Shalom Austin Literary Series 

Leslie Brittman Literary Event 
Author Deborah Gaal, The Dream Stitcher
Saturday, October 26 | 7:30 PM | Chez Zee

Hard times are forcing Maude Fields to take in her estranged mother, Bea, whose secrets date to World War II. Bea arrives with a needlepoint recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry. The replica contains clues to the identity of Maude’s father and the mythical “Dream Stitcher," Goldye, a Jewish freedom fighter who sewed dreams into reality to help launch the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The Dream Stitcher explores love, war, mystery, and magic against the backdrop of the Bayeux Tapestry and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The novel is rooted in family legacy, and illuminates the importance for the reader of ensuring that their own legacies are discovered, cemented and moved forward to the next generation. Deborah Gaal took over the family business and ended up running a DuPont subsidiary. She has coached entrepreneurs and corporate execs, and created and led women’s leadership seminars. She is a repeat recipient of the San Diego State University Writer’s Conference “Editor’s Choice Award.” The Dream Stitcher was a finalist of the 2018 National Jewish Book Awards in Debut Fiction. 


Book Lovers Luncheon 
Author Elana Horwich
Meal and a Spiel: How to Be a Badass in the Kitchen 

Wednesday, November 13 | 11 AM | JCC Community Hall

She's like Amy Schumer meets the Dalai Lama meets Julia Child. Elana Horwich is a world-traveling self-taught chef raised in a house where no one cooked. After living in Italy for years, this former high school history teacher and comedienne started Meal and a Spiel, a cooking school which empowers people across the country to passionately cook with confidence, intuition and love as a form of Tikkun Olam.

Recipes, lessons, and inspirations from an adventurous Jewish girl who lived in Italy and returned to California to transform her community into a bunch of confident cooks. This book uses humor and wisdom to teach intuitive cooking. It features unabashed memoir, essays on life and “classroom corners” that explain how and why recipes work so you can finally put the cookbook down.


Partnership with Temple Beth Shalom
Author Rebecca Erbelding, Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America's Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | Temple Beth Shalom 

For more than a decade, a harsh Congressional immigration policy kept most Jewish refugees out of America, even as Hitler and the Nazis closed in. In 1944, the United States finally took action. Franklin D. Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board and put a young Treasury lawyer named John Pehle in charge. Over the next twenty months, Pehle pulled together a team of D.C. pencil pushers, international relief workers, smugglers, diplomats, millionaires and rabble-rousers to run operations across four continents and a dozen countries. Together, they tricked the Nazis, forged identity papers, maneuvered food and medicine into concentration camps, recruited spies, leaked news stories, laundered money, negotiated ransoms and funneled millions of dollars into Europe. They bought weapons for the French Resistance and sliced red tape to allow Jewish refugees to escape to Palestine.

In this remarkable work of historical reclamation, Holocaust historian Rebecca Erbelding pieces together years of research and newly uncovered archival materials to tell the dramatic story of America’s little-known efforts to save the Jews of Europe. Rebecca Erbelding’s first book Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe won the JDC-Herbert Katzki National Jewish Book Award. She is a historian, curator, and archivist at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and on The History Channel and National Geographic.


Literary Series Event 

Author Josh Frank, Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dali, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made
Saturday, March 21, 2020 | JCC Community Hall

Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film, written by modern art icon Salvador Dali who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought to be lost forever. However, author Josh Frank found it, and, with comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comic creator Manuela Pertega, he’s re-created the film as a graphic novel in all its gorgeous, full-color, cinematic and surreal glory. It is the story of two unlikely friends, a Jewish superstar film icon, and Spanish painter, and the movie that could have been.

He is the author of Fool The World the Oral History of the Band Called Pixies (St. Martins Press USA/ Virgin Books U.K.) and In Heaven Everything Is Fine – The Unsolved Life of Peter Ivers (Simon and Schuster/Free Press). His third book, The Good Inn was published in 2014 with collaborator Black Francis frontman for The Pixies. Over the last decade, Frank has worked with some of the most interesting and innovative musicians, filmmakers, producers and artists in the industry including Black Francis, David Lynch and Harold Ramis. He has interviewed over 200 of America’s most notable names in the entertainment for his books and screenplays. In his spare time, he built, owns and operates the Blue Starlite Mini-Urban Drive-In Movie Theatre in Austin, Texas. Giraffes on Horseback Salad is his 4th book and second Illustrated Novel.