By Samantha Samel
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Park Slope’s Community Bookstore and Congregation Beth Elohim, two historic Park Slope institutions, have partnered to host a monthly literary series at the Congregation called Brooklyn By The Book. The series originated last fall when the organizations recognized their shared desire to organize a program that aimed to serve their particular community.
Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore’s events coordinator, tells 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.
This January, the Bookstore and Congregation hosted National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, bringing in over 300 attendees. On March 14, the program will feature Mark Russ Federman in conversation with Rabbi Andy Bachman; the following week Edgar M. Bronfman and Jan Aronson will appear in Conversation with Rabbi Andy Bachman; and on April 3, Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of “Olive Kitteridge,” will discuss her new book “The Burgess Boys.”
The series has expanded Community Bookstore’s audience to include a more diverse crowd. Filgate says, “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.”
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.”
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