Typically meeting the second Tuesday of each month from 1:30 - 3:00 PM at the Uptown JCC, the JCC Book Club offers engaging and insightful discussions in a laid back environment. Free and open to the community - all are welcome. Books are available for purchase at our neighborhood partner bookstore, Octavia Books.
All JCC Book Club discussion are now held virtually. For more information, please contact Judy Yaillen. If you would like to be placed on our Book Club email list, send an email to Beth Orgeron with your request.
by Stefan Hertmans
Reviewed by Rabbi Josh Pernik, Congregation Beth Israel
The First Mrs. Rothschild
by Sara Aharoni
In this award-winning historical saga, passionate young lovers in a Jewish ghetto rise to become the foremost financial dynasty in the world.
It is the turn of the eighteenth century in Frankfurt, Germany, and young Gutle and Meir Amschel Rothschild struggle to establish themselves in the cramped and restricted Judengasse. But when Meir’s talents as a novice banker catch the attention of a German prince, Meir is suddenly afforded entrée into the European world of finance and nobility, and the Rothschilds’ lives are changed forever. As proud as Gutle is of her husband’s success, she is also cautious—very much aware of the fact that her husband’s rise is tied to his patrons’ willingness to “see past” his Jewishness. As their family grows, and a dream of fortune comes true, so does their belief that money will ultimately bring the power needed to establish Jewish civil rights.
Told through Gutle’s intimate journals, revealed across decades—from the French Revolution through personal tragedies and triumphs—The First Mrs. Rothschild paints a rich and intimate tapestry of family drama, world-changing history, and one woman’s steadfast strength.
Reviewed by Judy Yaillen, New Orleans JCC Director of Jewish Family Life
The Flight Portfolio
by Julie Orringer
Reviewed by Debbie Pesses, Former New Orleans JCC Jewish Enrichment Director
The Book of Words: Talking Spiritual Life, Living Spiritual Talk
by Lawrence Kushner
Reviewed by Rabbi Deborah Silver, Congregation Shir Chadash
An Undisturbed Peace
by Mary Glickman
With creativity and poetry (and occasional heresy) Kushner dusts off thirty classical Hebrew words, shakes them free
of the effects of generations of overuse, "re-translates" them and liberates their ancient holy power. The result is a contemporary spiritual guide for your personal religious life. According to the Hebrew Bible, God made the world with words. God just spoke and the world came into being. Words therefore are not merely sounds signifying something else; they are instruments of creation, primary reality itself. They need only to be read, spoken and interpreted. And to know them is to know reality itself.
Kushner has designed the book himself, seamlessly blending graphics and content. In doing so he evokes the aesthetics of an ancient manuscript and a vision of our power to shape the future.Each finely crafted chapter begins with a Hebrew word and Kushner’s provocative English translation. At the bottom of the page is a transliteration of the Hebrew along with its more customary English rendering. In addition to his own intriguing definition, he includes a biblical citation anchoring the word, along with a more recent text showing the word’s evolution. Finally, we are offered a personal, meditative exercise designed to enable you to “live in the word.”
Reviewed by Molly Travis, Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College
Uptown summer campers demonstrated the importance of being kind and loving others during the 4th annual Kindness March....
Join the New Orleans JCC and 60 other museums and cultural institutions around the world for We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Hope on Sunday, June 14 at 1:00 PM CST....