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One Book | One Community Programs and Events

One Book | One Community Programs and Events

Sunday, November 18, 2018 - 10:30 am to Monday, November 19, 2018 - 8:30 pm

Memento Park by Mark Sarvas has been selected as Chicago's Jewish Book Month 2018 One Book | One Community selection. Enjoy opportunities to meet the author and discuss the book.

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.

Events and Programs with Author Mark Sarvas

Sunday, November 18 at 10:30 am
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
610 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605 
Discount parking $8 at Grant Park South Garage

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. Books will be for sale and Mark Sarvas will be signing books at a reception following this event. 
$5. Purchase tickets in advance >

Sunday, November 18 at 2:00 pm

Congregation Etz Chaim
1710 S Highland Ave., Lombard, IL 60148
Books will be for sale and Mark Sarvas will be signing books at a reception following this program.
Free. Reserve your spot online >
Thank you to Congregation Etz Chaim for generously underwriting this event.

Monday, November 19 at 7:00 pm
Highland Park Library
494 Laurel Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
Led by Facilitator Rachel Kamin.
Free. Reserve your spot online >

Additional Book Discussions

Additional book discussions will take place in locations throughout Greater Chicago, led by Facilitator Rachel Kamin. Book discussions are free and open to the public. Sign up above right to receive additional dates and locations as confirmed.

Tuesday, October 30 at 7:30 pm
Congregation Etz Chaim, Lombard

Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 pm
McHenry County Jewish Congregation, Crystal Lake

Friday, November 16 at 6:45 pm
Congregation Sukkat Shalom, Wilmette

Saturday, November 17 at 12:30 pm
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park

Thursday, December 6 at 7:00 pm
Congregation Or Shalom, Vernon Hills

Sign up for book giveaways, event details, tickets, and more! Sign up>

Why Spertus Spearheads One Book

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.

Interview with Author Mark Sarvas

Enjoy an interview with the author written for JUF News by art critic Hedy Weiss. Read >


Explore resources relating to the themes explored in Memento Park, compiled by the librarians of Spertus Institute's Asher Library from material in the library's collection. Explore >


Thank you to our sponsors.

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.