The Nashville Jewish Book Series



Alyssa Rosenheck (L) and Amelia Edelman (R) discuss Alyssa’s Book The New Southern Style 

Photo credit by event attendee Karin Sharon 





By Rachel Clark, Marketing Director

After a very successful first official event in January, the Gordon JCC’s Nashville Jewish Book Series continued with two more events, including our first in-person event of the year. 

On February 7, Zibby Owens (Moms Don’t Have Time to Have Kids) and Melissa Gould (Widowish) were joined by local author Claire Gibson (Beyond the Point) for an incredibly moving conversation via Zoom. They covered tough topics of love, loss, and powering through while parenting, filling the space with hope and perseverance, and an overwhelming sense of positivity. The conversation moved fluidly while the three authors shared their stories and answered questions from our 50 engaged viewers. Owens has a memoir slated to come out this summer and we would be honored to have all three women back for an in-person event in the future. 


Our first in-person event since February of 2019 took place on February 16. Local author, photographer, and noted speaker Alyssa Rosenheck (The New Southern Style) spoke candidly with our own committee member and journalist Amelia Edelman at the stunning Bobby Hotel. Their conversation covered everything from antisemitism in the South to the creative process, and persevering through trauma. 50+ people enjoyed cocktails and light appetizers while they listened and engaged in a room lit by candlelight and filled with flowers. Alyssa spoke about her childhood in Oklahoma as one of a handful of Jewish families in her town, and her experience with the KKK and being targeted for her religion. The evening concluded around the firepit and inside the winter igloos on the Bobby’s rooftop.  

March will bring three very different, extremely poignant events. On March 3 the GJCC will be joined virtually by Qian Julie Wang and Beautiful Country, her wonderful memoir about growing up as an immigrant in the US. It's an "essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light." Ben Tran, Associate Professor of Asian Studies and English at Vanderbilt will moderate, and the West End Sisterhood Book Club is our event partner. This event is free, and tickets can be reserved at 

March 14 features a book that is called both, “Deep reporting, unforgettable characters, great storytelling,” by Katie Couric, and, “Juicy reading,” by Publishers Weekly. And it's about marijuana. That's the praise for Heather Cabot's book The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream. Award-winning journalist Cabot tells the unbelievable story of pot’s astonishing rebranding, "Pulling back the curtain to show how a drug that was once the subject of ‘Just Say No’ warnings managed to shed its unsavory image and land at the center of a booming and surprisingly upstanding industry." Join Heather and moderator Jordan Wellington, expert in cannabis legislation, to discuss her book on March 14 for a free virtual evening in conjunction with the Memphis JCC… goodie bag with (legal!) treats included. Register at 

Alan Zweibel (Laugh Lines) makes his triumphant in-person return with his good friend and fellow comedian Wayne Federman (The History of Standup,) on March 29, in partnership with Third Coast Comedy Nashville. Throughout the pages of Laugh Lines, Zweibel weaves together his own stories and interviews with his friends and contemporaries including Larry David, Richard Lewis, Eric Idle, Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Susie Essman, Dave Barry, Rob Reiner, and more. The History of Stand-Up chronicles the evolution of this American art form – from its earliest pre-vaudeville practitioners like Artemus Ward and Mark Twain to present-day comedians of HBO and Netflix. Drawing on his acclaimed podcast and popular university lectures, veteran comedian and adjunct USC professor Wayne Federman guides us on this fascinating journey. Tickets are $10/person, and books are also available for purchase. Learn more at 

 The Nashville Jewish Book Series runs from December 2021 to May 2022. Find the full schedule, and ticketing information at Information on Chai Y’all, the membership book society, is also available online. 

 For more information, please visit or contact Sharon Benus, Adult and Community-Wide Programming Director at  



Add Comment
Subscribe to posts