Global Day of Jewish Learning
Sunday, November 15, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Cost: Free, Open to the Community
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Jews from more than 400 communities in 48 countries will participate in more than 600 events on the same day. This year's theme is Love: Devotion, Desire and Deception and keynote speaker is Sergey Dolgopolski from the University at Buffalo's Department of Comparative Literature and The Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage.

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Sponsored by:


in cooperation with local synagogues and Jewish organizations

Boléo: Musical Quartet
Tuesday, November 17, 7:30 - 9 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 787 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo (Holland Building)

Boléo takes a lateral view of the line between folk and classical chamber music. Composers since the Renaissance have borrowed from indigenous and popular genres, giving chamber music a distinctive timbre or flavor. Boléo's performances capture this phenomenon through authenticity of style, while casting the music in a new light. Boléo performs Tangos, Habaneras and Gypsy Dances composed by Astor Piazzola, Carlos Gardel, Ignacio Cervantes, and Moshe Shulman's arrangements of Gypsy dances and tangos.

Lázara Nelson, violin
Miranda Scoma, violin, viola
Katie Weissman, cello
Moshe Shulman, violin, viola, bandoneon, accordion

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Wine & Dessert Reception
Sponsored by:


Author Mara Koven Gelman:
Mourning Has Broken
Wednesday, November 18 - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Mourning Has Broken - A Collection of Creative Writing about Grief and Healing is a unique anthology (in its 3rd edition) containing more than 70 original submissions of how the authors coped with a loved one's death. This international collection has been inspirational to many mourners. This book will make you smile, and it will make you cry. it will touch your heart.

Followed by reception and book signing.

Mara's talk is dedicated to Jonathan Earl Koven

20% of book sales are donated to JCC Cultural Art Department

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Sponsored by:

The Sam and Sophie Weinstein Fund and

Author and performer Michael Lasser:
America's Songs II
Monday, November 30 - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Author Michael Lasser, singer Cindy Miller and Alan Jones introduce six important songwriters – three of them Jewish – all born and raised in Buffalo. The group includes: Chauncey Olcott, known for “My Wild Irish Rose”; composer Ray Henderson who defined the wild, wacky sound of the 1920s; E. Ray Goetz who wrote “For Me and My Gal”; Jack Yellen who wrote “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “My Yiddishe Mama”; Ray Evans, “Silver Bells”, and Harold Arlen, son of a cantor who gave us “Stormy Weather,” “Birth of the Blues,” and “Over the Rainbow.”

Raised in the shadow of Broadway, Lasser is the Peabody-Award-winning host of public radio's "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and a frequent lecturer at museums and universities.

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Sponsored by:

People of the Book Fund



Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies



Dessert reception sponsored by Hadassah

Author Sandra Block:
Little Black Lies & The Girl Without A Name
Wednesday, December 2 - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Meet Zoe Goldman - a feisty psychiatrist from Buffalo with plenty of her own baggage. In Little Black Lies, she is searching for the truth about her birth mother's death, while caring for her ailing adoptive mother, learning to be a psychiatrist, and struggling with her own issues of ADHD. In The Girl Without a Name, Zoe helps a young African-American girl emerge from an amnesiac state by exposing the demons which brought her into the hospital. It's a story of "tikun olam," where Zoe is fixing the world by healing her patients, as well as herself.
The New York Times Book Review calls Little Black Lies: "A psychological suspense story smartly narrated... Zoe has a quick wit that emerges in wickedly unexpected ways."

Followed by reception and book signing

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Sponsored by:

The Block Family

Children's book authors/illustrators:
Wende Essrow & Sandy Sloane
Tuesday, December 8 - 7:00 - 8 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Wende Essrow and Sandy Sloane bring their entertaining and educational experiences to this presentation about children's books, offering advice and wisdom about how to choose books that make a difference in children's lives.

Essrow studied Literature and Art graduated at Alfred University and has a Master's in Education from Buffalo State College. She is the author of If You Listen to the Trees and The Paintbrush Dreamer. Visit the Bunis Family Art Gallery on the 2nd Floor of the Benderson JCC to see an exhibit of her artwork, Nov 6- Dec 31, 2015.


Sandy Weinberger-Sloane, journalist and President of Rochester-based marketing consultancy Solutions by Sloane, creates beautifully illustrated picture books that teach valuable life lessons and feature characters that children can easily relate to, helping them navigate through the many challenges of childhood.

Parents are invited to bring children ages 3-6 to in the JCC's Early Childhood classroom to enjoy a free story time, snack and craft program while parents attend the author event. Pick up your children afterwards to meet the authors and get a signed copy of their books! RSVP by calling 716.204.2084. Space is limited to 15.

Followed by reception and book signing

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Sponsored by:

Play And Learn School (PALS) at Temple Beth Zion


Author/Photographer Jackie Albarella:
The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune's Masterpiece
Thursday, December 10 - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

The Hotel Lafayette: Restoring Louise Bethune's Masterpiece, is an intimate look at the revival of one of Buffalo's architectural treasures. Award winning photographer, Jackie Albarella, followed the restoration from the first day to the grand re-opening. She captured the restoration in images and stories from the many highly skilled craftspeople, artists and contractors who brought Bethune's opus back to life.

Followed by reception and book signing

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Kol Rina Choir - Hanukah Concert
Sunday, December 13 - 2 - 3:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

"Kol Rina," the Jewish Center of Greater Buffalo's community choir, performs a Hanukah Concert for the whole family. The choir is directed by musical director, Sebnem Mekinulov, a renowned opera singer and music trainer who has been helping Kol Rina delight audiences for three years! Come enjoy the last night of the "Festival of Lights" with music that will lift your spirit including Jewish liturgical music, Yiddish, Ladino, English and Hebrew.

Followed by reception


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Sponsored by:

Jay Mesnekoff

Author Nancy Reisman:
Trompe l'Oeil
Wednesday, December 16 - 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. NEW DATE
Cost: $10/general, $5/students
Location: JCC, 2640 North Forest Road, Amherst, NY (Benderson Building)

Trompe l'Oeil seamlessly alternates among several characters' points of view, capturing the details of their daily lives as well as their longing for connection and fear of abandonment. Through the turbulence of marriage, the challenges of parenthood, job upheavals, and calamities large and small, Trompe l'Oeil examines family legacies, the ways those legacies persist, and the ways they might be transcended.

Nancy Reisman is a Buffalo born and raised author who teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University. Other books include The First Desire, and House Fires and her short stories have been published in numerous books and publications.

Followed by reception and book signing

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Sponsored by:

Sponsored by Congregation Havurah

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