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Our 2023-2024 Season will include both virtual and in person programs. All programs are in person unless noted. Virtual programs will be streamed via Zoom and in person programs will be presented at the Levis JCC Sandler Center (unless otherwise noted).

If you need assistance purchasing tickets or membership, call the Box Office at 561-558-2520.

LEVIS JCC SANDLER CENTER | 21050 95th Avenue S., Boca Raton, FL | 561-558-2520

*Important: please note that when arriving to our campus for evening and Sunday events, you must use the 95th Avenue S. entrance
(off of Glades Road between Lyons Road and 441).

32nd Annual
Alicia & Jeff Spero Book & Author Luncheon

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 9:00 am
Boca West Country Club, 20583 Boca West Drive, Boca Raton, FL 33434
Four best-selling authors present their latest works; includes coffee and pastries, author presentations, lunch and valet parking.

$130, Gold & Gold Plus Members: $115, Platinum Members: $100

Martha Hall Kelly, The Golden Doves, 2023

Two former female spies, bound together by their past, risk everything to hunt down an infamous Nazi doctor in the aftermath of World War II — a pulse-pounding novel inspired by true events from The New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls.

Martha Hall Kelly is The New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls, Lost Roses, Sunflower Sisters, and The Golden Doves. With more than two million copies of her books sold and her books translated in fifty countries, Martha lives in Connecticut and New York City.

Stephen Kiernan, The Glass Chateau, 2023

From the critically acclaimed author of Universe of Two and The Baker’s Secret, a novel of hope, healing, and the redemptive power of art, set against the turmoil of post-World War II France and inspired by the life of Marc Chagall. One month after the end of World War II, amid the jubilation in the streets of France, there are throngs of people stunned by the recovery work ahead. Every bridge, road, and rail line, every church and school and hospital, has been destroyed. Disparate factions—from Communists, to Resistance fighters, to federalists, to those who supported appeasement of the Nazis—must somehow unite and rebuild their devastated country.

As a journalist and novelist, Stephen Kiernan has had nearly five million words in print. His accolades include a George Polk Award, the Freedom of Information Award from the Brechner Institute, and the Gerald Loeb Award. His novels have been trans-lated into many languages and optioned for television and film production. He lives in Vermont.

Rachel Beanland, The House is on Fire, 2023

Richmond, Virginia, 1811. At the city’s only theater, on the night after Christmas, the theater is packed with more than six hundred holiday revelers. When the theater goes up in flames in the middle of the performance, Sally, Cecily, Jack, and Gilbert make a series of split-second decisions that will not only affect their own lives but those of countless others. And in the days following the fire, as news of the disaster spreads across the United States, the paths of these four people will become forever intertwined. Based on the true story of Richmond’s theater fire, The House Is on Fire is a stunning, all-consuming exploration that offers proof that sometimes, in the midst of great tragedy, we are offered our most precious—and fleeting—chances at redemption.

Rachel Beanland is the author of the novel Florence Adler Swims Forever. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned her MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives with her husband and three chil-dren in Richmond, Virginia

Paul Goldberg, The Dissident: A Novel, June 2023

A whip-smart, often hilarious Cold War thriller, Paul Goldberg’s The Dissident explores what it means to survive in the face of impossible choices and monumental consequences. Immersive, unpredictable, and always ax-sharp, The Dissident is Cold War intrigue at its most inventive. It is an uncompromising look at sacrifice, community, and the scars of history and identity, from an expert storyteller.

Paul Goldberg is the author of two previous novels: The Yid, a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the National Jewish Book Award’s Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction, and The Chateau. He has written two books about the Soviet human rights movement as well as an expose of the U.S. healthcare system. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Gail Shapiro-Scott Book Club

A monthly review and lively discussion of books.

First Thursday of the month, 10:00 am
September & October will be virtual, November through May will be in person at the Sandler Center.

  • September 7: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  • October 5: A Map for the Missing: A Novel Belinda Huijuan Tang
  • November 2: The House is on Fire
    by Rachel Beanland
  • December 7: Kantika by Elizabeth Graver
  • January 4: The Dig by Anne Burt
  • February 1: Coco at the Ritz by Gioia Diliberto
  • March 7: Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • April 4: The Bird Hotel by Joyce Maynard
  • May 2: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
Virtual programs are free for all virtual members, $10 for non-virtual members.
In person: $10, Gold & Gold Plus Members: $8, Platinum Members: Free
Become a Book Club Member and enjoy all 7 in person Book Clubs for $50.


Books & Bagels

Brooklyn Meets the Bronx: A Love Story with Marc Gellman

Tuesday, February 20, 12:00 pm
Join us for a bagel lunch, many laughs and a few tears.

Marc Gellman's Seven Days of Shiva: Forty-six years of Puppy Love is an unforgettable memoir about a romance that will make you smile, laugh, and cry! After over forty years of architectural design and real estate development, Marc has plans for several new careers: writing books, performing stand-up comedy, and creating and starring in “Benjamin’s Grandpa” videos.

$10 per person

A Literary Afternoon Series

At the Levis JCC Sandler Center and B'nai Torah Congregation as noted
Personal appearances by 7 noted authors. Learn about their works and the creative process.

Individual Programs: $25, Gold and Gold Plus members: $20, Platinum Members: Free Programs at B’nai Torah Congregation are $18 for all tickets (no member discount) Literary Afternoon Series Subscription: All 7 Programs $150, Gold and Gold Plus Members: $130, Platinum Members: $36

Tuesday, November 28, 2:00 pm
Linda Kass, Bessie: A Novel

At Levis JCC Sandler Center
Just days after the close of World War II, Bess Myerson, the college-educated daughter of poor Russian Jewish immigrants living in the Bronx, is competing in the Miss America pageant. The tension and excitement in Atlantic City’s Warner Theatre is palpable, especially for traumatized Jews rooting for one of their own. Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Bessie reimagines the early life of Bess Myerson, who, remarkably rises to become Miss America and one of the most famous women in America. This intimate fictional portrait reveals Myerson’s inner struggles to escape her roots and fulfill her fierce desire to make her mark on the world. Bessie is a tender study of a bold young woman living at a precarious moment in our cultural history.

Linda Kass is the author of two historical novels, Tasa’s Song (2016) and A Ritchie Boy (2020). She began her career as a magazine journalist and correspondent for regional and national publications. She is the founder and owner of Gramercy Books, an independent bookstore in Columbus, Ohio.

Tuesday, December 12, 2:00 pm
Elizabeth Graver, Kantika

At B'nai Torah Congregation
A kaleidoscopic portrait of one family’s displacement across four countries, Kantika—“song” in Ladino—follows the joys and losses of Rebecca Cohen, feisty daughter of the Sephardic elite of early 20th-century Istanbul. A haunting, inspiring meditation on the tenacity of women, this lush, lyrical novel celebrates the insistence on seizing beauty and grabbing hold of one’s one and only life. Kantika is a meticulous endeavor to preserve the memories of a family, an elegy and a celebration both.

Elizabeth Graver’s fifth novel, Kantika, was inspired by the migration story of her Turkish Sepharic grandmother, whose journey took her from Turkey to Spain, Cuba and New York. Turkish, German and audio editions are forthcoming. Her novel The End of the Point was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her other novels are Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling. Her story collection, Have You Seen Me? won the 1991 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, and Prize Stories, the O. Henry Awards. She teaches at Boston College.
Co-sponsored with B'nai Torah Congregation

Tuesday, January 9, 2:00 pm
Anne Burt, The Dig

At Levis JCC Sandler Center
Informed by timely issues of immigration, capitalism, and justice, yet timeless in its themes of love, identity, and competing loyalties, The Dig, inspired by the Greek tragedy Antigone, portrays a woman at odds with her history, forced to choose between her own ambitions and her loyalty to her beloved, idealistic brother.

Anne Burt’s debut novel, The Dig, is an American Booksellers’ Association IndieNext pick and was chosen by The Strand Bookstore in NYC as its featured mystery novel for Spring 2023. Anne is also the editor of My Father Married Your Mother and coeditor, with Christina Baker Kline, of About Face. She is the mother of step-twins.

Tuesday, February 13, 2:00 pm
Gioia Diliberto, Coco at the Ritz

At Levis JCC Sandler Center
One morning in late August 1944, as World War II draws to a close, Coco Chanel is arrested in her suite at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on charges of treason to France, stemming from her romance with a Nazi spy. Though Chanel epitomizes the treachery of France during World War II, at heart this is a novel about the choices one woman made when the stakes were the highest and the perilous, even deadly, consequences to those around her. In today’s world, a time when antisemitism and hatred in general have exploded anew, it’s a cautionary tale about the necessity of standing against evil when it stares you – seductively – in the face.

Gioia Diliberto is the author of seven books and a play. Her writing, which focuses on women’s lives, has been praised for combining rich storytelling, deep research, and lit-erary grace. Her books have been translated into several languages, and she has writ-ten for many publications. She also teaches in the writing program at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies.

Tuesday, February 27, 2:00 pm
Michael Golding, Quick Bright Things

At Levis JCC Sandler Center
Quick Bright Things is a delightful new novel about the Golden Age of Broadway. Set in New York in 1948, it follows Artie, a young rehearsal pianist, Joe, a visionary director, and Carrie, his intrepid Girl Friday, as they shepherd a production of a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream towards opening night. Drawn from the personal experiences of its author, Quick Bright Things is a glittering love letter to the Great White Way and all the crazy, gifted people who keep it humming.

Michael Golding is the author of Simple Prayers, Benjamin’s Gift, and A Poet of the Invisible World, which was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award and was the recipient of the 2016 Ferro-Grumley Award. His novels have been translated into ten foreign languages. He is also a screenwriter, whose works include the adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s Silk. As an actor, Michael has performed in numerous plays and musicals, including twenty-one productions of Shakespeare. He currently lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northern California.

Tuesday, March 12, 2:00 pm
Talia Carner, The Boy with the Star Tattoo

Book available February 2024
At B'nai Torah Congregation
The Boy With the Star Tattoo is an epic historical novel weaving two yet-untold events set in France, the first set in 1946 in the aftermath of the Holocaust, when agents from Eretz Israel roamed the European countryside to rescue hidden Jewish orphans (Youth Aliya). The second is set in 1969, about the daring escape of the boats of Cherbourg, in Normandy, which were commissioned and paid for by Israel but whose delivery was blocked by a French arms embargo. Sharon, the assistant to an Israeli naval officer stationed in Cherbourg, is set to unravel the mystery of his journey from a French village to Israel. She is unprepared for the moral dilemma she will face upon solving the mystery.

Talia Carner is formerly the publisher of Savvy Woman magazine, a marketing consultant, and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. An award-winning author of six novels and numerous stories, essays, and articles, she is also a committed supporter of global human rights.
Co-sponsored with B'nai Torah Congregation

Tuesday, April 9, 2:00 pm
Aaron Hamburger, Hotel Cuba

At Levis JCC Sandler Center
Fleeing the chaos of World War I and the Soviet Revolution, practical, sensible Pearl Kahn and her love struck, impulsive younger sibling Frieda hope to reach America. But when discriminatory new immigration laws bar their entry, the young women sail instead to Havana, Cuba, convinced that there they will find a way to overcome this setback. A heartbreaking, epic family story, Hotel Cuba explores the profound courage of two women displaced from their home who strive to create a new future in an entic-ing and dangerous world far different from anything they have ever known.

Aaron Hamburger is the author of the story collection The View from Stalin’s Head—which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize — and two novels, Faith for Beginners and Nirvana Is Here. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, O, the Oprah Magazine, The Forward, and many others. He lives in Washington, DC.

Virtual Literary Programs via Zoom

Virtual programs are free to Virtual, Gold Plus and Platinum Members, $10 for non-virtual members

Monday, October 9, 3:30 pm
Naomi Ragen: The Enemy Beside Me: A Novel

Taking over from her father and grandfather as the head of the Survivor’s Campaign, an organization whose purpose is to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, Milia Gottstein has dedicated her life to making sure the voices of Holocaust victims will never be silenced. It is an overwhelming and heartbreaking mission that has often usurped her time and energy being a wife to busy surgeon Julius, and a mother and grandmother. But now, just as she is finally ready to pass on her work to others, making time for her personal life, an unexpected phone call suddenly explodes all she thought she knew about her present and her future. Inspired by true events, Naomi Ragen’s The Enemy Beside Me is a powerful, provocative novel about two people fighting for reconciliation over unforgivable crimes of the past.

Naomi Ragen is an award-winning novelist, journalist and playwright. Her first book, Jephte’s Daughter, was listed among the one-hundred most important Jewish books of all time. Her bestselling novels include Sotah, The Covenant, The Sisters Weiss, and Devil in Jerusalem. The Enemy Beside Me is her fourteenth novel.

Tuesday, October 17, 3:30 pm
Jai Chakrabarti: A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness

In the fifteen masterful stories that make up this collection, Jai Chakrabarti crosses continents and cultures to explore what it means to cultivate a family today, across borders, religions, and race. Throughout, the characters’ most vulnerable desires shape life-altering decisions as they seek to balance their needs against those of the people they hold closest. The stories in A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness capture men and women struggling with transformation and familial bonds; they traverse the intersections of countries and cultures to illuminate what it means to love in uncertain times; and they showcase the skill of a storyteller who dazzles with the breadth of his vision.

Jai Chakrabarti is the author of the novel A Play for the End of the World, which won the National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction, was long-listed for the PEN/Faulkner Award and short-listed for the Tagore Prize. His short fiction has received both an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize and has been anthologized in the Best American Short Stories and performed on Selected Shorts by Symphony Space. His nonfiction has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and elsewhere. Born in Kolkata, India, he now lives in New York with his family.

Monday, December 4, 3:30 pm
Lisa Scottoline: Loyalty

Loyalty is an emotional, action-packed epic, set during the rise of the Mafia well before the events of The Godfather. This novel transports the reader to 19th century Sicily, a dramatic and ruggedly beautiful island where lush lemon groves and mouth-watering cuisine contrast with a turbulent history of colonization and corruption. Giovanni is kidnapped as a young boy and grows up in a madhouse. Years pass and Giovanni meets a beautiful isolated girl named Lucia. They set out to bring his kidnappers to jus-tice, getting an unexpected assist from septuagenarian Alfredo, who is secretly Jewish, but practices his religion undercover. The characters meet in a monumental showdown at the Sicilian sulfur mines, a place described as hell on earth. There, secrets will be uncovered, identities discovered, and the battle for justice fought to the death.

Lisa Scottoline is the #1 bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of thirty-five novels. She has thirty million copies of her books in print and has been published in thirty-five countries. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. A former lawyer, Scottoline taught a course she developed, “Justice & Fiction,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives on a farm outside Philadelphia.

Cultural Council Discover The Palm Beaches