April 28, 2017 •
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Congregational Learning: The Shoah...

Living from the Ashes
This year, many learning activities especially examine the Holocaust, our contribution to the ongoing Jewish struggle to comprehend just what happened.

This series is free and open to the community. Register online. For information, call 973.994.2290

The Holocaust: The Machinery of Mass Murder with Jill Tejeda

Thursday, May 11, May 18, and May 25, 7:00 PM

Life-long Temple member and Holocaust scholar Jill Tejeda is a history teacher at Livingston High School whose innovative classes on Holocaust and Genocide have received national and international attention.  A graduate of Boston University and the recipient of a Master’s degree from NYU, she is completing her doctorate in Holocaust Studies at Drew University.

The Machinery of Mass Murder: How did the Holocaust actually happen?  While very idea of the Final Solution seems inconceivable, so is the idea of the bureaucracy of death of millions of people, which involved designing and building scores of special camps, identifying and rounding up victims, keeping many of them alive and working and arranging an “alternative” for the others, dealing with the transportation, overseeing the whole enterprise…we will examine the Final Solution from the beginning to understand just how the unthinkable could actually happen.

TBA Book Group with Rabbi Kulwin  March-June 2017

The Holocaust, Then and Now: The Shoah inspires innumerable literary efforts, perhaps because it was and is so unimaginable.This year, we read two classics of Holocaust literature and two books published during the past year. Each is solid, praiseworthy work; comparing them will shed light on if ─and how─the world’s understanding of this cataclysm has changed over the last 70 years.

Thursday, March 2 The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
Basis of the 2002 film, The Pianist is a memoir by one of Poland’s greatest musicians. Written just after the war and suppressed for decades, the work was only widely distributed in Poland, and translated into English, around the turn of this century. Szpilman’s memories of life in occupied Warsaw, and the music that saved his life, are unforgettable.Thursday, April 6  Mila 18 by Leon Uris
Since its 1961 publication, Mila 18 has sold millions of copies, and it is clear why.This account of the Warsaw Ghetto reveals Uris’ greatness as a novelist: crisp, riveting prose telling a tale beyond belief. Some have criticized the work’s lack of nuance; nonetheless, translated into dozens of languages, its role in making sure the world knows what happened in Europe is undeniable.

Thursday, May 4 The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard
Fifty-five years after Mila 18, The Book of Aron returns to the Warsaw Ghetto where we meet its eight -year-old protagonist.  Aron, on his own, is taken in by Janusz Korczak, the doctor who founded a Jewish orphanage. Aron’s evolution from thief to hero touches the soul; his dignity and grace amid the tragedy make finishing the book with dry eyes impossible.

Thursday, June 8 The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday
Torday’s first novel asks us to consider just who deserves to be called a hero. Nephew Eli Goldstein worships his pilot war-hero uncle, a Czech Jew who flew missions for the RAF and has now just published a memoir. As Eli learns more about Poxl, however, he realizes that the stories he has heard may not be quite accurate, and he begins to wonder just what Poxl is. Eli understands Poxl is simply a liar, but he also comes to learn that reality is anything but simple.

2016-2017 TBA Book Group selections

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