Fall 2016/Winter 2017
September 14 - First amendment specialist Professor Ron Collins is the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. He clerked for Justice Hans Linde on the Oregon Supreme Court, was a Supreme Court Fellow under Chief Justice Warren Burger and a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School. Ron is the editor of The Fundamental Holmes: A Free Speech Chronicle and Reader, the co-author of We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free: Stories About Free Speech among others. He was selected as a Norman Mailer Fellow in fiction writing, is the book editor for SCOTUSblog and received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Washington Law Review. Read more by clicking here.
September 21 - Why are cybersecurity threats continuing and what can be done about them? Charlie Mitchell, former editor-in-chief of Capitol Hill's Roll Call, is the editor and co-founder of Inside Cybersecurity, an independent, premium news service that goes inside Congress, the White House, the corporate boardrooms and security command centers to explain cyber policy making. His book, HACKED, reveals the innovative, occasionally brilliant, occasionally hapless government and industry response when lawmakers in Congress were becoming increasingly alarmed. A series of high-profile breaches were piling up: Target, Home Depot, key Department of Homeland Security contractor, the Postal Service, health insurers and Sony Pictures. The question: Are our leaders, political and business structures able to successfully respond to the key security challenge of the 21st century? Learn more at by clicking here.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)
September 28 - Eleanor Clift is a distinguished nationally-known political reporter, commentator, and author. She began her career as a secretary at Newsweek, and was one of the first female reporters to move up from the secretarial pool. She has covered every Presidential campaign since 1976. She currently is a correspondent for the Daily Beast, an online publication where she covers the White House and writes about politics and culture. She regularly comments on politics for MSNBC and is a regular panelist on the nationally-syndicated program The McLaughlin Group. She has authored several books, including Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics. She has appeared as herself in several movies, including Dave, Independence Day, Rising Sun, Murder at 1600 and in the CBS series Murphy Brown. Visit Eleanor Clift's web site by clicking here.
October 5 - Multiple award-winner Claudia Kalb is a journalist and author who specializes in the fields of medicine, mental health and science. A former senior writer for Newsweek, Claudia has written features and cover stories on subjects ranging from stem cells and genetic testing to the origins of autism and the biological underpinnings of emotional memory. Her articles also have appeared in Smithsonian, Scientific American and numerous other publications. Her recent book, Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities, explores the challenges and triumphs of 12 historical icons and was on the New York Times Bestseller list in three categories: culture, celebrities and health. Claudia has appeared as a guest on national television and radio programs and frequently has spoken at professional and educational forums. She is passionate about innovative, informative and compelling storytelling and is known for combining in-depth and serious reporting with engaging, accessible writing. Learn more by visiting Claudia Kalb's web site.
October 12 - No Meeting
October 19 - Janet Bodnar is the Editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, one of the most trustworthy sources of information available today on savings and investments, taxes, money management, home ownership and many other personal finance topics. She is a nationally recognized expert in the field of children's and family finances and financial literacy and the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. Janet is a regular contributor to WTOP and Fox Morning News and received a master's degree from Columbia University, where she also was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.
October 26 - Dr. Ashley Templer is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and Certified Manual Therapist. Ashley trained as a student dancer at The Washington School of Ballet and now enjoys her role working with the performing arts medical team at TWB and local theaters. She is the Clinical Director of an integrated clinical staff of physical therapists, fitness trainers, Pilates instructors, massage therapists, and licensed professional counselors at Body Dynamics, Inc. in Falls Church, VA, where services focus on the four cornerstones of health: movement quality, fitness, disease risk and stress reduction. Read more by visiting the Body Dynamics Inc. web site.
November 2 - For more than forty years, Sid Davis has written and lectured on the media, the presidency, politics and current issues in the news as a reporter, White House Correspondent and news executive. Sid was in the presidential motorcade and heard the gunshots. He was one of the three reporters to witness the swearing in of Vice President Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One following JFK's assassination. Sid has served as Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News, White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief of Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., guest scholar at the Brookings Institute studying the media and Program Director of the Voice of America. Read more by clicking here.
November 9 - Attorney Maria Leonard Olsen is a biracial woman whose parents were forbidden by law to marry in their home state of Maryland in the early 1960s. She served in the Clinton Administration's Justice Department, fostered newborn babies awaiting adoption and on numerous charitable boards. She has written for the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Bethesda Magazine, Parenting, authored books including Mommy, Why's Your Skin So Brown?, Not the Cleaver Family and hosts "Inside Out" on WPFW, fm 89.3. Learn more about Maria by clicking here.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)
November 16 - Rob (Roberta) Valente is Chief Officer for Government Affairs for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with specialized interests in firearms, federal and domestic violence laws, tribal issues and interventions. She will talk about their youth dating helpline, Loveisrespect, share who is calling them, what they are looking for and how the hotline provides help. Serving as one of the lead national coordinators of legislative work to reauthorize the Violence Against Women, Rob was also Attorney Advisor to the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women and as the founding Director of the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. Visit www.TheHotline.org to read more.
November 23 - Monica Bhide is an award-winning writer, accomplished literary coach, poet, storyteller and educator with universal appeal. As a bestselling fiction and internationally-renowned cookbook author, she is known for sharing food, culture, mystery and love in her writing and departs from the recipe stereotype of complicated meals that take hours to prepare! Having roots and experience in many places, Bhide inspires readers everywhere with present day stories which transcend cultural, chronological, geographical, economic and religious borders. Visit Monica's web site.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)
November 30 - An expert in refugee and immigration law, policy, and programs, Mark Hetfield has led the HIAS organization's (founded in 1881) transformation from one focused on Jewish immigrants to a global agency assisting refugees of all faiths and ethnicities. HIAS is currently a major implementing partner of the UN Refugee Agency and the Department of State. Mark formerly served as senior advisor at the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he directed a congressionally-authorized study on the treatment of asylum seekers (the most comprehensive study on expedited removal to date). He also adjudicated appeals at the Immigration and Naturalization Service and was posted to the US Embassy in Haiti, during a time in which the country was under the control of the military junta. Visit the web site of HIAS.
December 7 - Writing is not her first gig. Michelle Brafman has also worked as a coffee barista, radio advertising salesperson, filmmaker and more. Although her resume reads like a ransom note, this assortment of life experiences propelled her toward her big passion: the coaxing and telling of stories. Her short fiction has earned a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and her essays and stories have appeared in Slate, The Washington Post, Tablet, Lilith Magazine, the Minnesota Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Her debut novel, Washing the Dead, and second book, Bertrand Court have been extremely well-received. Michelle also helps others tune their narrative voices by teaching creative writing at Johns Hopkins, GWU and her writing coaching business, Yeah Write. Visit Michelle Brafman's web site.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)
December 14 - It's holiday time! Ever wonder why you can't buy liquor at Montgomery County supermarkets? Or why 21 is the legal consumption age? Former Montgomery County License Commissioner, Fred Silverman, will explain how the Board of License Commissioners (a regulatory body), the County’s Department of Liquor Control (alcohol operations), crazy history, conflicting attitudes, capitalism, the US Constitution and local government all go into the blender that produces today’s larger issues of alcohol use, abuse, money and infrastructure.
December 21 -Steven Friedman is a trained classical tenor and an internationally recognized historian of Broadway musicals. He has performed in venues including the Kennedy Center, and has studied with leading teachers nationally, including divas of the Metropolitan Opera. He is an adjunct faculty member at two colleges where he teaches a variety of classes in musical theatre and he is a frequent lecturer on cruise lines worldwide where he provides intriguing background about musical theater. His recent book, The Ultimate Broadway Musical List Book, considers the history of the Broadway musical from the unique perspective of the bests and worsts of various eras, the groundbreaking shows and forgotten gems.
December 28 - No Lecture. Happy Holidays!
January 4 - Aviva Goldfarb treasures family dinner, but like many busy moms, she struggled to put a nutritious dinner on the table amidst the chaos of daily life. That led to her creating The Six O'Clock Scramble, an online dinner planning solution for busy parents. She is a Washington Post and TODAY Show contributor, author, and has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Working Mother and Prevention. Aviva has also worked with national corporations to bring healthy meal solutions to their employees and customers, to reduce stress and improve health, including: GE Novartis, Bright Horizons, Lockheed Martin, PayPal and McNeil. Her newest cookbook is The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes. Visit Aviva's web site for more information.
Book signing event (Cash, check and credit cards accepted.)
January 11 - Our nation's capital is filled with famous gardens, such as Dumbarton Oaks, and little-known gems, such as Meadowlark Gardens. There are also small community gardens and spectacular celebrations like the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Barbara Glickman describes these gems in Capital Splendor, including helpful information when touring as well as for identifying each garden's special features. Her glorious essays are accompanied by a series of photographs by renowned photographer Valerie Brown.
January 18 - Mathematician Scott Lambros has worked for NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center since 1980. He has worked on several different projects, including Earth Observing Satellites as well as Astronomy missions. Scott has received several awards for various projects culminating in the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal. He is currently the Instrument Systems Manager on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is the topic of his talk. JWST is an international cooperative effort with the European and Canadian Space Agencies, and is the successor to the Hubble Telescope to be launched in 2018. Scott will explain why it is even better than Hubble and why it is one of NASA’s top 3 priorities.
January 25 - Rabbi Elhanan “Sunny” Schnitzer is one of the few spiritual leaders in the country to hold a dual ordination as both Rabbi and Hazzan (Cantor). His first service was on September 12, 2001, a memorial service for the victims of the attacks of September 11. He serves as the Executive Director of the Cuba America Jewish Mission and is a leader in rebuilding the Jewish community on the island. Rabbi Sunny is also active in interfaith work and is active with the Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society of Montgomery County and is a member of Rabbis for Human Rights. He also is the first rabbi to worship with, and address, the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly and is deeply engaged in dialogue with PCUSA in its approach to Israel-Palestinian relations. Read more by clicking here.
February 1 - Their mission is to end poverty. Dr. Mark Bergel, is the Executive Director of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2001. He has led the organization’s growth from its early years operating out of his own living room to its current 25,000 square-foot facility and its status as a primary source of support for more than 20,000 individuals per year. The organization provides basic need items to families transitioning out of shelters, furnishing the homes of more than 1,000 children and adults every single month, all free of charge. They also deliver intensive job preparedness training and educational workshops for people of all ages. Dr. Bergel’s efforts to end poverty have led to his selection for numerous awards recognizing individuals who have made incredible contributions in their communities. Visit A Wider Circle's web site.