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.
Join us at 9 AM for a Nosh. Discussion starts at 9:30 AM!
September 8, 2019
In the vein of modern Jewish-American master fabulists like Michael Chabon to Cynthia Ozick, Steve Stern’s The Frozen Rabbi traces the events surrounding the frozen body of the mystic Rabbi Eliezer. Encased in ice during a winter storm in 1897, this ‘saintsicle’ survives pogroms, a perilous transatlantic crossing, and other journeys until a 1999 power outage awakens this ‘stranger in a strange land.’
December 8, 2019
The Marriage of Opposites illustrates the struggle between personal desire and social norms. Based in the 19th century, it portrays three generations that live on the Island of St. Thomas. Growing up in St. Thomas, Rachel dreamed of traveling away from the island to Paris. She is married to a man who is much older than her. When her husband dies, his nephew arrives to settle the estate. His arrival triggers the scandal of a forbidden love and their struggle against the rules of Jewish tradition.
March 1, 2020
As summer begins in lower east side New York City in 1913, Sadie Schuster — Jewish immigrant, forty-one years old, widow, mother, suffragette — finds herself at a crossroads. Enter Herschl Diamond, an ice peddler who delivers to Sadie’s flat, also a Jewish immigrant and a widower, contemplative, introspective. As the New York City summer unfolds, Sadie engages in many comical adventures, communicates with celestial spirits, manages her magical love knot matchmaking business, and falls in love.
May 17, 2020
A prisoner in a secret cell. The guard who has watched over him a dozen years. An American waitress in Paris. A young Palestinian man in Berlin who strikes up an odd friendship with a wealthy Canadian businessman. And The General, Israel’s most controversial leader, who lies dying in a hospital. Nathan Englander’s newest novel examines the anguished, violent division between Israelis and Palestinians, and dramatizes the immense moral ambiguities haunting both sides.