Chapter and Verse

This new series offers Sunday brunch and conversation as we hear from contemporary Jewish authors on relevant issues of today.

Meir Shalev 
My Wild Garden: An Exclusive Preview

Sunday, Jan 27, 2019 | 10:30 AM | at the Merfish Teen Center

Meir Shalev

In his most recent work, renowned Israeli author Meir Shalev writes about his Jezreel Valley garden with humor and affection. Here, where the politics of the Middle East is one of planters, ants and flowers, Shalev tells of the colors, fragrances and sounds that rise up from his garden and ruminates on the relationship between land and humanity. He also teaches a little literature, history, mythology and practical horticultural tips along the way.

An exclusive opportunity to hear about this best-selling nonfiction book, currently only available in Hebrew, before it is published in English next year. Meir Shalev is one of Israel’s most celebrated writers and has been the recipient of numerous distinguished book awards in Israel and abroad. He will be in Houston from January 26-30 as our visiting Literary Scholar-in-Residence.

$20 Member I $30 Public (includes brunch and lecture)
Online Registration Coming Soon!

Shachar M. Pinsker 
A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture

Sunday, Feb 10, 2019 | 10:30 AM

Shachar Pinsker

Unlike the synagogue, the community center, or the Jewish deli, the café is rarely considered a Jewish space. Yet, coffeehouses profoundly influenced the creation of modern Jewish culture from the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.

A Rich Brew explores the Jewish culture created in these social spaces, drawing on a vivid collection of newspaper articles, memoirs, archival documents, and photographs, as well as stories, novels, and poems in many languages set in cafés. Shachar M. Pinsker is an Associate Professor of Hebrew Literature and Culture at the University of Michigan.

Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz 
The Path of the Prophets: The Ethics Driven Life

Sunday, March 17, 2019 | 10:30 AM

Rabbi Barry Schwartz

Illuminating the ethical legacy of the biblical prophets, Path of the Prophets identifies the prophetic moment in the lives of 18 biblical figures and demonstrates their compelling relevance to us today. While the Bible almost exclusively names men as prophets, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz celebrates heroic, largely unknown biblical women such as Shiphrah, Tirzah, and Hannah.

Rabbi Schwartz is the director of The Jewish Publication Society and the spiritual leader of Congregation Adas Emuno in Leonia, New Jersey.

Ariel Burger 
Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

Sunday, Apr 14, 2019 | 10:30 AM

Ariel Burger

This profoundly hopeful, thought-provoking, and inspiring book takes us inside Elie Wiesel’s classroom. As Wiesel’s teaching assistant, Ariel Burger gives us a front-row seat witnessing these remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom.

Burger first met Wiesel at age fifteen. Witness chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over decades, as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey. Burger is a writer, artist, teacher and rabbi.

Patron Sponsor: Leah Stolar

Jewish Book Council

Online Registration Coming Soon!

Looking for more author talks? Be sure to check out our Afterword series of upcoming author visits. 

All programs will take place at the Merfish Teen Center | 9000 S. Rice. For more information, please contact Rabbi Samantha Safran at or 713.595.8183.