Jewish History Book Group

Kolot Jewish History Book Group

Join your fellow Kolotniks in informal monthly reading and discussions. Inspired by our ignorance of Jewish history, we have formed this group to inform ourselves along with whoever wants to join us -- Jewish history definitely teaches that learning happens best in community. We want to understand Jewish history in a nonparochial way, to read our history as one that is both particular and profoundly interwoven with the peoples around us. The group is open to all  on a drop-in basis and welcomes newcomers, and there is no obligation to participate from one month to the next. All we ask is that you come having read the assigned reading. For more information about the group, contact Josh Rubin at or 917-494-2929.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:30pm, location TBA. At our April meeting, we discussed the first four chapters of Reassessing Jewish Life in Medieval Europe by Robert Chazan. On May 23rd, we will discuss the rest of the book.  The book focuses on the 11th-15th centuries and argues that conditions were not as bad for Jews in Northern Europe in this period as Jews told themselves they were, nor as bad as they became starting in the 16th century. The author marshals the evidence for his argument in the part of the book we will be discussing in May.  We hope you will join us.  

Looking ahead, our summer read will be Wonder of Wonders by Alisa Solomon, a cultural history of Fiddler on the Roof. The book opens with Sholem Alechem's Tevye stories and discusses various dramatic productions, the writing and performance of Fiddler on Broadway, and subsequent productions with significant cultural meaning.

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