Looking for a thought-provoking experience? Want to be part of a series that explores Jewish women's writing and hear firsthand from prominent authors? Want to learn about what it is like to be a Jewish woman living in Egypt, Iran, Shanghai?
A program of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, HBI Conversations is a national innovative book and author series that brings together Jewish women and authors to meet and discuss books dealing with Jewish and gender issues. At each of the meetings (number per year varies by location), you will hear from the author and have the opportunity to discuss her work. Started in 2001 in Palm Beach, Fla., the program has grown and there are currently 18 groups from Palm Beach to Montreal with over 500 women of all ages participating. Each group is limited to 35 people enabling an intimate conversation with each author.
What types of books are selected?
Both fiction and non-fiction books (memoirs, biographies) dealing with Jewish and gender issues are selected by each local group, based on recommendations from the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. Beginning in 2010, HBI became a member of the Jewish Book Council, thus providing access to authors with recently published books.
Where are the groups held?
HBI Conversations currently has programs in:
• Boston, MA
• Boston North Shore, MA
• Boca Raton, FL
• Baltimore, MD
• Bethesda, MD
• Chicago, IL
• Howard County, MD
• Montreal, Quebec, Canada
• New York City, NY
• Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, FL
• Stamford, CT
• Westchester, NY
What does it cost?
The cost for the three session programs varies from $150-$180 depending on location and includes the books, author honorariums and travel costs. The New York City program, in conjunction with the Brandeis Alumni House, provides lunch as part of the program.
How are the groups organized?
Each group has two local coordinators who are responsible for the recruitment of participants, book selection and meeting locations. Anyone can volunteer to be a coordinator. A national conversations coordinator oversees the management of the program, providing guidance on book selection, recruitment strategies and other issues. A national conversations administrator handles author bookings, travel arrangements and honorariums, book orders and registrations. Each local coordinator participates in periodic conference calls and meetings with the national coordinator and Conversations staff.
How do I join?
Please contact the national director of HBI Conversations Melissa Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
If you would like to bring HBI Conversations to your area by serving as a group chair or have general questions about the program, please contact Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at email@example.com or 781-736-2126.