Katz JCC Author Speaker Series November through December

MARGATE – The Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center, 501 N. Jerome Avenue, Margate, presents its Fall Author Speaker Series in November and December featuring Jewish related topics on current affairs, Jewish thought on Mid-East politics and Jewish contributions to literature, art and science.

“We are excited to bring this Author Speaker Series to the community. We believe the topics that will be discussed are educational and intriguing,” Katz JCC Chief Executive Officer Jack I. Fox said.

Dr. Alon GratchOn Sunday, November 8 at 3 p.m. Dr. Alon Gratch will discuss his book The Israeli Mind – How the Israeli National Character Shapes our World.

Gratch is an Israeli-American psychologist, organizational consult, and author. During his presentation, Dr. Gratch will present a compelling portrait of the Israeli national character. Gratch draws on a broad cultural and historical canvas and weaves his own personal experience.

The Israeli Mind shares his interpretation of the Israeli struggle for identity: “they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the collective narrative but also to sacrifice that very collective- for a higher and likely unattainable goal…” he states in the book.

As a psychologist, Dr. Gratch has been on the faculty of Columbia University and as a consultant he has advised companies such as Pepsi, Nabisco, and the NFL.  Dr. Gratch is the author of two previous books, If Love Could Think: Using Your Mind To Guide Your Heart and If Men Could Talk: Here’s What They’d Say.

Lawrence BaronOn Sunday, November 22 at 3 p.m. Author Lawrence Baron will present his book Projecting the Holocaust into the Present – The Changing Focus of Contemporary Holocaust Cinema.

Baron, emeritus professor of history at San Diego State University and a regular contributor to San Diego Jewish World, has recently been appointed the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Professor of Holocaust Studies by the Richard Stockton University.

Baron is the author of Projecting the Holocaust into the Present, which traces how movie-makers addressed Holocaust themes over the years.  Recognizing that movies reach a greater audience than eyewitness, historical, or literary accounts, Baron argues that they mirror changing public perceptions of the Holocaust over time and place. After tracing the evolution of the most commonly employed genres and themes in earlier Holocaust motion pictures, he focuses on how films from the l990s made the Holocaust relevant for contemporary audiences.

Alina BliumusOn Tuesday, December 8 at 7 p.m., Author and Photographer Alina Bliumus will speak on her latest book titled From Selfie to Groupie.

From Selfie to Groupie is a book of photographs and essays exploring the variety and intricacy of Jewish-American identity. Alina and Jeff Bliumus began their visual survey in the Russian-Jewish immigrant enclave of Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach before expanding to the wider Jewish-American community in locations from New York to Philadelphia to Miami.

In total, 1,922 people participated in creating a portrait of the Jewish community – in its many shades, shapes, and sizes – and a collaborative statement about collective identity. Participants ranged from a two-year-old girl who identified herself as a “future president” to vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman, who identified himself as “a proud and grateful Jewish American.”

Joshua MuravchikLastly, the Katz JCC Author Speaker Series will conclude with Author Joshua Muravchik on Wednesday, December 16 at 7 p.m. with a presentation on his book Making David Into Goliath – How the World Turned Against Israel.

During the Six Day War of 1967 polls showed that Americans favored the Israelis over the Arabs by overwhelming margins. In Europe, support for Israel ran even higher.  Fast forward 40 years and Israel has become perhaps the most criticized country in the world. Although Americans have remained constant in their sympathy for the Jewish state, almost all of the rest of the world treats Israel as a pariah.  What caused this remarkable turnabout? Making David into Goliath traces the process by which material pressures and intellectual fashions reshaped world opinion of Israel.

In addition to hundreds of articles, stories and publications, Muravchik is the author of 11 books, of which the most noted have been Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel (2014), Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism (2002), and Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America’s Destiny (1991).

Tickets are $7 for Members and $10 for Non-Members per each author. Tickets can also be purchased as a package for all four performances at $22 for Members and $36 for Non-Members.

For ticket information, contact 609-822-1167, Ext. 0 or visit www.jccatlantic.org


The mission of the Milton & Betty Katz JCC of Atlantic County is to foster an appreciation of Jewish identity, values and culture, to promote health, education and welfare of our members, to strengthen Jewish family life, to build a sense of community and ensure Jewish continuity for our children, our children’s children and ourselves.