Etz Bookworms (Rm 10)

We chose our next reading project: The Hilltop, by Assaf Gavron, a satirical novel about life in a West Bank settlement. We'll meet to discuss this book on Sunday, March 3, at 4:30 pm.

On a rocky hilltop stands Ma’aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling outpost of Jewish settlers in the West Bank. According to government records it doesn’t exist; according to the military it must be defended. On this contested land, Othniel Assis—under the wary gaze of the Palestinians in the neighboring village—lives on his farm with his ever-expanding family. As Othniel cheerfully manipulates government agencies, more settlers arrive, and a hodge-podge of shipping containers and mobile homes takes root.

One steadfast resident is Gabi Kupper, a former kibbutz dweller who savors the delicate routines of life on the settlement. When Gabi’s prodigal brother, Roni, arrives penniless on his doorstep with a bizarre plan to sell the “artisanal” olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies, Gabi worries his life won’t stay quiet for long. Then a nosy American journalist stumbles into Ma’aleh Hermesh C, and Gabi’s worst fears are confirmed. The settlement becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal, facing its greatest threat yet.

This novel skewers the complex, often absurd reality of life in Israel.

Coming up in a few months: The One Bay One Book selection for 2018-2019 is another classic novel by Philip Roth, the Plot Against America. Aviation hero and isolationist Charles Lindbergh defeats Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election, and a working class Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey pays the price. We will read the Plot Against America in 2019, in coordination with an event sponsored by the Jewish Community Library.

The book club dates are the first Sundays, except if there is a conflict with a festival or a major congregational event. The dates for the first half of 2019: 3/03, 4/07, 5/05 & 6/02. Meetings are at 4:30 pm, in Room 10 if it is available, else in another one of the Etz Chayim classrooms. Read with us even if you can't come to the meeting. Meet with us even if you haven't read the book.

March 3rd, 2019 4:30 PM   through   6:00 PM

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