By Rachel Clark, Marketing Director
The Gordon JCC’s Nashville Jewish Book Series is underway, bringing together writers, readers, and all-around lovers of literature.
For the first official event of the New Year, award-winning author Francine Prose joined virtually on January 4th in conversation with local author and educator Freya Sachs. More than 30 guests tuned in to hear Francine speak about her fascinating book The Vixen, a historical novel about the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. She talked about the effect on her psyche of the Rosenberg’s trial and execution, and how it inspired her to write about their story. As primarily a fiction writer, she let her imagination run wild, making up stories about who was behind the persecution and execution of the couple, only to find out in her research that some of those things happened to be true.
The Series continues in February with two exciting events.
On February 7 at 7pm, the Gordon JCC of Nashville will welcome virtually authors Zibby Owens and Melissa Gould for an evening of parenting advice and anecdotes about everything from love and grief to perseverance. Zibby Owens, host of the award-winning podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books, and a mother of four herself, created an online magazine in 2020 called We Found Time to help those struggling and stuck at home. Authors from all walks of life contributed to the themes of eating, reading, working out, breathing, and having sex, and the magazine eventually evolved into Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology.
When essayist and screenwriter Melissa Gould's husband, Joel, was unexpectedly hospitalized, she could not imagine how her life was about to change. Overwhelmed as his condition tragically worsened, she had to believe that while Joel’s loss was permanent, so was their love. Left to raise their young daughter on her own, and to act as if she could resume life without her beloved husband by her side, Melissa found that she didn’t fit the typical idea of widowhood or meet the expectations of mourning. She didn’t look like a widow or act like a widow, but she felt like one. Melissa was widowish.
Owens and Gould will be joined by local Nashville writer Claire Gibson, author of Beyond the Point, who will serve as moderator. Gibson grew up at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where her father was a professor. She attended Furman University in South Carolina and studied in Asia as a young adult. In 2009 she moved to Nashville and has been here since. Claire is a writer of many things including her novel Beyond the Point which was published in 2019.
February 16 brings a very special in-person event that we’re honored to host at the Bobby Hotel. Best-selling author, celebrated photographer, and speaker, Alyssa Rosenheck will speak about her book The New Southern Style. Readers get an all-access pass into the conversations and home tours of more than 30 creative entrepreneurs. The mission with this project is to support the reader through life pivots, inspire creative courage, and encourage us all to be our own agents of change. Alyssa is amplifying the voices of the next generation of creatives and turning messages into movements.
Join us at 6pm for light bites and cocktails for a conversation with Alyssa and our very own committee member, Amelia Edelman. "I'm thrilled to be moderating a fireside chat in conversation with photographer, writer, and one of my greatest creative inspirations, Alyssa Rosenheck. We'll talk about everything from Jewishness to creative process to the state of the arts in the South, and of course her fantastic book The New Southern and upcoming projects. Alyssa's work always serves as a great reminder to prioritize what feeds your soul, to lift other women up—and to never let yourself be pigeonholed."
The Nashville Jewish Book Series runs from December 2021 to May 2022. Find the full schedule, and ticketing information at nashvillejcc.org/book. Information on Chai Y’All, the membership book society, is also available online.
For more information, please visit nashvillejcc.org/book or contact Sharon Benus, Adult and Community Wide Programming Director at firstname.lastname@example.org