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Jewish Studies Sunday Book & Discussion Group

January 22

March 26

February 26

What We Are Reading

January 22, 2017, 2:00-3:30pm
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit
Facilitated by Michael Davidson, lecturer, LMU Jewish Studies
Von der Ahe Family Suite, 3rd floor of Hannon Library

Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

February 26, 2017, 2:00-3:30pm 
The Fifth Son by Elie Weisel
Facilitated by Margarete Feinstein, lecturer, LMU Jewish Studies
Von der Ahe Family Suite, 3rd floor of Hannon Library

Reuven Tamiroff, a Holocaust survivor, has never been able to speak about his past to his son, a young man who yearns to understand his father’s silence. As campuses burn amidst the unrest of the Sixties and his own generation rebels, the son is drawn to his father’s circle of wartime friends in search of clues to the past. Finally discovering that his brooding father has been haunted for years by his role in the murder of a brutal SS officer just after the war, young Tamiroff learns that the Nazi is still alive. Haunting, poetic, and very contemporary, The Fifth Son builds to an unforgettable climax as the son sets out to complete his father’s act of revenge.


March 26, 2017, 2:00-3:30pm
Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned about Life, by Harold Kushner
Facilitated by Rabbi Zach Shapiro, Temple Akiba, Culver City
Von der Ahe Family Suite, 3rd floor of Hannon Library

In this compassionate and deeply personal work, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner distills his experiences as a twenty-first-century rabbi into nine essential takeaways. Offering readers a lifetime’s worth of spiritual food for thought, pragmatic advice, and strength for trying times, he gives fresh, vital insight into belief, conscience, mercy, and more. Grounded in Kushner’s brilliant readings of scripture, history, and popular culture, Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life is practical, illuminating, and compulsory advice for living a good life.