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Thu, Sep 01


Online via Zoom


Author event with Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Sponsored by Contra Costa JCC, Cong. B'nai Shalom and Jewish Book Council. Co-sponsor: Diablo Valley Hadassah.

Registration is now closed.

Time & Location

Sep 01, 2022, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM PDT

Online via Zoom

About the Event

“Secrets are costly—heavy weights to carry around. In Shanda, Letty Cottin Pogrebin takes aim at shame, the factory where the costliest secrets are made. She dismantles the machinery of shame, and she does it with stories that are vivid, emotional, and unforgettable.”  --Alan Alda, actor and director

“The richness of Pogrebin’s stories, the complexity and beauty of her storytelling, and her devastatingly honest soul-baring make Shanda a powerfully stunning piece of life and art.” —Mayim Bialik, actor, author, neuroscientist, and co-host of Jeopardy

The word “shanda” is defined as shame or disgrace in Yiddish. This book, Shanda, tells the story of three generations of complicated, intense 20th-century Jews for whom the desire to fit in and the fear of public humiliation either drove their aspirations or crushed their spirit.

In her deeply engaging, astonishingly candid memoir, author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin exposes the fiercely-guarded lies and intricate cover-ups woven by dozens of members of her extended family. Beginning with her own long-suppressed secret, the story spirals through the hidden lives of her parents and relatives—revealing the truth about their origins, personal traumas, marital misery, abandoned children, religious transgressions, sexual identity, radical politics, and supposedly embarrassing illnesses. While unmasking their charades and disguises, Pogrebin also showcases her family’s remarkable talent for reinvention in a narrative that is, by turns, touching, searing, and surprisingly universal.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founder of Ms. magazine, is a nationally acclaimed writer, activist, and public speaker. The author of twelve books, her articles and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications, including The New York Times, The Nation, and Huffington Post. She is a co-founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Ms. Foundation for Women; a past president of the Authors Guild and Americans for Peace Now; and has served on the board of the Harvard Divinity School, Women in Religion Program and the Brandeis University Women’s Gender Studies Program. Among her many honors is a Yale University Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, and an Emmy Award for her work as consulting editor on the TV version of  Marla Thomas’ Free to Be, You and Me.

You may preorder Shanda by Letty Cottin Pogrebin from:

Admission is free.  Upon registration, you will first receive a confirmation email. An hour before the program begins, we will email the Zoom link you need to join the event. If you don't see these emails, please check your spam/junk folder to retrieve them. We suggest you add"" to your contacts list as well.

Sponsored by Contra Costa JCC, Cong. B'nai Shalom and Jewish Book Council. Co-sponsor: Diablo Valley Hadassah.


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