Did you know that CBJ has a Jewish Book Group?

Discussing a wide range of books addressing issues of Jewish belief, history and culture through the lens of fiction

We recently completed our first year of monthly meetings discussing a wide range of books addressing issues of Jewish belief, history and culture through the lens of fiction. Despite the limitations of Zoom, our meetings are always friendly, lively and a fun way to combat isolation. We typically get together at noon on the last Friday of the month and we’d love to see new faces on our screens next year.

The December meeting discussed The Convert, a fictional reimagining of an 11th century true story about a young French Christian noblewoman who converted to Judaism to marry a Sephardic rabbi’s son during the period of the First Crusade. We talked about the challenges of religious conversion, the deep historical roots of antisemitism, and the differences between fiction and non-fiction. We also revisited a question from earlier sessions about what makes a novel “Jewish”  and re-upped on a broad inclusive approach.

We select novels that are available on Amazon and other online sources, and often  the local library systems have them too. We’ve selected the following  for the first three months of 2021: Cosella Wayne: Or, Will and Destiny by Cora Wilburn, edited by Jonathan Sarna (January 29); The  Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levy (February 26); and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon (April 2).

If you’d like more information please contact me at hlesser@sbcglobal.net. Best wishes for a safe and healthy 2021.

Henry Lesser