By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Last month Brooklyn BookBeat featured Brooklyn By The Book – a monthly literary series curated by Park Slope’s Community Bookstore and Congregation Beth Elohim. The two historic Park Slope institutions joined forces last fall when the organizations discovered their mutual desire to create a program devoted to serving their particular community.
On Thursday, March 21, Brooklyn By The Book will present an evening with Edgar M. Bronfman, world-renowned philanthropist and Jewish leader who has recently published “The Bronfman Haggadah.” Bronfman will discuss his contemporary retelling of the Exodus story, which includes a diverse group of readings from such figures as abolitionist Frederick Douglass and poet Marge Piercy.
Jan Aronson, who illustrated “The Bronfman Hagaddah” with stunning watercolors, will also appear at Thursday’s event. Bronfman and Aronson will discuss their book with Rabbi Andy Bachman.
The Brooklyn By The Book series has expanded Community Bookstore’s audience to include a more diverse crowd. Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore’s events coordinator, told Brooklyn Eagle, “Both Congregation Beth Elohim and Community Bookstore wanted to create a series that was very specific to the neighborhood. Our goal is to host a mix of nonfiction and fiction events.” Last year’s program kicked off with an exciting roster of writers, including Paul Auster and Don DeLillo.z
“Partnering with Congregation Beth Elohim allows us even more visibility with our customers and new customers. It also helps that we’re booking some of the big household names and therefore drawing an audience from not just Park Slope, but other parts of NYC,” said Filgate.
Congregation Beth Elohim, founded in 1861, has been praised by Newsweek for accommodating and welcoming Brooklyn’s young and vibrant population. Its collaboration with Community Bookstore certainly demonstrates just that: the Brooklyn By The Book program explores Park Slope’s dynamic literary culture, inviting community members to hear from their favorite writers and subsequently engage in discussion.
Park Slope’s beloved Community Bookstore, founded in 1971, is one of Brooklyn’s oldest independent bookstores. Filgate explains that the aim of Brooklyn By The Book “is to provide a dynamic and exciting events program in Park Slope, and I think we’re doing that.”
The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Congregation Beth Elohim is located at 274 Garfield Place in Park Slope.