Join us to discuss these fabulous new books! Until we can safely meet in person at Beth El on Shabbat afternoons, we will meet on Zoom during the week. Copies of the books are available in the Maxwell Abbell Library and from public libraries, as well as from local and online booksellers. For more information, email Rachel Kamin or call her at 847/926-7902.
Participants are encouraged to make a minimum donation of $54 to the Torah Fund Campaign. If you donate $180 or more you will receive the beautiful 5781 “B’Yachad” Torah Fund pin. Click here for more information on how to make your Torah Fund donation online, by mail, or by phone.
Thursday, October 14, 2021, 7:45pm on Zoom
Saturday, October 16, 2021, 12:30pm in-person discussion, after Shabbat Kiddush
House on Endless Waters by Emuna Elon
Join the Sisterhood Torah Fund Book Club to kick-off our 13th year with a discussion of this National Jewish Book Award Fiction Finalist, translated from Hebrew. Returning to his birthplace in Amsterdam, a successful Israeli writer uncovers heartbreaking secrets about his Dutch-Jewish family’s wartime experiences. Choose from one of two discussions, facilitated by Rachel Kamin.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 12:30pm on Zoom (discussion with the author)
Saturday, December 18, 2021, 12:30pm (in-person discussion)
Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann
This new novel takes the reader back in time to an event that changed the course of human history, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple. A thrilling saga of family, faith and forbidden love, it blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all odds. Author Lori Banov Kaufmann and Dr. Jonathan Price, Professor of Ancient History at Tel Aviv University, will discuss the book and share details of their 10-year collaboration on Tuesday, December 14.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 7:00pm on Zoom (meet the author followed by book discussion at 7:45pm after evening Minyan)
Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin
When Pru Steiner met and married Spence Robin, her dazzling young hotshot English professor at Columbia, she thought she knew what she was signing up for. But thirty years later, when Spence develops early-onset Alzheimer’s, the peaceful life Pru built for herself begins to crumble. Meet the author on Zoom and choose from one of two discussions, facilitated by Rachel Kamin.
Sunday, February 27, 2022, 2:30pm on Zoom
Historian Alexandra Dunietz, who worked with June Cummins (z”l) on the new biography, From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family, will highlight Sydney Taylor’s dramatic influence on American children’s literature and the vital importance of children’s books in the transmission of Jewish culture and the preservation of ethnic heritage.
Sunday, February 27, 2022, 3:30pm, Family Book Club on Zoom
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
All 2nd-6th graders, and adult readers of all ages, are invited to the 6th annual Family Book Club to discuss the classic 1951 novel, All-of-a-Kind Family, the first children’s book published by a mainstream publisher to feature Jewish children. A lite lunch will be served and Jo Taylor Marshall, Sydney Taylor’s daughter, will zoom into our discussion!
Saturday, March 26, 2022, 12:30pm, 12:30pm in-person discussion, after Shabbat Kiddush
Thursday, March 31, 2022, 12:00pm (meet the author & translator on Zoom)
The Slaughterman’s Daughter by Yaniv Iczkovits; translated by Orr Scharf
Fable-inspired stories within stories, told from the nuanced perspectives of interrelated characters, follow the experiences of a Jewish woman in late-19th-century Russia, who uses her secret talents as a ritual slaughterer to retrieve her wayward brother-in-law. Translated from Hebrew.
Saturday, May 7, 2022, 12:30pm, (meet the author in-person, after Shabbat Kiddush)
Golem Girl: A Memoir by Riva Lehrer
The vividly told, full-color memoir of an artist born with disabilities who searches for freedom and connection in a society afraid of strange bodies. A longtime faculty member of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Riva Lehrer is currently an instructor in medical humanities at Northwestern University and will join us in-person at Beth El.
Tuesday, June 14, 6:00pm, In-person Discussion & Refreshments
The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi; Translated by Anthony Berris
Revisit this 2016 book club selection about the Jerusalem-based Ermosa family from 1917 pre-state Israel to the War of Independence. Then watch the television adaptation through the Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. Go to https://israelifilmchi.org/ to purchase tickets to stream the show. Join us for an in-person discussion of the book and the television series, along with Israel inspired refreshments to celebrate the end of another wonderful book club season.
Click on each title for a link to read-a-likes and suggested reading. All books are available in the Maxwell Abbell Library.