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One Book | One Community 2018

One Book | One Community 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018 (All day) to Friday, November 30, 2018 (All day)


Memento Park by Mark Sarvas
chosen as Chicago's Jewish Book Month
2018 One Book | One Community selection

Sly and searching—The New York Times Book Review

For the eighth year in a row, celebrate Jewish Book Month with One Book | One Community, in which a single title is selected for discussions and activities across greater Chicago. Spertus Institute proudly spearheads this initiative.

Set in LA, NY, and Budapest (with a short stop in Chicago), Memento Park begins with an unexpected call from the Australian consulate. Thus protagonist Matt Santos learns of a valuable painting believed to have been looted from his family during WWII. To recover it, he must repair his strained relationship with his father, unearth his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism.

A riveting story…artfully told—Barnes & Noble Review

Mark SarvasMark Sarvas is an author and critic whose first novel, Harry, Revised, was published in more than a dozen countries. A member of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN America, his reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Threepenny Review, Bookforum, and many others.

After years writing for his literary weblog The Elegant Variation (a Forbesbest of the web” pick), he considers himself a reformed blogger. He lives in Santa Monica, CA, and teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

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Why Spertus Spearheads One Book | One Community
Both storytelling and the written word are vital in Jewish tradition. Bringing people together to discover and celebrate them supports one of Spertus Institute’s guiding principles: that a vibrant Jewish community is a learning Jewish community.

The One Book | One Community initiative brings readers together through the shared enjoyment and exploration of Jewish literature, enhanced by discussions, online resources, and presentations. Throughout, we support and engage with Jewish authors — and together delve into our past, explore our present, and imagine our future.

Book Discussions

Book Discussions take place in November in locations throughout Greater Chicago, led by Facilitator Rachel Kamin, Director of the Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park.

Author Mark Sarvas will be joining at least one of the discussions from his home in California. It will be live streamed for participants to join in online.

Book discussions are free and open to the public. Sign up below to receive details as confirmed.

Author Events

Sunday, November 18
One Date, Two Locations

Books will be for sale and Mark Sarvas will be signing books at a reception at each of these events.

Spertus Institute at 10:30 am
At this special event, hear author Mark Sarvas in conversation with Alexandra Salomon, editor of WBEZ's Curious City. Salomon was a senior producer for WBEZ’s Worldview and spent nearly a decade overseas reporting for news outlets including The Boston Globe, The Economist, The Jerusalem Post, and the BBC. 
$5. Purchase tickets in advance > 
610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago 
Discount parking $8 
at Grant Park South Garage.

In the Suburbs at 2 pm
Congregation Etz Chaim
1710 S Highland Ave., Lombard
Free. Reserve your spot online >
Thank you to Congregation Etz Chaim for generously underwriting this event.


JUF News
One Book | One Community
media sponsor

This year’s One Book events are part of the Solomon Goldman Lecture Series, generously endowed by the late Rose and Sidney Shure.