1391 Martine Ave. Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
Ph: 908-889-8800

Author Visits

Spotlight Speaker (with a twist!)
About Husband’s and Other Sharp Objects with author Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Sunday, January 27 • 10:00 a.m.
Join us as for this funnier, lighter Spotlight Speaker. 

Marilyn Simon Rothstein - a very funny lady - is the author of Lift and Separate, winner of the Star Award presented by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association for Outstanding Debut.  Husbands and Other Sharp Objects is her second novel. Marilyn grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, married a man she met in an elevator, and owned an advertising agency for more than twenty-five years. Marilyn received an MA in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and an MA in Judaic studies from the University of Connecticut. She enjoys speaking at book festivals and community events.   

Start your Sunday with a laugh!

About Husband's and Other Sharp Objects
After a lifetime of marriage, Marcy Hammer is ready to get herself unhitched – just as everyone else in her life is looking for a commitment. Her new boyfriend, Jon, wants to get serious, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Harvey, is desperate to get back together. When her headstrong daughter announces a secret engagement to Harvey’s attorney, Marcy finds herself planning her daughter’s wedding as she plans her own divorce. Now with two huge events on the horizon, the indomitable Marcy soon realizes that there’s nothing like a wedding to bring out the worst in everybody. From petty skirmishes over an ever-growing guest list to awkward confrontations with her sticky-fingered new in-laws, pulling off the wedding is going to be a challenge; seeing her divorce through is going to be a trial. And trying to make everyone happy might prove to be impossible—because in the end, Marcy alone must make a choice between something old and something new.

Price: $28, Member Price: $20, register by Tuesday, January 22 

Conversations with Authors: The Strange Case of Dr. Couney with author Dawn Raffel

Monday, February 11 • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
This is the fascinating story of how a mysterious European showman saved thousands of American babies in the early 20th century. Dr. Couney saved tiny premature babies by placing them in incubator sideshows at Coney Island and charged admission to pay for it! This larger-than-life personality has been largely forgotten – until now. Proud partner of the Jewish Book Council. 
Price: $8, Member Price: Free,  Stay for lunch - Price: $6.50, Recommended Senior Price: $4.50, reservations are needed three days in advance, contact Alison Rivlin at 908-889-8800 x260 or arivlin@jccnj.org  

One Book.  One Jewish Community
Gateway to the Moon with author Mary Morris

Tuesday, February 12 • 7:30 p.m.
In 1492, the Jewish and Muslim populations of Spain were expelled, and Columbus set sail for America. Luis de Torres, a Spanish Jew, accompanies Columbus as his interpreter. His journey is only the beginning of a long migration, across many generations. Over the centuries, de Torres’ descendants travel from Spain and Portugal to Mexico, finally settling in the hills of New Mexico. Five hundred years later, it is in these same hills that Miguel Torres, a young amateur astronomer, finds himself trying to understand the mystery that surrounds him and the town he grew up in.  Entrada de la Luna is a place that holds a profound secret--one that its residents cannot even imagine. It is also a place that ambitious children, such as Miguel, try to leave. Poor health, broken marriages, and poverty are the norm. Luck is unusual. When Miguel sees a flyer for a babysitting job, he jumps at the opportunity, and begins work for a Jewish family new to the area. Rachel Rothstein is not the sort of parent Miguel expected. A frustrated artist, Rachel moved her family from New York in search of a fresh start, but so far New Mexico has not solved any of the problems she brought with her. Miguel loves the work, yet he is surprised to find many of the Rothstein family's customs similar to ones he’s grown up with and never understood. Interwoven throughout the present-day narrative are the powerful stories of the ancestors of Entrada's residents, highlighting the torture, pursuit, and resistance of the Jewish people. A beautiful novel of shared history, Gateway to the Moon is a moving and memorable portrait of a family and its journey through the centuries.
Price: $20, wine and light snacks served

Mary Morris is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the novels The Jazz Palace, A Mother's Love, and House Arrest, and of nonfiction, including the travel memoir classic Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone. She is a recipient of the Rome Prize in literature and the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction. Morris lives in Brooklyn, New York.

"If you haven’t read Mary Morris yet, start here. Now. Immediately."
—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

In partnership with Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Temple Sholom, Westfield Hadassah and Temple Beth O'r Beth Torah 

Conversations with Authors: Bible of Dirty Jokes with author Eileen Pollack

Monday, March 11 • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
In this novel, the author brings to life the hilarious and moving history of Borscht Belt comedy, Catskills resorts, and the notorious Jewish mob, Murder Inc. It reads like a cross between The Sopranos and a Sarah Silverman special. 
Price: $8, Member Price: Free,  Stay for lunch - Price: $6.50, Recommended Senior Price: $4.50, reservations are needed three days in advance, contact Alison Rivlin at 908-889-8800 x260 or arivlin@jccnj.org 

Spotlight Speaker
A Father's Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror with author Stephen Flatow

Tuesday, March 26 • 7:30 p.m.
This is the story of one brave father’s determination to bring his daughter’s murderers to justice through the American justice system. Stephen Flatow says he was “just a real estate lawyer in New Jersey” until April 9, 1995. Flatow’s life changed that day when he learned his daughter Alisa, a 20-year-old college student traveling in Israel, had been the victim of a terrorist bus bombing. After he discovered the Iranian government had directly sponsored the bomber, Flatow decided to sue the terror state. Working with a superb Washington lawyer and an astute forensic researcher, Stephen Flatow not only won a dramatic verdict against Iran, but also collected a huge judgment. In A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror, Flatow recalls the events surrounding his successful lawsuit.
Price: $18, Member Price: $15, register by Friday, March 22

Conversations with Authors: He Could Make Words Sing  with author David Greene

Thursday, March 28  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
Walk through the extraordinarily tumultuous 20th century with Harry Greissman. His story recounts the issues so many Americans faced then and now as we are well into the 21st century. Immigration. Economic deprivation. Lost love. War. Discrimination at work. The transition from urban to suburban life. A working couple raising a family. His story should resonate with most Americans - his story is America’s story. 
Price: $8, Member Price: Free,  Stay for lunch - Price: $6.50, Recommended Senior Price: $4.50, reservations are needed three days in advance, contact Alison Rivlin at 908-889-8800 x260 or arivlin@jccnj.org      

One Book.  One Jewish Community
The Lost Family with author Jenna Blum

Wednesday, April 10 • 7:30 p.m.
The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.  In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.  Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.  Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.
Price: $20, wine and light snacks served

In partnership with Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Temple Sholom, Westfield Hadassah and Temple Beth O'r Beth Torah 

"The Lost Family is an extraordinary read, the kind of book that makes you sob and smile, the kind that gives you hope…. It is compassionate, masterful and disturbingly contemporary."
—Tatiana de Rosnay, bestselling author of Sarah’s Key