The Golem of Brooklyn with Adam Mansbach: JCA Author Engagement Series

Feb 06, 2024 7:00PM—8:00PM


Virtual event

Cost Free

Event Contact Ilana Gilg | Email

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Please join the Young Jewish Professionals group on February 6th from 4-6 PM at Portland Pottery for a 2- hour ceramics workshop prior to the author talk! We will learn how to throw a pot (or perhaps a golem!) on a ceramics wheel and then we’ll carpool to the JCA for some food and to watch the virtual author talk as a community. Portland Pottery will fire your work in a kiln afterwards and it will be ready to be picked up and taken home 2 weeks after the event. Your pots will be food, dishwasher and microwave safe. Fee to participate in the ceramics workshop is $15 per person. Admission to the virtual author talk is free. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the JCA, courtesy of our friends at Longfellow Books.

The dazzlingly imaginative, ferociously funny story of an art teacher, a bodega clerk, and a five-thousand-year-old clay crisis monster, from the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep.

“A devastating romp through history, a bonkers road trip through America, this novel could not be any funnier—or any more important.”—W. Kamau Bell

In Ashkenazi Jewish folklore, a golem is a humanoid being created out of mud or clay and animated through secret prayers. Its sole purpose is to defend the Jewish people against the immediate threat of violence. It is always a rabbi who makes a golem, and always in a time of crisis. But Len Bronstein is no rabbi—he’s a Brooklyn art teacher who steals a large quantity of clay from his school, gets extremely stoned, and manages to bring his creation to life despite knowing little about Judaism and even less about golems. Unable to communicate with his nine-foot-six, four hundred-pound, Yiddish-speaking guest, Len enlists a bodega clerk and ex-Hasid named Miri Apfelbaum to translate.

Eventually, The Golem learns English by binge-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm after ingesting a massive amount of LSD and reveals that he is a creature with an ancestral memory; he recalls every previous iteration of himself, making The Golem a repository of Jewish history and trauma. He demands to know what crisis has prompted his re-creation and whom must he destroy. When Miri shows him a video of white nationalists marching and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the answer becomes clear.

The Golem of Brooklyn is an epic romp through Jewish history and the American present that wrestles with the deepest questions of our humanity—the conflicts between faith and skepticism, tribalism and interdependence, and vengeance and healing.

Adam Mansbach is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep, as well as the novels Rage Is BackThe End of the Jews (winner of the California Book Award), and Angry Black White Boy, and the memoir-in-verse I Had a Brother Once. With Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel, he co-authored For This We Left Egypt? and the bestselling A Field Guide to the Jewish People. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Believer, and The Guardian.

Advance registration required by February 4th in order to receive the Zoom link

At the JCA, the security of our community is our highest priority. We review our safety procedures and policies actively, working closely with local and national law enforcement, as well as with Secure Communities Network, a Federation-Funded initiative that brings security expertise to Jewish organizations nationwide. When you come to the JCA, you may be asked to show your ID, or to register in advance for some programs. Under certain circumstances, all bags coming into our building may be subject to search, or we may ask people to return bags to their vehicles. These measures are necessary to ensure safety of all participants, and we thank you for your understanding.

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