Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States
Wednesday, December 16, 7:30 pm

Just announced! Ari Y. Kelman is one of the five finalists for the 2010 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, one of the most prestigious awards in the industry! Congratulations to our December author, and don't miss your chance to hear him at the 16th Street J!

This study examines the culture of Yiddish radio in the United States during radio's golden age. Ari Y. Kelman explores the dynamic relationships between an immigrant population and a mass medium and between audience and community. By focusing on voices previously excluded from radio histories, this treatment of non-English-language radio breaks new ground in the study of both American mass media and immigrant culture. Yiddish radio directly addressed the everyday lives of Jewish immigrants, while providing them with invaluable guidance as they struggled to become American. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, radio created a virtual place where Jewish immigrants could listen to voices like theirs and affirm the sound of their community as it evolved, particularly in light of World War II and the years that followed. Ari Y. Kelman is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis.

Purchase Tickets       Buy the Book

David Kushner
Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights in America's Legendary Suburb
Thursday, January 7, 7:30 pm

Migration to suburbia has long been an American ambition, but its allure was never stronger than in the post-WWII years, when the fantasy of a dream house played to the imagination of millions of Americans, especially returning veterans. Already waiting for many of them was a model community on the North Shore of Long Island called Levittown, the brainchild of Abraham Levitt and his sons, William and Alfred, the nation's first real estate tycoons. But Levittown came with its own set of requirements: perfectly manicured lawns, no fences and no black families. In 1957, as the Levitts—by now massively successful and nationally lauded—had already expanded to a second model city, two families challenged the segregationist policy: one, a white Jewish Communist family, secretly arranged for the other, a black family, to buy the house next door. In an entertaining round-robin format, Kushner relays each party's story in the leadup to a combustible summer when the integration of America's most famous suburb caused the downfall of a titan and transformed the nation. David Kushner is the author of Masters of Doom and Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids.

Purchase Tickets         Buy the Book


Past Events of the Winter/Spring 2009 Season:


Melvin Konner
The Jewish Body
Thursday, January 22, 7:30 pm
Buy the Book  

Janice Erlbaum
Have You Found Her: A Memoir

Tuesday, February 3, 7:30 pm
Buy the Book

Ron Arons
The Jews of Sing Sing: Gotham, Gangsters, and Gonuvim

Wednesday, February 18, 7:30 pm
Presented in conjunction with the new exhibit at the 16th Street J's Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery

Buy the Book

Etgar Keret
Short Story and Film

Tuesday, March 24, 7:30 pm
Co-sponsored with the Embassy of Israel
 

Rivka Galchen
Atmospheric Disturbances

Tuesday, May 19, 7:30 pm
In conversation with Ron Charles, Senior Editor, The Washington Post Book World
Buy the Book

Lucette Lagnado
The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World
Wednesday, June 17, 7:30 pm
Buy the Book

Created in 2003 as a locus for Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, Nextbook is a non-profit organization which commissions books on Jewish themes, sponsors public lectures, readings, and performances in cities around the country, and publishes an online magazine. Among other activities it helps running book clubs through One Book program and encourages online book group discussions. The website, Nextbook.org, contains information on all of these projects and also maintains an annotated list of recommended books.