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Mequon Torah Center
Invites you to join us for four extraordinary

Fireside Chats  at the Peltz Center for Jewish Life. 

Wednesday June 16, 7:30pm
Author M. Evan Wolkenstein -  What's Jewish about Turtle Boy: A young adult novel paints a picture about local Jewish life.

"Turtle Boy is a marvelous coming-of-age story . . . about bravery and the redemptive power of friendship. A perfect summer read." —Kveller
Turtle Boy, winner of the 2021 Sydney Taylor Prize for Jewish fiction, is written by M. Evan Wolkenstein. The book is especially close to home because Evan grew up here in Mequon, and many scenes in the book are set in the "Back 40" — the little strip of land between the Shul and Lake Shore Middle school! The book has themes of memory, of learning to love and let go, self acceptance... and it has a ton of Jewish content. Join Evan for a bit of the book's origin story, reflections on writing Jewish literature for a general audience, a dramatic reading, and Q & A.

Wednesday June 30, 7:30pm
Professor Dovid Yehuda (Tom) Imbo - From the Chicago Ghetto, to Quantum Physics, to Judaism.

Dovid Yehuda Imbo was born and raised on the Near West Side of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988, and did his postdoctoral work at Harvard University as a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows. He has been a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 1992, where he is also the Director of the newly formed "Laboratory for Quantum Theory at the Extremes". His research focuses on the connections between quantum physics, pure mathematics, formal logic, and pure philosophy. He converted to Judaism in March 2017.

Hear the fascinating journey of theoretical physicist Dovid Yehuda Imbo as he went from the violent streets of the Near West Side of Chicago, to the halls of Harvard University, to the orthodox synagogues of West Rogers Park. And learn a little about the surprising connections between cutting-edge physics research and Chassidus along the way.

Wednesday July 7, 7:30pm
Author Liza Wiemer - The Assignment. What does it take for tolerance, justice, and love to prevail? An important look at a critical moment in history through a modern lens showcasing the power of student activism.

Liza Wiemer is an award-winning educator with over twenty years of teaching experience, including Hillel Academy and Jewish Beginnings. Her fourth book and second young adult novel, The Assignment, was published by Delacorte Press and has received several honors including being named a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Young Adult Novel. To date, The Assignment will also be published in Russia, Poland, Italy, and South Korea. In addition, Liza has had several short stories included in the New York Times bestselling Small Miracles series. She has had articles published in various newspapers and magazines, including for as well as a monthly children's literature column for the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Her greatest joy comes from her family, and is blessed to be married to Jim who shares Liza's gratitude to Hashem for their two sons, daughter-in-laws, and grandsons.

Wednesday July 14, 7:30pm
Professor Daniel Graupe - A Forgotten Chapter in Jewish History, Jewish Rule in Jerusalem in the Middle Ages.

Professor Daniel Graupe is Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Adjunct Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He was previously the Bodine Chair Professor and Distinguished Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He is Editor of the book series on Neural Networks at World Scientific Publishing Company and served as Associate Editor of several scientific journals, including Neurological Research, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, The International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering and the European Journal of Translational Myology. He authored several textbooks and research books in these fields, with translations into Russian, Serbo-Croatian and Chinese.

He has also authored a memoir recounting his experiences serving in the Israeli Air Force, particularly during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.