MCJC Book Club Picks Books & Dates

MCJC’s Book Club has compiled a diverse reading list for the year, from historical fiction about Old Cairo, to Chasidic life in Brooklyn, to a memoir about the impact of genetic testing and questions of identity. Each session is facilitated by Rachel Kamin, an authority on Jewish literature and Director of the Cultural and Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth-El. All but the first discussion will be held at MCJC.

Dec. 5 @ 6 pm:  The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lucas. A college student receives a mysterious package that ignites an historical investigation that exposes incredible aspects of his family history and its ties to the Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. This book is a winner of the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Note that this session will be held offsite, and will include dinner and materials related to the book.

Feb. 6 @ 7 pm: On Division by Goldie Goldbloom. Anticipating the birth of her first great-grandchild, a 57-year-old Chasidic woman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn feels exposed and ashamed by her own late-in-life pregnancy that slowly separates her from her community.

April 23 @ 7 pm: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro. An acclaimed author describes her staggering discovery that she is not biologically related to her father, tracing her efforts to uncover the truth from a half-century web of family secrets to reestablish her sense of identity.

An additional session will be held on June 1, with the book to be determined.

The book club is open to all, even non-members, with donations accepted to offset the cost of the facilitator.  Mark these dates on your calendar, and join the discussion at whatever session strikes your fancy!

For more information on any of these sessions, please contact Ellen Morton via

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