Category Archives: Book Club

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 books@mcjconline.org.

MCJC Book Club meets Thursday, September 12

Our MCJC Book Club begins a new season Thursday, September 12.

Last season, discussions among MCJC Book Club book choices ranged from a novella based in Israel, to historical fiction rooted in ancient Christianity, to an autobiographical account of what it means to be Jewish in modern day New York. 

The group met four times from fall through spring, and each time, the discussions were enhanced by the skilled guidance of our facilitator, Rachel Kamin, a recognized authority on Jewish literature and director of the cultural and learning center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth-El.  

We meet next at 7 pm on Thursday, Sept. 12, to discuss The Weight of Ink, a novel by Rachel Kadish.  An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner, The Weight of Ink tells the story of two remarkable women separated by three centuries, the ambition that connects them, and the power of the written word.

Anyone can join the ‘club’ at any time…if a particular book piques your interest, please come!  For more information, contact Rita Janowitz at books@mcjconline.org.

MCJC Book Club To Explore What It Means To Be Jewish In Modern Day New York

On Thursday, May 30 at 7:00 pm, the MCJC Book Club will meet to discuss My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin.

Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and contemporary relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant, and chronicles her journey into the spiritual heart of Judaism in this captivating, educational, and inspiring memoir.

All are welcome to participate in the Book Club at any time. Rachel Kamin, director of the cultural and learning center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth-El, facilitates all discussions.

We encourage participants to make a donation of $36 to MCJC to help cover the cost of the facilitator. For more information, contact Rita Janowitz at books@mcjconline.org.

MCJC Book Club Meets March 14

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, our MCJC Book Club will gather to discuss The Cloister by James Carroll. A priest and a Holocaust survivor find their perspectives and senses of identity reshaped by their shared investigation into the classic romance between discredited religious scholar Peter Abelard and his intellectual paramour, Heloise.

Then on Thursday, May 30, the group will discuss My Jewish Year by Abigail Pogrebin. Although she grew up following some holiday rituals, Pogrebin realized how little she knew about their foundational purpose and contemporary relevance. She wanted to understand what had kept these holidays alive and vibrant and chronicles her journey into the spiritual heart of Judaism in this captivating, educational, and inspiring memoir.

All are welcome to participate in the Book Club at any time. Rachel Kamin, director of the cultural and learning center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth-El, facilitates all discussions.

We encourage participants to make a donation of $36 to MCJC to help cover the cost of the facilitator. For more information, contact Rita Janowitz at books@mcjconline.org.