Seeking Discussion Leaders for Our Sunday Jewish Book Group

The William H. Hannon Library’s Sunday Jewish Book Group is currently looking for facilitators for our 2021-2022 series.

Now in its 13th year of existence, the Sunday Jewish Book group is made up of more than 55 local avid readers (mostly seniors) looking for a place to read a good book and hear intelligent analysis of authors, genres, themes and perspectives, and/or historical periods.

A number of LMU’s expert faculty have led these conversations over the years, but we have also been fortunate to have rabbis, faculty from other campuses, and authors talk to us. We will read just about anything that includes Jewish culture, Jewish literature, or is a work by a Jewish author. We read fiction, non-fiction, short stories, and graphic novels. We also discuss films.

We have found that Judaism can be discovered everywhere — in world history, business, politics, law, social movements, tales from ancient times through contemporary times, philosophy, literature and the sciences, from Brooklyn to Shanghai — but mostly in stories. Any story, whether it be based on fiction or non-fiction, can offer the facilitator a field for conversation. For instance, one of my favorite books was The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, the non-fiction account the Vatican’s imprisonment of a six-year-old Jewish boy in 1858 helped to bring about the collapse of the popes’ worldly power in Italy and led to a fascinating discussion of the history of papal power and Italian history of the time.

What topics would we love to discuss? The Inquisition, Black and Jewish or Catholic/Jewish relationships, STEM and Jews, art theft during WWII, Jews in the world of business… and so many, many more. Our facilitators do not need to be Jewish or even have a strong knowledge of Jewish history or culture. We simply want inquisitive discussion leaders who can keep a group talking. We do ask that the works you select to moderate be widely available and broadly applicable.

The library can offer a modest stipend. If you are interested, go to our Jewish Book Group website be inspired by the approximately 100 books we have read and discussed! Then, contact me, Rhonda Rosen, for more information.