In his Jewish Museum of Maryland talk, Michael Olesker will take a look at 1950s Baltimore – an era he believes ended on Nov. 22, 1963, with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, an event whose 50th anniversary the country recently marked. The talk will focus on Baltimore’s Jewish community, and those whose lives touched the entire country – including Barry Levinson, Kenny Waissman, Jerry Leiber, attorney Leonard Kerpelman who took Madalyn Murray’s crusade against prayer in public schools all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Joann Rodgers, whose insights on sexuality in the post-war years is part of “Front Stoops in the Fifties.”
It is Olesker’s sixth book, following a 40-year career in journalism in which he wrote award-winning columns for the Baltimore Sun and delivered nightly commentaries for WJZ’s Eyewitness News. Among Olesker’s other books is “Leap Into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe,” a holocaust memoir written with survivor Leo Bretholz. That book has now been published in numerous countries around the world.