“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.

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.


Oct. 3, 2015

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
A novel built around a series of real-life plane crashes in Blume's youth. Within 58 days in the winter of 1951-'52, three aircraft heading into or outbound from Newark Airport crashed in the neighboring town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, taking 116 lives. Blume, who was a teenager there at the time, has woven a story that mingles facts about the incidents and the victims with the imagined lives of several families of fictional characters. Fifteen-year-old Miri Ammerman lives with her single mother, Rusty, her grandmother Irene, and her uncle Henry, a young journalist who makes his reputation reporting on the tragedies for the Elizabeth Daily Post. In addition to the crashes, one of which she witnesses firsthand, Miri faces drama with her mom, her best friend, the adviser of her school newspaper, and her first real boyfriend, an Irish kid who lives in an orphanage. The book begins and ends with a commemorative gathering in 1987, giving us a peek at the characters' lives 35 year later.

Renee Rhyner
Nov. 7 Gertruda's Oath by Oren Ram
Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was just three-years-old when war broke out and the family lost everything. His father, desperate to settle his business affairs, travels to France, leaving Michael in the care of his mother and Gertruda Bablinska, a Catholic nanny devoted to the family. When Michael's mother has a stroke, Gertruda promises the dying woman that she will make her way to Palestine and raise him as her own son.
Phyllis Broad
Dec. 5 A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales by Ruth Calderon
Calderon rewrites talmudic tales as richly imagined fictions, drawing us into the lives of such characters as the woman who risks her life for a sister suspected of adultery; a humble schoolteacher who rescues his village from drought; and a wife who dresses as a prostitute to seduce her pious husband in their garden. Breathing new life into an ancient text, this book is a surprising and provocative read, both for anyone already intimate with the Talmud or for anyone interested in one of the most influential works of Jewish literature.
Rabbi Robert Eisen
Jan. 9, 2016 TBD TBD
Feb. 6 TBD TBD
Mar. 5 TBD TBD
Apr. 2 TBD TBD

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