TBE Book Club

All are welcome to attend. View our 2015-16 calendar.

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Wednesday, February 24, 7:30-9:00 pm


The New York Times Sunday Book Review called this latest novel by Ms Brooks "a thundering, gritty, emotionally devastating reconsideration of the story of King David." The story is told from the perspective of Natan, the prophet who played a crucial role in the life of David, according to the Bible. The author does what she did so well in The People of the Book. She takes something from the story that we know and uses it as a starting point to weave a tale that illuminates the character of the flawed and majestic David. We see him through the eyes of his wives, advisers, enemies and friends. The story suggests to us that life choices are not necessarily made between good and evil, but between equally meaningful life forces.






Abba Eban: A Biography  by Asaf Siniver
Wednesday, March 30, 7:30-9:00 pm


A skilled debater, a master of language, and a passionate defender of Israel, Abba Eban's diplomatic presence was in many ways a contradiction unlike any the world has seen since. While he was celebrated internationally for his exceptional wit and his moderate, reasoned worldview, these same qualities painted him as elitist and foreign in his home country. The disparity in perception of Eban at home and abroad was such that both his critics and his friends agreed that he would have been a wonderful prime minister--in any country but Israel. In Abba Eban, Asaf Siniver paints a nuanced and complete portrait of one of the most complex figures in twentieth-century foreign affairs. We see Eban growing up and coming into his own as part of the Cambridge Union, and watch him steadily become known as "The Voice of Israel." Siniver draws on a vast amount of interviews, writings, and other newly available material to show that, in his unceasing quest for stability and peace for Israel, Eban's primary opposition often came from the homeland he was fighting for; no matter how many allies he gained abroad, the man never understood his own domestic politics well enough to be as effective in his pursuits as he hoped. The first examination of Eban in nearly forty years, Abba Eban is a fascinating look at a life that still offers a valuable perspective on Israel even today.



My Mantelpiece: 

A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice by Brad Herzog and Carolyn Goodman
Wednesday, April 27, 7:30-9:00 pm

My Mantelpiece, which includes a foreword by Maya Angelou (her last 

published words while she was alive), is the co-authored memoir of Carolyn Goodman, civil rights icon and mother of slain civil rights worker Andy Goodman. As you may know, Freedom Summer 1964 was an ambitious campaign to register African-American voters in Mississippi. On the very first day, June 21, three young volunteers—Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner—disappeared in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Their bodies were discovered 44 days later, a tragedy that riveted a nation, transformed the civil rights movement, and later inspired the Mississippi Burning film. There is a strong history of black-Jewish partnership in the civil rights struggle, and the fact that both Goodman and Schwerner were Jewish was not insignificant to their legacies.

A half-century after the Mississippi murders, Carolyn expounds about the experience and the emotions—from guilt to resolve—that it spawned. Ultimately, the late Carolyn Goodman's message is one of hope. Carolyn turned her son’s martyrdom into a mission. She formed The Andrew Goodman Foundation, organized an anniversary Freedom Summer, and produced documentary films celebrating young activists. In 1999, she was arrested at a protest in New York City—at the age of 83. 

All Book Club Meetings are scheduled for Wednesday evenings from 7:30-9:00 pm in the Beit Midrash.
2015-16 Book Club Dates:

February 24, 2016:  The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

March 30, 2016: Abba Eban: A Biography  by Asaf Siniver

April 27, 2016: My Mantelpiece: a Memoir of Survival and Social Justice by Brad Herzog and Carolyn Goodman

May 25, 2016: 

June 29 (tentative)


Helene Kress, [email protected]
Trina Reinach, [email protected]