Candlelight Conversations Guests

Candlelight Conversations 2017
Guest Biographies

This year's Candlelight Conversations offers the Adat Shalom community the choice of 12 intimate dinners at the homes of fellow congregants featuring distinguished guests and lively conversation. This is a fundraiser for Adat Shalom. The ticket price is $125 per person ($25 couvert). $100 of the ticket price is tax deductible.

When making your reservation you MUST select four DIFFERENT choices (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) and the committee will make every effort to place you at one of those dinners. Space is limited and seating is first come first serve. If none of your choices is available, we will do our best to find a suitable alternative. 

If you are not comfortable making your reservations online, please contact Sarah Wesson in the synagogue office at 301-767-3333 and she will assist you. 



The Power of Song
with Eleanor Epstein
EleanorEpsteinEleanor Epstein, director and founder of the Zemer Chai Jewish Choir, is widely acknowledged as a master teacher and gifted choral conductor. She grew up in a family steeped in Jewish learning and song – the heart of her work today. Known for inspiring singers to connect deeply to both music and text, Eleanor works internationally as a guest conductor and artist-in-residence. She has collaborated and consulted with congregations, cantors and choirs, including The North American Jewish Choral Festival, Hebrew Union College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary. A student of acclaimed American composer Alice Parker, Eleanor is committed to the preservation of Jewish folk melodies. Her choral settings of Jewish folk songs are performed throughout the world.
At the home of Carol and Jack Feder, Potomac, MD
HandAccWeb Walker or cane accessible (with assistance). Not wheelchair accessible.

Syria and Beyond: A Jewish Response to Today’s Refugees
with Mark Hetfield
MarkHetfieldMark Hetfield is CEO of HIAS. He has had a 25-year career in refugee and immigration law, policy, and programs and has led HIAS’ transformation from an organization focused on Jewish immigrants to a global agency assisting refugees of all faiths and ethnicities. Mark began his career as a HIAS caseworker in Rome, Italy assisting Jewish refugee applicants from the Soviet Union and later rejoined the agency in several other executive roles. Between his roles at HIAS, Mark served at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate and holds a JD degree from the same institution.
At the home of Isabel and Ted Berman, Rockville, MD
HandAccWeb There are four steps leading to the front door.

The Role of Public Education in Supporting American Democracy
with Richard Kahlenberg
RichardKahlenbergRichard D. Kahlenberg is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation with expertise in education, civil rights, and equal opportunity. Kahlenberg has been called “the intellectual father of the economic integration movement” in K-12 schooling and “arguably the nation’s chief proponent of class-based affirmative action in higher education admissions.” He is also an authority on teachers’ unions, private school vouchers, charter schools, turnaround school efforts, labor organizing and inequality in higher education.
At the home of Judy Veis & Andy Gavil, Bethesda, MD
handAcc2 There are three steps to the front porch.

Is America’s World Role Still Indispensable?

with Robert Lieber
RobertLieberRobert J. Lieber is Professor of Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University, where he currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Center for Jewish Civilization. His latest book is Retreat and Its Consequences: American Foreign Policy and the Problem of World Order. He is author or editor of sixteen books on international relations and U.S. foreign policy and has been an advisor to presidential campaigns, to the State Department, and to the drafters of U.S. National Intelligence Estimates. His articles have appeared in leading scholarly journals, and his media appearances have included the PBS NewsHour, ABC, NBC, CBS, and NPR networks, and many programs overseas.
At the home of Adriana Kugler & Ignacio Donoso, Bethesda, MD
handAcc2 Guests can be dropped near the front of the house. There are four small steps to the front door.

News Literacy: Teaching How to Sort Fact from Fiction in the Digital Age
with Alan Miller
AlanCMillerAlan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the president and founding CEO of the News Literacy Project. He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times for 21 years, including 14 years as a member of the Washington bureau’s investigative team. He received more than a dozen national reporting honors, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. He also worked as a reporter at newspapers in Albany, N.Y. and in Hackensack, N.J. A Bethesda resident, he is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and received a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Hawaii.
At the home of Michael Gottlieb, Washington, DC
handAcc2 The home is an "English Basement" condo. There are six steps down to the front door. 

Just Like You Only More So: A Rabbi and Politicians
with Rabbi Jack Moline
RJackMolineJack Moline is President of Interfaith Alliance. In a career spanning four decades, he has established himself as a powerful voice fighting for religious freedom for all Americans. As a rabbi, he has worked to create common ground between people of diverse religious and secular backgrounds. He has led efforts to secure services for the disabled, increase the supply of affordable housing, promote marriage equality, ensure pay equity and protect civil rights. A native of Chicago, he is Rabbi Emeritus of Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. Rabbi Moline is an adjunct faculty member of the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Virginia Theological Seminary.
At the home of Rabbi Sid Schwarz and Sandy Perlstein, Rockville, MD
handAcc2 There are five steps on three levels (15 steps) to enter the house. The driveway is slightly steep. There are two steps to the bathroom.

The Environment: Health or Economics?
with Richard Morgenstern and Devra Lee Davis
RMorgenstern DLDavisRichard Morgenstern is a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future and a former Senior Executive at the EPA, where he directed the Agency' Policy Office for more than a decade. He also served in the Department of State and the Congressional Budget Office. Early in his career he was a professor of economics at the City University of New York. His research focuses on the evaluation of the costs, benefits, design, and performance of environmental policies and regulations in the U.S. and other nations. He is especially interested in economic incentive measures for addressing climate change such as carbon pricing programs.

Dr. Devra Davis founded the Environmental Health Trust in 2007 to provide basic research, education, and policy proposals. She is currently Visiting Professor at medical schools in Israel and Turkey and has lectured widely in the US and internationally. Dr. Davis has also served at the U.S. National Research Council and at the Department of Health and Human Services. She has worked with many international health organizations. Her many awards and honors include being a National Book Award Finalist for her 2002 book When Smoke Ran Like Water. Her most recent book, Disconnect, is concerned with cell phone radiation. Dr. Davis is an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh and holds graduate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Chicago, and the Johns Hopkins University.
At the home of Carol Bloomberg and Bob Lubran, Bethesda, MD
handAcc2 There is one step at the entrance to the house. The first floor is accessible, but one room has a step down.

Dramatic Journeys: Voices from the Middle East and Beyond
with Ari Roth and Jennifer Nelson
ARoth JNelsonProducer, playwright, dramaturg, and educator, Ari founded Mosaic Theater Company in 2014 after serving as Artistic Director of Theater J for 18 years where he produced 129 productions, including 44 world premieres, and created the annual festivals “Voices From a Changing Middle East” and “Locally Grown: Community Supported Art” alongside forums like the Peace Café. As a playwright, his work includes The Born Guilty Cycle, commissioned and produced by Arena Stage, and over 50 productions across the country. He is a two-time recipient of the Avery Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan where he has taught since 1988, as well as for Brandeis, NYU, and Carnegie Mellon Universities.

Jennifer is a theater professional committed to human dignity, justice, and compassion. Currently the Resident Director at Mosaic Theater Company of DC and Senior Advisor for Programming at Ford's Theatre, she has over 40 years of experience as an actor, playwright, administrator, professor, and director. She also served two terms as president of the League of Washington Theaters. She has directed productions at the Mosaic Theater Company, Ford’s Theatre, Round House, Woolly Mammoth, Theater of the First Amendment, Theater J, and more. As a playwright, Nelson won the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for her play, Torn From the Headlines. She has taught at UCLA, George Washington University, American University, and most recently Georgetown University.
At the home of Victor Katz and Melissa Crow, North Potomac, Maryland
handAcc2 There are three steps to the porch (with handrails). There is one small step into the house from the porch.

Manifesting Women’s Economic Independence Through Education:
A New Business Model
with Karen Sherman
KarenShermanKaren Sherman is the Executive Director of the Akilah Institute for Women. Throughout her 30 year career, she has worked to affect lasting change for women in conflict-affected countries. Prior to joining Akilah, Karen served in leadership roles at Women for Women International (WfWi), an organization that enables women war survivors to restart their lives. Previously, Karen served as the EVP at Counterpart International, working to promote and strengthen small businesses and women’s entrepreneurship. She is a thought leader and spokesperson on global women’s issues. Karen holds degrees from The George Washington University and from the University of Oregon.
At the home of Marla Cohen and Salvador Mandry, Rockville, MD
handAcc2 Please call Marla for wheelchair access. The building has stairs in the lobby, but an elevator to the party room.


SOLD OUT! Seats are no longer available for these guests

A Republican “Never Trump”er’s Reflections on the Next Four Years 
with William Kristol
WilliamKristolWilliam Kristol is the editor at large of The Weekly Standard and appears regularly on leading political commentary shows at ABC and elsewhere. Before starting The Weekly Standard in 1995, Mr. Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Prior to that, Mr. Kristol served as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle and to Education Secretary William Bennett. Before coming to Washington in 1985, Mr. Kristol was on the faculty of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the University of Pennsylvania. 

Making Sense of the White Working-Class Vote in 2016
with Sherry Linkon and John Russo
SLinkon JRussoSherry Lee Linkon and John Russo co-directed the Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University for 17 years. Together, they wrote two books, Steeltown U.S.A.: Work and Memory in Youngstown, now in its eighth printing, and Reading Work: An Online Resource on Critical Reading and the Meaning of Work (on-line textbook), and also co-edited a collection of essays, New Working-Class Studies. Sherry is a Professor of English and Director of the Writing Program at Georgetown University. She has recently completed a book analyzing contemporary American literature that addresses the long-range effects of deindustrialization. John is a visiting scholar at Georgetown’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. He is professor emeritus at Youngstown State University where he served as the Coordinator of the Labor Studies Program. He has written widely on labor, class, and community issues. At YSU, John was one of just two professors ever to have won distinguished professor awards in all four categories: scholarship, teaching, university service, and community service. Together, John and Sherry were also the first recipients of the Working-Class Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Iran Wars: 
Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals that Reshaped the Middle East 
with Jay Solomon
JaySolomonFor nearly two decades, Jay Solomon has written from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, including stints in Jakarta, Seoul, New Delhi, and Washington. The Wall Street Journal has nominated him for three Pulitzer Prizes. 
At the home of Gail Ross and Peter Haas, Washington, DC