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Jewish Literary Circle

Upcoming Sessions

1. Thursday, December 15, 2022 21 Kislev 5783

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

2. Thursday, January 19, 2023 26 Tevet 5783

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

3. Thursday, February 16, 2023 25 Sh'vat 5783

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

4. Thursday, March 16, 2023 23 Adar 5783

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

5. Thursday, April 20, 2023 29 Nisan 5783

4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

Please join us on in person at CST or on Zoom.  The Zoom link is available in our weekly CST Connect email, or by request.

Free, all are welcome. Our focus is Jewish literature and other published materials. Through lively discussions, participants enjoy each other’s insights. If you have questions about the group or are interested in joining, please contact group leader Sandy at scsidorsky@comcast.net.


Upcoming Topics:

  • December 15 - Zoom Only. We will be discussing the short story, “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley. To enhance our discussion, try to read The Collected Stories by Grace Paley.  If you don't have time to read them, there are numerous stories of hers online for free. Although not every story has something Jewish in it, she was an important writer with a Jewish voice.

  • January 19 - “The Tunnel” by A.B. Yehoshua. From the award-winning, internationally acclaimed Israeli author, a suspenseful and poignant story of a family coping with the sudden mental decline of their beloved husband and father-an engineer who they discover is involved in an ominous secret military project.

  • February 16 - “Becoming Eve, My Journey From Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman”  by Abby Stein. The powerful coming-of-age story of an ultra-Orthodox child who was born to become a rabbinic leader and instead became a woman Abby Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of eighteenth-century Eastern Europe, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life. Stein was born as the first son in a dynastic rabbinical family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews. But Abby felt certain at a young age that she was a girl. She suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith. Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood to mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family, her way of life. Powerful in the truths it reveals about biology, culture, faith, and identity, Becoming Eve poses the enduring question: How far will you go to become the person you were meant to be?

  • March 16 - “The Only Woman in the Room” by Marie Benedict. Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side and understood more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.  But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis and revolutionize modern communication...if anyone would listen to her.  A powerful book based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist.

  • April 20 - “Lioness, Gold Meir and the Nation of Israel” by Francine Klagburn. Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life—the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants. As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Analyzing newly available documents from Israeli government archives, Francine Klagsbrun looks into whether Golda could have prevented that war and whether in its darkest days she contemplated using nuclear force. Resigning in the war's aftermath, she spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.


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Tue, November 29 2022 5 Kislev 5783