“Read It & Meet” Book Discussions

Books in stack

Do you have a favorite book you'd like to share … one by a Jewish author or with Jewish content? Our "Read It & Meet" Book Discussions are usually held once a month and are open to everyone! We discuss selected books and share our experiences, reactions, and ideas. Occasionally, we have an "author-in-residence" as a special guest.

Most book discussions take place Shabbat afternoons (exceptions are noted below) following Kiddush with the congregation (approximately 12:15pm). Moderators are needed to facilitate each book discussion. If you would like to suggest a book, act as a moderator, or would like more information, please contact Vicki Kaufman or Rayna Gellman.

Read ahead for future "Read It & Meet" Book Discussions


October 11, 2014

Visible City by Tova Mirvis

Rayna Gellman
November 1

Ten Green Bottles by Vivian Kaplan

Barbara Benjamin
December 6

A Guide for the Perplexed by Dara Horn

Rabbi Robert Eisen
January 10, 2015

Rebbe by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin 

Joni Belzer
February 7

The Family by David Laskin
In tracing the roots of his own family, Laskin captures the epic sweep of the 20th century. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is a deeply personal, dramatic, and emotional account of people caught in a cataclysmic time in world history. With cinematic power and beauty, Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the 20th century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations.

Phyllis Broad

March 7
(not held in April in observance of Passover)

An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Paris 1895: Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a crowd of 22,000. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counter-espionage agency that “proved” Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus, but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself.

Lily Brull
May 2

Henna House by Nomi Eve
This vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920. Adela Damari’s parents’ health is failing as they desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter, who is in danger of becoming adopted by the local Muslim community if she is orphaned. With no likely marriage prospects, Adela’s situation looks dire – until she meets two cousins from faraway cities: a boy with whom she shares her most treasured secret, and a girl who introduces her to the powerful rituals of henna. Ultimately, Adela’s life journey brings her old and new loves, her true calling, and a new life as she is transported to Israel as part of Operation On Wings of Eagles.
Rich, evocative, and enthralling, Henna House is an intimate family portrait interwoven with the traditions of the Yemenite Jews and the history of the Holocaust and Israel. This sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness – and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart – will captivate readers until the very last page.


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