Scribblers on the Roof

Monday evenings, 8pm. $5 suggested contribution.

Join us on the Ansche Chesed roof to hear emerging and established Jewish writers read from their recent work. Beverages, snacks and books are available for purchase. If it rains, come anyway. We have a perfect indoor space.

Full Lineup:

June 5: Is This Really the End?

Adam KirschThe Revolt Against Humanity and The Discarded Life

June 12: Elie Wiesel

Joseph BergerElie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence

June 26: The Vanished Worlds of Sepharad

Michael FrankOne Hundred Saturdays

Elizabeth GraverKantika

July 10

Judy KatzHow News Travels

July 17: Love and Madness

Jonathan RosenThe Best Minds

July 24: A Star of the Yiddish Theater

Meryl Frank, Unearthed

June 5

Is This Really the End?

Adam Kirsch, The Revolt Against Humanity and The Discarded Life

One of our most humane poets and essayists, Adam Kirsch will talk about and read from his two latest two books. The Revolt Against Humanity (2023) is a blistering history of an idea–that the end of humankind is nigh and that that’s a good thing.  The Discarded Life (2022) is a memoir in verse in which he tries to face his own obsolescence. “Adam Kirsch is the most exciting, the most serious, and the most courageous young poet-critic in America.”–James Wood, The New Yorker

Adam Kirsch is a poet and literary critic whose books include The Discarded Life: Poems and The Blessing and the Curse: The Jewish People and Their Books in the 20th Century. He is an editor at the Wall Street Journal’s weekend Review section.

Moderator: Judith Shulevitz

Full Scribblers Lineup


June 12

Elie Wiesel

Joseph Berger, Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence

Long-time New York Times writer Joseph Berger’s Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence (2023) is the first full-scale biography of the Nobel-Prize-winning writer and teacher.

Joseph Berger was a New York Times reporter, columnist, and editor for over 30 years, writing about education, religion, and the colorful kaleidoscope that is New York City as well chronicling many of the events that have shaken Israel and the Middle East. He retired from The Times in December 2014 and his biography of Elie Wiesel will be published by Yale University Press in May 2023. Berger was born in 1945 in the Ural Mountains region of Russia, where his parents had fled to escape the Nazis. He and his parents and brother Joshua spent four years in refugee camps in Germany and immigrated to New York in 1950 when Berger was five. He lives with his wife Brenda, a psychoanalyst, in Manhattan.

Moderator: Jane Eisner

Full Scribblers Lineup


June 26

The Vanished Worlds of Sepharad

Michael Frank, author of One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World, and Elizabeth Graver, author of Kantika, in conversation.

Michael Frank’s One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World (2022), is a true story told by the nonagenarian Stella about the lush and charming world of the Juderia, the Sephardic Jewish quarter of Rhodes where she grew up. “Frank’s narrative shines with an ebullience, thanks  to the unusually rich and textured life of his utterly enchanting muse.”–Publisher’s Weekly. Elizabeth Graver’s novel, Kantika (2023),  was inspired by her grandmother, Rebecca née Cohen Baruch Levy, born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Istanbul, whose life took her to Spain, Cuba and New York.  “An elegy and a celebration both.” —Ayten Tartici, The New York Times Book Review

Moderator: Judith Shulevitz

Michael Frank, One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World

Michael Frank is the author of What Is Missing, a novel, and The Mighty Franks, a memoir, which was awarded the 2018 JQ Wingate Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by The Telegraph and The New Statesman. Selected as one of the ten best books of 2022 by The Wall Street Journal, One Hundred Saturdays received a Natan Notable Book Award, two National Book Awards from the Jewish Book Council, and the Sophie Brody Award for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature.  A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Frank lives in New York City and Camogli, Italy.

Elizabeth Graver, Kantika

Elizabeth Graver’s fourth novel, The End of the Point, was long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award in Fiction 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, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and Best American Essays. The mother of two daughters, she teaches at Boston College.

Full Scribblers Lineup

July 10

How News Travels

Judy Katz

Ansche Chesed member and poet Judy Katz will read from her debut poetry collection, How News Travels.

Judy Katz’s How News Travels was selected as the winner of the 2021 Gerald Cable Book Award and will be published by Silverfish Review Press this summer. Her poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and in The New York Times Book Review, Salamander, The Women’s Review of Books, Plume, upstreet, and other print and online journals.  Katz’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and widely anthologized, appearing in such publications as Best Indie Lit New England, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, and Treelines: an anthology of 21st century American poems.

Full Scribblers Lineup


July 17

Love and Madness

Jonathan Rosen, The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions

Jonathan Rosen talks about and reads from one of the most celebrated books of the year, The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness, and the Tragedy of Good Intentions (2023), in which he investigates the forces that drove his closest childhood friend to kill the woman he loved. “This artful, reflective and even entertaining book [is] one of the best this year, or any year”–Elain Showalter, Times Literary Supplement

Jonathan Rosen is the author of two novels and three works of non-fiction, including the recently published The Best Minds: A Story of Friendship, Madness and the Tragedy of Good Intentions, which The New York Times called “Brave and nuanced…an act of tremendous compassion and a literary triumph.” He is also the author of The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey Between Worlds and The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature, and the novels Eve’s Appleand Joy Comes in the Morning. He created and edited the culture section of The Forward, and the Jewish Encounters Book Series, published by Nextbook/Schocken. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including the AtlanticAudubonThe New Yorker and The New York Times.

Moderator: Judith Shulevitz

Full Scribblers Lineup


July 24

A Star of the Yiddish Theater

Meryl Frank, Unearthed

Meryl Frank will discuss her journey to uncover the truth about the life and death of her beloved cousin, a celebrated actress in Vilna’s Yiddish theater before World War II.

Ambassador Meryl Frank is an international champion of women’s leadership, human rights and political participation. Frank is a graduate of Rutgers University and Yale University where she earned graduate degrees in International Relations, Political Science and Public Health. She is also a frequent speaker on gender, health, environment, and refugee issues worldwide. Frank is currently the President of Makeda Global Network, an international consulting firm specializing in leadership and media training, messaging and strategic planning. Meryl is also the co-editor of The Parental Leave Crisis – Toward a National Policy, and was Director of the Infant Care Leave Project at the Yale Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy. She was instrumental in the development and passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Moderator: Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky

Full Scribblers Lineup