Celebrated Israeli Author Visits Houston as Literary Scholar-in-Residence
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

From January 27-30, celebrated Israeli author Meir Shalev will visit Houston as the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC’s Literary Scholar-in-Residence. During his time in Houston, Shalev will offer several lectures on love in the Bible, as well as an exclusive sneak preview into his latest work My Wild Garden, currently being translated into English. 

Shalev has written eight novels, two books of biblical study, a dozen books for children, and more. His works have been translated into over 20 languages and have been best sellers around the world.  

The Literary Scholar-in-Residence program will open on Sunday morning, January 27 with brunch and conversation around Shalev’s latest publication, My Wild Garden. Not yet available in English, this nonfiction book is a personal reflection on Shalev’s newfound hobby of tending his Jezreel Valley garden. There, 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 as he ruminates on the relationship between land and humanity. Along the way he incorporates literature, history, and mythology to take the audience on a fascinating journey and provide an exclusive glimpse into this magical new book. 

On Monday evening, January 28 and Wednesday evening, January 30, Shalev will give a two-part lecture entitled First Loves in the Bible. He will offer a close reading of the biblical relationships of the Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs, and in so doing will illuminate the concept of love in these ancient texts. On Tuesday afternoon, January 29, Shalev will visit the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University to talk about The Book of Ruth. And on Tuesday evening, the Israeli-American Council is organizing a lecture in Hebrew entitled A Love Story with the Hebrew Language. 

In addition to being a world-renowned author, Shalev is a columnist for the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot. His honors include the National Jewish Book Award and the Brenner Prize, one of Israel’s top literary awards. He has also been named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He currently resides in the Galilee, in Israel. 

Rabbi Samantha Safran, organizer of the J’s upcoming Literary Scholar in Residence, said “Shalev is one of the most relevant and impactful Jewish authors living today, and we are absolutely thrilled that he will bring his humor, wit and wisdom to our Houston community.” 

This program is made possible in part by the Program in Jewish Studies at Rice University, the Israeli-American Council, and the generosity of private donors.

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