Book Discussion Group
We meet regularly in a member's home to discuss, often with passion, their chosen book of fiction, biography or social history. It's a drop-in group: all are welcome.
Our choices have ranged from "Landscape and Memory" (of European land, Jews, history and art); to the historical fictions, "Mr. Mani" (Sephardic Jews in the 19th and 20th centuries) and "The Known World" (slaves and owners in ante-bellum America); to a Nadine Gordimer novel of 21st century. South Africa and the Arab world; to "Desert Queen", a biography of the British adventuress who defined 20th century Iraq.
Many of our books have taken as their theme the tension between disparate cultures in the modern world.
Begun in 1998, our group has been led by our engaging Yiddish speaker and teacher, Selma. We have been meeting once a month since then. It's been a delightful four years of freylach (joy, pleasure), sometimes speaking a zerbrochene (broken) Yiddish, having a gut gelechter (good laugh) many times during a meeting, singing Yiddish songs, and becoming a close-knit group of chaverim (friends, comrades). We translated some stories from English to Yiddish in the form of short plays. In so doing we honored one of the richest contributions of Jewish secular-humanistic culture, the brilliant Yiddish theater of 19th and 20th century Eastern Europe and the United States.
Jewish Study Group
Our monthly meetings are held in a member’s home where we engage in lively conversations on topical issues, mostly Jewish, from a Secular Humanistic point of view. The wide-ranging discussions have included the impact of ancient Jewish scholars on Secular Judaism, what it means to be secular and Jewish, spirituality, Israel and the role traditional Jewish practices play for the secular Jew. Contact the Kol Shalom office for information on the next meeting and topic of the study group
Kol Shalom also offers classes on Secular Humanistic Jewish Philosophy, Culture and History. Although structured, the class format is informal and takes place in a small group setting. Please check the Kol Shalom online calendar for a schedule of classes or contact the Kol Shalom office for more information.