The TAS Book Group meets in the Library/Chapel on the second Thursday of the month from September thru June. While there is no membership requirement, there is a $5 contribution per person per meeting. Books are selected on the basis of their Jewish content and/or author, and represent a broad cross-section of fiction and non-fiction appealing to men and women alike. Refreshments and socializing begin at 7:00 pm. The discussion starts promptly at 7:30 pm.
Phyllis and Hal Bass
The following is the 2012-13 reading list, with meeting dates and facilitators:
September 13, 2012 – Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case, by Walter and Miriam Schneir
Dorri Raskin & Gloria Katcher, Facilitators
Final Verdict: What Really Happened in the Rosenberg Case by Walter and Miriam Schneir. The authors analyze the Rosenberg case in the context of World War II and its aftermath, making the claim the couple was framed as a result of Cold War hysteria and put to death unjustly in the electric chair at New York’s Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953.
October 11, 2012 – The Unmaking of Israel, by Gershom Gorenberg
Allan Katcher & Howard Schnee, Facilitators
The Unmaking of Israel by Gershom Gorenberg. An historian and journalist, Gorenberg analyzes government policies which are affecting Israel today and poses the question whether Israel can return to its liberal democratic roots. Issues include settlements, programs that favor religious over secular Jews, educational disparities, aspects of human rights, and the controversy over who is a Jew.
November 8, 2012 – The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, by Anne-Marie O’Connor
Barbara Vosen, Facilitator
The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O’Connor. A Jewish family’s history spanning more than 100 years culminates in a quest for justice in the return of Nazi-looted art to its rightful heirs.
December 13, 2012 – Veiled Romance, by Simon Sion Ebrahimi
Facilitated by the Author
Veiled Romance, by Simon Sion Ebrahimi, relates the events leading up to the ousting of the Shah by Islamic fundamentalists and its aftermath. Shedding light on the culture of the Jews of Iran, the novel, a love story, centers around a Persian Jewish woman educated in the United States who is imprisoned by the new regime after she returns to work as an accountant in post-revolutionary Iran.
January 10, 2013 – Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, by Deborah Feldman
Helene Kimmel, Facilitator
Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots, by Deborah Feldman, is a memoir of one woman’s story of marriage, repression, and ultimate self-discovery, which leads to her liberation from a Satmar Hasidic community.
February 14, 2013 – The Story of Beautiful Girl, by Rachel Simon
Hal Bass, Facilitator
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon. The author rose to prominence with her memoir, Riding the Bus with My Sister. In this powerful, heart-rending novel, Simon portrays Lynnie, an intellectually challenged woman who escapes from a mental institution with Homan, her deaf African American boyfriend, and secretly gives birth to a baby girl. The narrative involving Lynnie, Homan, and Martha, who raised baby Julia, begins more than 40 years ago and continues to the present day as it explores the bonds of love. Chosen by a consortium of Jewish organizations which has designated February as JDAM (Jewish Disabilities Awareness Month), The Story of Beautiful Girl is the first selection for its newly launched book club.
March 14, 2013 – The List, by Martin Fletcher
Cathy Meyers, Facilitator
The List by Martin Fletcher. Taking place primarily in London after the liberation of the concentration camps, the novel depicts a Jewish refugee couple and their precarious position of living under the threat of continuing British anti-Semitism. Further complications emerge from Mandatory Palestine, where an extremist Zionist group, Lehi (the Stern Gang), is hatching a terrorist plot against the British. The author was for many years the NBC bureau chief in Tel Aviv and continues to broadcast from Israel in his role as a special correspondent.
April 11, 2013 – Heading South, Looking North, by Ariel Dorfman
Howard Schnee, Facilitator
Heading South, Looking North by Ariel Dorfman. Dorfman’s family left Europe and moved to Argentina. Rejecting the Argentine dictatorship, the Dorfman family subsequently moved to the U.S., then to Chile in support of the leftist-leaning Allende government. In this book, Dorfman, an acclaimed writer, describes the Jewish immigrant experience in Latin America.
May 9, 2013 – Homesick, by Eshkol Nevo
Phyllis Bass, Facilitator
Homesick by Eshkol Nevo. Set during the tumultuous period following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the novel takes place in a hillside village between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, formerly an Arab community. The story deals with themes of love and loss, friendship and family, Arab and Jew, as it explores the complexities of Israel’s social landscape. The book has become part of the high school curriculum in Israel, and has received URJ recognition as a “Significant Jewish Book.”
June 13, 2013 – Mitzvah Man, by John J. Clayton
Gloria Katcher, Facilitator
Mitzvah Man by John J. Clayton. Having retired early as a successful software engineer, the forty-something hero finds his world rocked by tragedy. Responding to a portion of Torah, he reinvents himself by taking to the road with his 14-year-old daughter in the performance of meddlesome acts of intervention in people’s lives with beneficial results. This book is described by one critic as a “wise and wonderfully readable novel about the power of the Jewish religion to effect change.”
For further information, please contact Phyllis Bass at firstname.lastname@example.org.