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BZBI-wide Book Club: Upcoming Events

BZBI-wide Book Club: Upcoming Events

March 15 2021, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The Book Club is pleased to announce their next four books for discussion!  Register once here, and attend any or all of the events. Note that author Amy Gottlieb will join the discussion of The Beautiful Possible on Monday, April 19.

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The Story of Yiddish by Neal Karlen, to be reviewed by Rosalie Kurz on March 15, 2021

Yiddish is an unlikely survivor, much like the Jews themselves. Underlying Neal Karlen’s unique, brashly entertaining telling of the language’s story is the notion that Yiddish is a mirror of Jewish history, thought, and practice—for better and worse.

Incorporating a large measure of antique German dialects, Yiddish included little scraps of French, Italian, ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, the Slavic and Romance languages, and a dozen other tongues native to the places where Jews were briefly given shelter. Today, a new generation has zealously sought to explore the language and to embrace its soul. Hundreds of Yiddish words dot the most recent editions of the Oxford English Dictionary.

The Story of Yiddish is a delightful tale of a people, their place in the world, and the fascinating language that held them together.

 The Beautiful Possible by Amy Gottlieb, to be reviewed by Anne Brown on April 19, 2021. The author will join us!

This epic, enthralling debut novel—in the vein of Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love—follows a postwar love triangle between an American rabbi, his wife, and a German-Jewish refugee. Spanning seventy years and several continents this epic, enthralling novel tells the braided love story of three unforgettable characters. With extraordinary empathy and virtuosic skill, The Beautiful Possible considers the hidden boundaries of marriage and faith, and the mysterious ways we negotiate our desires.

The Last Kings of Shanghai by Stephen Kaufman, to be reviewed by Mimi Rosen on June 14, 2021 

A well-written account of how the Sassoons and the Kadoories–two Jewish families from Baghdad – built up China to be what it is today. Despite the setbacks in government, and wars they believed in their abilities to create a modernized country. They kept up their intrigues and opium smuggling while helping to rescue 18,000 Jews from Hitler’s Europe, and though they soon faced the tsunami that was communism, their legacy remains today.

Apeirogon by Colum McCann, to be reviewed by Sharon Greis on August 16, 2021 

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their daily lives, from the roads they are allowed to drive on, to the schools their daughters, Abir and Smadar, each attend, to the checkpoints, both physical and emotional, they must negotiate.

Their worlds shift irreparably after ten-year-old Abir is killed by a rubber bullet and thirteen-year-old Smadar becomes the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and they attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.

McCann crafts Apeirogon out of a universe of fictional and nonfictional material. He crosses centuries and continents, stitching together time, art, history, nature, and politics in a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful.

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