CBB’s Jewish Book Club meets four times a year on Sunday mornings to read and discuss both fascinating and critically-acclaimed Jewish novels. We are joined by Charles Lynn Batten, a UCLA professor and master facilitator.
2021-2022 Update: our first meeting will be via Zoom, but we are hoping to meet in-person, depending on the most current guidelines. All events start at 9:30 AM. 

Do you have ideas for other books we should read?
To submit suggestions, or contact the JBC organizer, please click here.

Sunday
October 10, 2021

A mesmerizing novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion—from the internationally acclaimed Israeli writer Meir Shalev.

During the 1948 War of Independence—a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages—a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible.

Sunday
December 12, 2021

In this stunning, bestselling novel—and an NBCC Award finalist—David Grossman tells the powerful story of a mother’s love for her son. Just before his release from service in the Israeli army, Ora’s son Ofer is sent back to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, so that no bad news can reach her, Ora sets out on an epic hike in the Galilee. She is joined by an unlikely companion—Avram, a former friend and lover with a troubled past—and as they sleep out in the hills, Ora begins to conjure her son. Ofer’s story, as told by Ora, becomes a surprising balm both for her and for Avram—and a mother’s haunting meditation on war and family.

Sunday
March 27, 2022

Now hailed as a “proto-feminist classic” (Vulture), Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk’s powerful coming-of-age novel about an ambitious young woman pursuing her artistic dreams in New York City has been a perennial favorite since it was first a bestseller in the 1950s.
A starry-eyed young beauty, Marjorie Morgenstern is nineteen years old when she leaves home to accept the job of her dreams–working in a summer-stock company for Noel Airman, its talented and intensely charismatic director. Released from the social constraints of her traditional Jewish family, and thrown into the glorious, colorful world of theater, Marjorie finds herself entangled in a powerful affair with the man destined to become the greatest–and the most destructive–love of her life.

Sunday
May 15, 2022

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.

Until recently, Zvi Luria was a healthy man in his seventies, an engineer living in Tel Aviv with his wife, Dina, visiting with their two children whenever possible. Now he is showing signs of early dementia, and his work on the tunnels of the Trans-Israel Highway is no longer possible. To keep his mind sharp, Zvi takes a job as the unpaid assistant to Asael Maimoni, an engineer involved in a secret road to be built inside the massive Ramon Crater. But living secretly on the proposed route, amid ancient Nabatean ruins, is a Palestinian family under the protection of an enigmatic archaeological preservationist. Zvi rises to come up with a solution, until circumstances begin to spiral out of his control.