Temple Beth Torah

TBT Reads

We have an active book discussion group at Temple Beth Torah.  We read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, either written by Jewish authors or with Jewish content. We enthusiastically welcome all new participants.  Currently we meet around six times a year, on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm via Zoom.

Contact Mary Ann Oppenheimer or Seth Novick to join the mailing list for one or more of the book discussions.

TBT BOOK CLUB SELECTIONS:  August 2022 – June 2023

The following list was compiled from several sources: recommendations from our book discussion participants, members of Temple Beth Torah, including our Rabbi, Hadassah magazine, the Jewish Book Council, etc.  We try to alternate “heavy” subject matter with “lighter” subject matter.  We are always open to book suggestions. Descriptions below are drawn from a variety of online sources. This list was approved at our June 2022 meeting.    The list may be reviewed and altered as we move through the year.

August 1, 2022 – The Rabbi Who Prayed With Fire by Rachel Sharona Lewis

This is a fictional mystery about a new Rabbi at a Conservative congregation in Rhode Island.  A Friday evening fire draws out long standing tensions and raises contemporary issues of antisemitism, security, racism, etc.

October 3, 2022 – Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Centered in 1934 Atlantic City this is a story about the Adler family: Esther, Joseph, Florence, Fannie and her husband Isaac.  When tragedy strikes, Esther’s decision to hide the truth pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, revealing how quickly protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

December 5, 2022 – The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris.  Rachel’s life is not her own. To save her father’s business, Rachel is married to an older widower with three children.  When her older husband dies suddenly, Rachel takes control of her own life story, beginning a passionate love affair that sparks scandal and affects all her family.

January 30, 2023 – People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dora Horn

In this non-fiction book, Horn who is known for her novels, weaves together history, social science and personal stories and asks readers to think critically about why society seems fascinated with the death of Jews but cares little for living Jews.  It looks at antisemitism from a different perspective.

April 3, 2023 – Three Sisters by Heather Morris

Based on a true story, against all odds, three sisters survived years of imprisonment in Nazi Germany, by clinging together. After their imprisonment, they travel to Israel where they battle ghosts from the past and secrets they have kept from each other.

June 5, 2023 – Hope Valley by Haviva Ner-David

This is the fictional story of two women, Tikvah and Ruby, one Jewish-Israeli and one Palestinian-Israeli who come together to form the most unlikely of friendships.  Meeting one day in the Galilean valley that separates their villages, this book explores the political enmity that has defined the history between them.

Recent Book Selections

Button Man by Andrew Gross

The Song of the Jade Lily by Kristy Manning

We Love Anderson Cooper by R.L. Maizes

The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl by Marra B. Gad

The Daughter’s Tale: A Novel by Armando Lucas Correa

The Book of Separation by Tova Merliss

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love by Dani Shapiro

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich

The Catcher was a Spy: Mysterious Life of Moe Berg by Nicholas Dawidoff

The Beautiful Possible by Amy Gottlieb

Girl from Berlin by Ronald Balsom

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo: A Novel by Michael David Lukas

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Odessa, Odessa by Barbara Artson

Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander

Millard Salter’s Last Day by Jacob Appel