The last book group meeting of the season is Thursday, August 16!
Beth Jacob's Contemporary Jewish Fiction, Memoir and History Reading Group meets bi-monthly at the synagogue on Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 — Their Promised Land by Ian Buruma (Highly recommended by Michele Clark)
Buruma is a noted historian who discovered a cache of his Jewish British grandparents’ letters. Precious few books take readers inside a good marriage. In Their Promised Land, Buruma has done just that; introducing us to a couple whose love was sustaining through the darkest hours of the century.
Thursday, December 21, 2017 (Third night of Chanukah) — Henna House by Nomi Eve
A novel about Yemenite Jews.
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.
Thursday, February 15, 2018 — The Eichmann Trial by Deborah Lipstad (Highly recommended by Michele Clark. “Totally gripping.” )
Award-winning historian Deborah E. Lipstadt gives us an overview of the trial and analyzes the dramatic effect that the survivors’ courtroom testimony—which was itself not without controversy—had on a world that had until then regularly commemorated the Holocaust but never fully understood what the millions who died and the hundreds of thousands who managed to survive had actually experienced.
Thursday, April 19, 2018 — Aleppo Tales by Haim Sabato
In this anthology, the central novella, 'The Wheel Turns Full Circle' relates the history of a family spanning a century; 'Broken Tablets' is an elegy to a generation of Jewish scholars who emigrated to Israel in the 1950s; and 'Truth Shall Spring From the Earth' explores the mystery of a rare manuscript.
Thursday, June 14, 2018 — Stranger In My Own Country by Yascha Moun
As a Jew in postwar Germany, Yascha Mounk felt like a foreigner in his own country. When he mentioned that he is Jewish, some made anti-Semitic jokes or talked about the superiority of the Aryan race. Others, sincerely hoping to atone for the country's past, fawned over him with a forced friendliness he found just as alienating. Vivid and fascinating, Stranger in My Own Country traces the contours of Jewish life in a country still struggling with the legacy of the Third Reich and portrays those who, inevitably, continue to live in its shadow. Marshaling an extraordinary range of material into a lively narrative.
Thursday, August 16, 2018 — On All Other Nights by Dara Horn
Dara Horn is always included in Jewish periodicals as one of the important young Jewish writers. This novel takes place during the Civil War. For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union Army, it is a question his commanders have answered for him: on Passover, 1862, he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. After this harrowing mission, Jacob is recruited to pursue another enemy agent―this time not to murder the spy, but to marry her. Based on real historical figures, this eagerly awaited novel from award-winning author Dara Horn delivers multilayered, page-turning storytelling at its best.