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Speaking

Marjorie has done speeches, presentations, chats, and Q&As all around the USA and abroad. An eight-city Jewish Book Council tour, appearances in 14 other cities, and six conversation sessions in the UK followed the publication of her book Mamaleh Knows Best. Marjorie covered children’s literature for the Forward and Tablet for 13 years, and currently does so for the NYT Book Review and other outlets. A proven and entertaining speaker, she has developed several tried-and-true speeches for diverse audiences:

The Hardest Word: Why good apologies are so rare and what we can do about it

Marjorie is the co-author, with New York Times-bestselling author Susan McCarthy, of Sorry Sorry Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, January 10, 2023). In a funny yet deeply researched presentation, she’ll discuss why it’s so hard to apologize well, how we apologize better ourselves and elicit better apologies from those who’ve wronged us, and/or how to teach children to apologize. On the popular watchdog site SorryWatch.com, Marjorie and Susan have been analyzing apologies and the science and literature of apology since 2012; they have created a 6.5-step plan for apologizing perfectly. 

“He had a hat!” Jewish mother jokes and the making of Jewish-American comedy

We all know the Jewish Mother of cliche: She’s hectoring, guilt-inducing, clingy as a limpet. In this program, Mamaleh Knows Best writer Marjorie Ingall smashes this tired trope with a (metaphorical) hammer, showing that the stereotype is a cultural construct created by male writers and comedians and that Jewish mothers are, in fact, awesome. But where did the stereotype come from? What does it say about contemporary Jewish life, acculturation, and shifting perspectives on gender and class?  And what happens when Jewish women are the ones telling the jokes? 

How to raise a geek…and why you should want to

A geek is someone with profound, uncool passions. (A geek used to be someone who bit the heads off chickens. We are not using that definition.) To be a geek is to be self-aware, to put creativity ahead of popularity, to devote energy to something and willing to put in the work to learn about it. Geekery means tapping into the power of being an outsider and gaining a sense of perspective about the wider world. And for better and for worse, geekery is a huge boon in today’s competitive world of college admissions.

How family storytelling can help your family become closer, smarter, and funnier Storytelling is an important aspect of literacy as well as a tool for interpersonal and intrapersonal communication and understanding. It can also be a way to share your family’s history and values, and to introduce children to family members they never had the privilege of meeting. 

We’re more than just the Holocaust: Great, diverse Jewish children’s books

So many Holocaust books for kids are, in a word, terrible. Historically inaccurate, torture porn-y, trivializing, full of misleading happy endings. Marjorie believes that in fewer, not more, children’s books about the Holocaust…yes, even as antisemitism rises around the world. There’s a universe of beautifully written, diverse, quirky, joyful Jewish children’s and young adult literature out there…and exploring these stories is hugely beneficial for both Jewish and non-Jewish kids. We’ll discuss how Jewish children’s literature can and should fit into the movement toward increasely diverse kidlit. 

Children’s books about death: The good, the bad, and hideous 

Whether it’s after a local, national or international tragedy or after the loss of a pet, friend, or beloved relative, children deserve honest discussion about death and loss. Marjorie will introduce participants to recent high-quality literature, for different age groups, that addresses death, and will lead a discussion on how to discuss loss with kids.  

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