Shir Tikvah, Portland Oregon
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Book Group


Shir Tikvah women are invited to be part of the Rosh Hodesh Book Group.  Please contact Anne Whitaker if you would like to be on the e-mail list.  Otherwise check the Week’s Worth and this page.

Upcoming Events–all at 1 PM on a Sunday, unless noted


December 15  The Old Country by Sholem Aleichem.  We are in need of both a location or leader.  If you can host or want to be the leader, please let Anne Whitaker know.

From  Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Heather M Smith on August 2, 2013

“I really liked this book. It does not contain the classic stories that were later made into “Fiddler On The Roof”. You can find those stories in Tevye’s Daughters. The Old Country was written about life in Russia during the late 1800s; that is Russian life in general and Russian Jewish life in particular. The stories are both dramatic and humorous. Many of them describe the tension between Jewish Russians and non-Jewish Russians. Aleichem is a good writer and he is able to relate this tension with skill, so that the reader does not feel lectured. In fact this tension provides much of the dramatic background. The stories are told with humor, pathos, and with an understanding that only one who lived it could write about. I found this book to be a good companion piece to Maxim Gorky’s tales of growing up in Russia during the same time period. There are differences but also striking similarities in both author’s experience.”

January 12   A Pigeon and A Boy by Meir Shalev. We are in need of both a location or leader.  If you can host or want to be the leader, please let Anne Whitaker know.

“During the 1948 War of Independence–a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages–a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon, carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specializing in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend.  This year, the Jewish Theatre Collaborative will be producing a new play based on this book. See more about the development of this production here.

February 16  The Hour of Sunlight by Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe.   We are in need of  a location.  If you can host, please let Anne Whitaker know. Anne will lead the discussion.

“As a teenager in Palestine, Sami al Jundi had one ambition: overthrowing Israeli occupation. With two friends, he began to build a bomb to use against the police. But when it exploded prematurely, killing one of his friends, al Jundi was caught and sentenced to ten years in prison. It was in an Israeli jail that his unlikely transformation began. Al Jundi was welcomed into a highly organized, democratic community of political prisoners who required that members of their cell read, engage in political discourse on topics ranging from global revolutions to the precepts of nonviolent protest and revolution. Al Jundi left prison still determined to fight for his people’s rights-but with a very different notion of how to undertake that struggle. He cofounded the Middle East program of Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence, which brings together Palestinian and Israeli youth. Marked by honesty and compassion for Palestinians and Israelis alike, The Hour of Sunlight illuminates the Palestinian experience through the story of one man’s struggle for peace. – See more here.

Books read in 2013

January 6th–Movie: Defending Your Life
February 3 –Deborah, Golda and Me by Letty Cottin Pogrebin
February 24– Zlateh the Goat by Isaac Bachevis Singer
April 7 –Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman.
May 5th–Monty Python movie Life of Brian
June 23–Because All Is One by  Rabbi Ariel Stone
July 28–Society’s Child by Janis Ian
September 8–The Blue Thread by Ruth Tenzer Feldman
October 6–In My Father’s Court by I.B. Singer
November 10–The Harlot by the Side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch

Books read in 2012

January 22-Walking Israel by Martin Fletcher
February 19 – The Septembers of Shiraz
March 18-The Left Hand of God: Healing America’s Political and Spiritual Crisis by Michael Lerner
April 29–My Father’s Paradise by Ariel Sabar
May 20– Triangle: The Fire That Changed America by David von Drehle
June 24– Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander
July 29 –Moses: A Stranger Among Us by Maurice D. Harris
October 7Kosher Chinese: Living, Teaching, and Eating with China’s Other Billion by Michael Levy
November 4–The Trial by Franz Kafka
December 9–Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner

Books Read in 2011

January 9-The Jew in the Lotus by Rodger Kamenetz
February 13- The Sacrifice of Tamar by Naomi Ragen
March 27-The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew — Three women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner
April 24-Kaballah: A Love Story by Lawrence Kushner
May 22-The Sabbath World by Judith Shulevitz
June 26-Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary
July 31-The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis
September 25-The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
October 30 – Away by Amy Bloom
November 11 – By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
December 4 – American Pastoral by Philip Roth

Books Read in 2010

January 10-The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finklestein and Neil Asher Silberman
February 21-The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick
April 4-Sarah the Priestess by Savina Teubal
May 16-All Other Nights by Dara Horn
July 11- The Color of Water by James McBride
August- The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
Sept/Oct. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
November-The Butcher’s Theater by Jonathan Kellerman

Books Read in 2009

February 1 – As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg
March 22 – Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
May 3 – Women’s Minyan by Naomi Ragen
June 14 – The Saturday Morning Murder by Batya Gur
July 19 - The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnano
September 13 – A Double Thread: Growing up English and Jewish in London by John Gross
October 25 – A Life Worth Living by Byron Sherwin
November 22 – Miriam’s Kitchen by Elizabeth Erlich

Books Read in 2008

May 31 – The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks – Our initial meeting
August 13 – Rashi’s Daughters: Joheved by Maggie Anton
September 24 – Rachel Calof’s Story by Rachel Calof
November 12 – The Mezuzah in the Madonna’s Foot by Trudi Alexy




Ask about participating in our online Book Club at GoodReads. Send an e-mail to .