Jewish Heroes and Heroines

Posted on January 24, 2014. Filed under: Event, Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , |

Oakton Community College Library is pleased to present this year’s Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature. Join Benjamin Goluboff, associate professor of English and winner of the “great teacher award” at Lake Forest College, for this free five-part Jewish literature series focusing on the theme: Jewish Heroes and Heroines. Class sessions are comprised of readings, lectures and engaging group discussions.

Registration is required at the Alliance for Lifelong Learning Office, Room A120, Skokie Campus or Room 1420, Des Plaines Campus. The CRN number is 40509.

This series is made possible by a generous grant from the Oakton Educational Foundation.

Part 1
Wednesday, January 29: 7-8:30 p.m
Room P103, Skokie

book cover for My Glorious BrothersMy Glorious Brothers
by Howard Fast

“After witnessing a ransacked and desecrated Jerusalem, Simon and his four brothers—soon to be known and revered as the Maccabees—rise to lead an earthshaking rebellion. Their tale has almost no parallel in human history. Theirs was the will, fire, and unbending spirit that inspired the timeless rite of Hanukkah, transforming a society of farmers and scholars into an unconquerable army that would wage the first modern fight for freedom and the first victory for religious freedom.

Master storyteller Howard Fast recounts the story of great battles, brutal atrocities, and undying love and loyalty. But it is also a sensitive and sure picture of a people and an age, in which the mood of a small but spirited segment of humanity two thousand years ago is recreated with gripping authenticity” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Part 2
Wednesday, February 19: 7-8:30 p.m

Room P103, Skokie

book cover for The Frozen RabbiThe Frozen Rabbi
by Steve Stern

“How does a nineteenth-century rabbi from a small Polish town end up in a freezer in a suburban Memphis home at the end of the twentieth century? And what happens when a teenage boy thaws him out and miraculously brings him back to life?” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Part 3
Wednesday, March 12: 7-8:30 p.m

Room P103, Skokie

book cover for Gentlemen of the RoadGentlemen of the Road
by Michael Chabon

“They’re an odd pair, to be sure: pale, rail-thin, black-clad Zelikman, a moody, itinerant physician fond of jaunty headgear, and ex-soldier Amram, a gray-haired giant of a man as quick with a razor-tongued witticism as he is with a sharpened battle-ax. Brothers under the skin, comrades in arms, they make their rootless way through the Caucasus Mountains, circa A.D. 950, living as they please and surviving however they can—as blades and thieves for hire and as practiced bamboozlers, cheerfully separating the gullible from their money. No strangers to tight scrapes and close shaves, they’ve left many a fist shaking in their dust, tasted their share of enemy steel, and made good any number of hasty exits under hostile circumstances.

None of which has necessarily prepared them to be dragooned into service as escorts and defenders to a prince of the Khazar Empire. Usurped by his brutal uncle, the callow and decidedly ill-tempered young royal burns to reclaim his rightful throne. But doing so will demand wicked cunning, outrageous daring, and foolhardy bravado . . . not to mention an army. Zelikman and Amram can at least supply the former. But are these gentlemen of the road prepared to become generals in a full-scale revolution? The only certainty is that getting there—along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of—will be much more than half the fun” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Part 4
Wednesday, April 9: 7-8:30 p.m

Room P103, Skokie

book cover for In My Father's CourtIn My Father’s Court
by Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Like Isaac Bashevis Singer’s fiction, this poignant memoir of his childhood in the household and rabbinical court of his father is full of spirits and demons, washerwomen and rabbis, beggars and rich men. This rememberance of Singer’s pious father, his rational yet adoring mother, and the never-ending parade of humanity that marched through their home is a portrait of a magnificent writer’s childhood self and of the world, now gone, that formed him” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

Part 5
Wednesday, May 7: 7-8:30 p.m

Room P103, Skokie

book cover for The AvengersThe Avengers
by Rich Cohen

“Rich Cohen, author of the acclaimed Tough Jews, again narrates a little-known episode of Jewish history, this time altering what we thought we knew about the Holocaust.

Abba Kovner, Vitka Kempner, Ruzka Korczak-comrades, lovers, friends. In the Lithuanian ghetto of Vilna, they were the heart of a breathtakingly courageous underground movement, and when the ghetto was liquidated, they fled to the forests and joined other partisans in continued sabotage and resistance. Riveting, poignant and uplifting, The Avengers is a powerful exploration of resistance and revenge, of courage and dedication, and an inside look at some of the intrepid individuals who fought against the Holocaust and the nazi occupation of Europe.” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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