Temple Israel’s Sisterhood is dedicated to a wide variety of religious, educational, social, philanthropic, and advocacy efforts. We are an outlet for the vibrant energy, creativity, and passion of Reform Jewish women, a social hub of Reform Jewish life, and an integral part of our congregation. Would you like to join us? Please contact either of us.
Donna Seldes and Wendy Saltzburg
Temple Israel Sisterhood Co-Presidents
Temple Israel Book Club Events
At noon on the First Monday of each month, we get together to review and discuss a wide assortment of books including novels, biographies, memoirs, and non-fiction. Everyone is welcome -- please join us for a special experience. Although this is a Sisterhood event, men are welcome and encouraged to attend. We are now meeting via Zoom until such time as we can all get together again.
The Book Club will NOT meet in September due to Labor Day.
Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2 Era America by Michael Benson (2022)
The stunning true story of the rise of Nazism in America in the years leading to WWII—and the fearless Jewish gangsters and crime families who joined forces to fight back. With an intense cinematic style, acclaimed nonfiction crime author Michael Benson reveals the thrilling role of Jewish mobsters like Bugsy Siegel in stomping out the terrifying tide of Nazi sympathizers during the 1930s and 1940s.
As Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1930s Germany, a growing wave of fascism began to take root on American soil. Nazi activists started to gather in major American cities, and by 1933, there were more than one hundred anti-Semitic groups operating openly in the United States. Few Americans dared to speak out or fight back—until an organized resistance of notorious mobsters waged their own personal war against the Nazis in their midst. Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob’s most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. The book culminates in one of the most infamous events of the pre-war era—the 1939 Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden—in which law-abiding citizens stood alongside hardened criminals to fight for the soul of a nation. This is the story of the mob that’s rarely told—one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime.
November 7th Selection:
The Last Rose of Shanghai: A Novel by Weina Dai Randel (2021)
In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music…
1940. Aiyi Shao is a young heiress and the owner of a formerly popular and glamorous Shanghai nightclub. Ernest Reismann is a penniless Jewish refugee driven out of Germany, an outsider searching for shelter in a city wary of strangers. He loses nearly all hope until he crosses paths with Aiyi. When she hires Ernest to play piano at her club, her defiance of custom causes a sensation. His instant fame makes Aiyi’s club once again the hottest spot in Shanghai. Soon they realize they share more than a passion for jazz―but their differences seem insurmountable, and Aiyi is engaged to another man.
As the war escalates, Aiyi and Ernest find themselves torn apart, and their choices between love and survival grow more desperate. In the face of overwhelming odds, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever. From the electrifying jazz clubs to the impoverished streets of a city under siege, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a timeless, sweeping story of love and redemption.
December 5th Selection:
Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott (2021)
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • A “vivid and devastating” portrait of an indomitable girl—from acclaimed journalist Andrea Elliott (The New York Times)
In Invisible Child, Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani’s childhood with the history of her ancestors, tracing their passage from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, New York City’s homeless crisis has exploded, deepening the chasm between rich and poor. She must guide her siblings through a world riddled by hunger, violence, racism, drug addiction, and the threat of foster care. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter “to protect those who I love.”
A work of luminous and riveting prose, Elliott’s Invisible Child reads like a page-turning novel. It is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality—told through the crucible of one remarkable girl.