What we're about

Welcome to the Baltimore Jewish Book Club! We are an organization whose interests include books, eating, and schmoozing. The Book Club is open to anyone and everyone interested in participating in a reading group. Our general topics incorporate all things Jewish, including but by no means limited to: -Fiction relating to Jewish themes/topics (by any author) -Non-fiction relating to Jewish history, culture, and religion (by any author) -Fiction and non-fiction written by Jewish and/or Israeli authors on any topic Essentially, anything that can in any way be connected back to a Jewish ‘dot’ in any way is fair game for our group. Upcoming selections will be determined through nominations and voting at book club events.

Upcoming events (3)

Satan in Goray by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Needs a location

As messianic zeal sweeps through medieval Poland, the Jews of Goray divide between those who, like the Rabbi, insist that no one can "force the end" and those who follow the messianic pretender Sabbatai Zevi. But as hysteria and depravity reign free, it becomes clear that it is not the Messiah who has come to Goray.

Praise:

"Beautifully written by one of the masters of Yiddish prose, and beautifully translated, ''Satan in Goray'' is folk material transmuted into literature." — The New York Times Review of Books

"A gripping parable of reason versus revelation, hysteria in the face of apocalypse" — Guardian

"Whatever religion his writing inhabits, it is blazing with life and actuality." — Ted Hughes, New York Review of Books
"Singer sets scenes with such vividness that there is almost a smell to his books, the smell of poverty and guttering candles and decaying lives and decaying souls. — Observer

"His storytelling powers are so immense, so natural. He has more creative confidence than any living writer." — Financial Times

Letters to Comondo by Edmund De Waal

Needs a location

A tragic family history told in a collection of imaginary letters to a famed collector, Moise de Camondo

Letters to Camondo is a collection of imaginary letters from Edmund de Waal to Moise de Camondo, the banker and art collector who created a spectacular house in Paris, now the Musée Nissim de Camondo, and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art.

The Camondos were a Jewish family from Constantinople, “the Rothschilds of the East,” who made their home in Paris in the 1870s and became philanthropists, art collectors, and fixtures of Belle Époque high society, as well as being targets of antisemitism—much like de Waal's relations, the Ephrussi family, to whom they were connected. Moise de Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with art for his son, Nissim; after Nissim was killed in the First World War, the house was bequeathed to the French state. Eventually, the Camondos were murdered by the Nazis.

After de Waal, one of the world’s greatest ceramic artists, was invited to make an exhibition in the Camondo house, he began to write letters to Moise de Camondo. These fifty letters are deeply personal reflections on assimilation, melancholy, family, art, the vicissitudes of history, and the value of memory.

Twelve Tribes: Promise and Peril in the New Israel

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An "illuminating" and "richly descriptive" (New York Times Book Review) portrait of contemporary Israel, revealing the diversity of this extraordinary yet volatile nation by weaving together personal histories of ordinary citizens from all walks of life.

“In Twelve Tribes, Ethan Michaeli proves he is a master portraitist – of lives, places, and cultures. His rendering of contemporary Israel crackles with energy, fueled by a historian’s vision and a journalist’s unrelenting curiosity.” — Evan Osnos, New York Times bestselling author of Age of Ambition and Wildland

In 2015, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin warned that the country’s citizens were dividing into tribes: by class and ethnicity, by geography, and along lines of faith. In Twelve Tribes, award-winning author Ethan Michaeli portrays this increasingly fractured nation by intertwining interviews with Israelis of all tribes into a narrative of social and political change. Framed by Michaeli’s travels across the country over four years and his conversations with Israeli family, friends, and everyday citizens, Twelve Tribes illuminates the complex dynamics within the country, a collective drama with global consequences far beyond the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

Readers will meet the aging revolutionaries who founded Israel’s kibbutz movement and the brilliant young people working for the country’s booming Big Tech companies. They will join thousands of ultra-Orthodox Haredim at a joyous memorial for a long-dead Romanian Rebbe in a suburb of Tel Aviv, and hear the life stories of Ethiopian Jews who were incarcerated and tortured in their homeland as “Prisoners of Zion” before they were able to escape to Israel. And they will be challenged, in turn, by portraits of Israeli Arabs navigating between the opportunities in a prosperous, democratic state and the discrimination they suffer as a vilified minority, as by interviews with both the Palestinians striving to build the institutions of a nascent state and the Israeli settlers seeking to establish a Jewish presence on the same land.

Immersive and enlightening, Twelve Tribes is a vivid depiction of a modern state contending with ancient tensions and dangerous global forces at this crucial historic moment. Through extensive research and access to all sectors of Israeli society, Michaeli reveals Israel to be a land of paradoxical intersections and unlikely cohabitation—a place where all of the world’s struggles meet, and a microcosm for the challenges faced by all nations today.

Past events (275)

People Love Dead Jews

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