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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 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 we can all get together again.       

May 6th Selection:
Trust by Hernan Diaz  (2023)
"A multifaceted saga of class, wealth, and mythmaking that should resonate with today’s capitalism-questioning readers.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.
June 3rd Selection:
My Venice: And Other Essays by Donna Leon  (2014)
"So keenly observed that they almost make me homesick for a city I’ve only visited . . . Leon’s essays have the kind of friendly intimacy of a letter from a friend far away” -- —Boston Globe
Donna Leon’s wildly popular novels starring Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti have been praised for their intricate plots and gripping narratives but also for their insight into the culture, politics, family life, and history of Venice, one of the world’s most treasured cities and Leon’s home for over thirty years.
Collected here are over fifty funny, charming, passionate, and insightful essays ranging from battles over garbage in the canals to rehabbing Venetian real estate. Leon shares episodes from her life in Venice, explores her love of opera, and recounts tales in and around her country house in the mountains.
July 1st Selection:
The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese  (2023)
Set in Southern India—where “the land is shaped by water”—the novel follows three generations of a family that are bound by a uniquely disquieting truth: in every generation, at least one family member will drown. And, because it’s Verghese, it’s not just a humble story of life and death, it’s a resounding and astounding, intimate and expansive, story of how cultural, social, and racial politics play out in the lives of wives, doctors, artists—many of whom are orphans—striving to find home and purpose in a world that is ever-shifting and ever-dangerous. Filled with shimmery, charismatic people who love deeply and dream big, The Covenant of Water is an entirely magnetic read that you won’t want to end. —Al Woodworth, Amazon Editor

A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.

August 5th Selection:
The Prodigal Women: A Novel by Nancy Hale and Kate Bolick  (1942)
Nancy Hale (1908-1988) was the author of eight novels, including the bestselling The Prodigal Women, four short story collections, two memoirs, two plays, children's stories, and a biography on Mary Cassatt. The winner of ten O. Henry Awards, Hale published over two hundred stories and essays, eighty of which appeared in The New Yorker, making her one of the most important contributors in the history of the magazine.
Set in Boston, New York, and Virginia, The Prodigal Women tells the intertwined stories of three young women who come of age in the Roaring Twenties, not flappers and golden girls but flesh-and-blood female protagonists looking wearily—and warily—at the paths open to women in a rapidly changing world.
When The Prodigal Women was published in 1942, its uncompromising portrayal of women’s shifting roles, open sexuality, and ambivalence toward motherhood made it a succèss de scandale, spending twenty-three weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Now Library of America restores Nancy Hale’s lost classic to print with a new introduction by Kate Bolick exploring how the novel measures “the gap between what liberation looks like, and what it actually is.”
September - We traditionally do not meet on Labor Day.
October 7th Selection:
The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History (part of The Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity) by Ned Blackhawk  (2023)
Winner of the 2023 National Book Award in Nonfiction. An NPR “Book We Love” for 2023.
“Even as the telling of American history has become more complex and nuanced, Native Americans tend to be absent. Blackhawk, a professor at Yale, confronts that absence in this sweeping account of how Native Americans shaped the country legally, politically, and culturally.”—Washington Post, “50 Notable Works of Nonfiction” (2023)
The most enduring feature of U.S. history is the presence of Native Americans, yet most histories focus on Europeans and their descendants. This long practice of ignoring Indigenous history is changing, however, as a new generation of scholars insists that any full American history address the struggle, survival, and resurgence of American Indian nations. Indigenous history is essential to understanding the evolution of modern America.
Ned Blackhawk interweaves five centuries of Native and non‑Native histories, from Spanish colonial exploration to the rise of Native American self-determination in the late twentieth century. His retelling of U.S. history acknowledges the enduring power, agency, and survival of Indigenous peoples, yielding a truer account of the United States and revealing anew the varied meanings of America.


If you are interested in attending our virtual meetings, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so she can send you an invitation to attend the Zoom meeting.