Fourth Annual Derekh Speaker Series - First Speaker February 2

For our fourth annual Derekh Speaker Series, we have invited authors from across the country to discuss their books at Beth Shalom. These books take us from 1930s Atlantic City to near future Ohio to our own kitchens.  Join us for the journey!

The talks are FREE and open to the public! 

This series of talks by authors is made available through the Jewish Book Council and funded by Seth Glick and Carolyn Slayton.

Gwen Strauss
The Nine

February 2, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The Nine is a thrilling true story by author Gwen Strauss of how nine young women, captured by the Nazis for being part of the Resistance, launched a breathtakingly bold escape and found their way home.

To buy the book, The Nine, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Rachel Beanland
Florence Adler Swims Forever

February 23, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets in Florence Adler Swims Forever by author Rachel Beanland.

To buy the book, Florence Adler Swims Forever, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Laura Arnold Leibman
Once We Were Slaves

March 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Blanche Moses firmly believed her maternal ancestors were Sephardic grandees. Yet she found herself at a dead end when it came to her grandmother’s maternal line. Using family heirlooms to unlock the mystery of Moses’s ancestors, Once We Were Slaves, by author Laura Liebman, overturns the reclusive heiress’s assumptions about her family history to reveal that her grandmother and great-uncle, Sarah and Isaac Brandon, actually began their lives poor, Christian, and enslaved in Barbados.

To buy the book, Once We Were Slaves, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Marc Bookman
A Descending Spiral: Exposing the Death Penalty in 12 Essays

April 20, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Exploring prosecutorial misconduct, racist judges and jurors, drunken lawyering, and executing the innocent and the mentally ill, Marc Bookman's A Descending Spiral demonstrates that precious few people on trial for their lives get the fair trial the Constitution demands.

To buy the book, A Descending Spiral, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Pam Jenoff
The Woman with the Blue Star

May 15, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Inspired by incredible true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star by author Pam Jenoff is an unforgettable testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.

To buy the book, The Woman with the Blue Star, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Lisa Goldberg
Now for Something Sweet

June 1, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The Monday Morning Cooking Club's Now for Something Sweet is the result of an intensive search to uncover, curate and celebrate the very best, most cherished sweet recipes from the Jewish community in Australia and around the world.

To buy the book, Now for Something Sweet, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.


Cindy Rizzo
The Papercutter

June 15, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The Papercutter by author Cindy Rizzo, part one of a trilogy in which the former USA, has split into the God Fearing States (GFS) and the United Progressive Regions (UPR). This story is narrated by three Jewish teens, one of whom is openly queer, one deep in the closet and the third completely clueless about her romantic interests.

To buy the book, The Papercutter, from local Pittsburgh bookseller White Whale, click here.