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April Book Club

03/31/2020 02:51:59 PM


Ner Shalom Book Club will be reading The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons for our next meeting. We will meet via Zoom on April 29th at 10:30 am to discuss.

From Goodreads about the book:

It's the spring of 1938 and no longer safe to be a Jew in Vienna. Nineteen-year-old Elise Landau is forced to leave her glittering life of parties and champagne to become a parlor maid in England. She arrives at Tyneford, the great house...Read more...

Adult Ed: Zechariah and Malachi

03/31/2020 02:00:24 PM




Summary of Zechariah (this book is actually 14 chapters)

Summary of Malachi


Adult Ed: Zephaniah and Haggai

03/31/2020 01:54:49 PM


Book of Zephaniah

Book of Haggai

Summary of Zephaniah

Summary of Haggai

(These books are collectively 5 chapters)

Source sheet for Zephaniah and Haggai

Notes from Heschel's The Prophets



Adult Ed: Nahum and Habbakuk

03/24/2020 04:41:45 PM


Book of Nahum

Book of Habbakuk

Nahum Summary (Though really, it's just three chapters!)

Habukkuk Summary (Same commentary as above >.>)

Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephania Source Sheet

Updated Notes on The Prophets


Adult Ed: Micah

03/13/2020 01:16:37 PM


Book of Micah

Summary of Micah

Sefaria Source Sheet on Ovadiah, Jonah, and Micah - Sorry I didn't find this last week, but it gives a helpful timeline and outline of these three prophets and their literary themes

One view of the Jewish beliefs on the Messiah and how to understand the varying understandings of the Prophets' calls for a Messiah and Savior



Adult Ed: Ovadiah and Jonah

03/07/2020 10:36:58 AM


Book of Ovadiah (Just one chapter!)

Book of Jonah (I think you are familiar with this story)

Some history on Ovadiah - The Reform movement does not read this prophet in the haftarah cycle, but it is a traditional reading 

Ovadiah history


March Book Club

02/27/2020 03:12:12 PM


We are now reading The Golem and The Jinni: A Novel by Helene Wecker. We will meet to talk about the book March 25th at 10:30. Please contact us for more information.'s description of the book follows: In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced...Read more...

Adult Ed: Joel and Amos

02/21/2020 01:48:45 PM


This week (3/22/20) we are tackling two prophets in one week! But don't worry, even combined their books are fewer chapters than any of the others we've read up to this point. Let's talk about Joel and Amos!

Book of Joel

Summary of Joel

Book of Amos

Summary of Amos

Amos Guide Questions

Malbim on Amos 5:24:1

Let justice well up like water, as it is written "the acts of justice and righteousness...Read more...

Adult Ed: Hosea

02/06/2020 12:52:40 PM


Content Warning: Hosea has some risque imagery!

The Book of Hosea

Summary of Hosea

Prophecy, Hosea, and Teshuva

An Alliance of Love and Complexity

My Jewish Learning: Hosea and Amos in their historical/political context


Book Club: February

01/31/2020 03:45:28 PM


Our next Book Club meeting will be on February 26th at 10:30 AM at the home of a congregant. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about book club.

Our next book is, "Not Our Kind" by Kitty Zeldis - a riveting story featuring two women: a young Jewish girl and the rich woman who hires her to tutor her young daughter. The book takes place in New York City in 1947 and the author does an excellent job of putting the...Read more...

Adult Ed: Ezekiel

01/31/2020 03:38:48 PM


The Book of Ezekiel

Summary of Ezekiel

Notes on Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Prophets

My Jewish Learning: Ezekiel


Adult Ed: Jeremiah

01/23/2020 02:29:22 PM


Book of Jeremiah

Summary of Jeremiah

Was Jeremiah a Failure?

Notes on AJH's the Prophets

Excerpt's from Rabbi's Graduate Class on Jeremiah


Adult Ed: Isaiah

01/19/2020 10:07:06 AM


The Book of Isaiah

Isaiah Intro and Summary - I know I've warned that some Shmoop Biblical cliff notes are from a Christian/"Old Testament" perspective, but here Shmoop actually does a pretty good job of introducing Isaiah from a historical/academic/Jewish perspective. 

Rabbi's Notes on AJH's The Prophets


Adult Ed: Kings

01/10/2020 11:37:39 AM


I Kings

I Kings Summary

II Kings

II Kings Summary

The following two images are from Christian websites, which it is helpful to be mindful and wary of. However, the dates are fairly accurate despite being written as BC instead of BCE and I find it really helps to see everyone lined up like this. Many of the Kings' names are similar and I lose track of Judah vs. Israel, etc.


Adult Ed: Samuel

01/02/2020 01:37:04 PM


Due to time constraints and the numerous books within "The Prophets", we are going to attempt to tackle Samuel I & II this week!

I Samuel

I Samuel Summary

II Samuel

II Samuel Summary

The Interrupted Search for King David's Palace

The Tel Dan Inscription: The First Historical Evidence of King David from the Bible


Map of Samuel's Israel:


January Book Club

12/21/2019 02:52:28 PM


We will meet January 29, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the book entitled The Dream Stitcher by Deborah Gaal.   From Hard times are forcing Maude Fields to take in her estranged mother, Bea, whose secrets date to World War II. Bea arrives with a hand-embroidered recreation of La Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde, the iconic 11th century Bayeux Tapestry. The replica contains clues to the identity of Maude’s father and the...Read more...

Prophets: Judges

12/21/2019 10:08:13 AM


The Book of Judges

Cliff Notes

What is Judges Really About?


Inter-generational Learning: Anti-Heroes and Benevolent Villains

12/13/2019 02:01:08 PM


Learning about the Prophets is on hold this week as we engage with learners of all ages on the theme of anti-heroes and benevolent or redeemable villains in Jewish texts!

Gather to pray with our Religious School at 10:30, and the learning begins at 11! We will start off discussing perspectives all together and then move into age-appropriate break out groups.

k-4th Grade: Make your own Superhero and Arch-Nemesis...

Prophets: Joshua

11/27/2019 04:17:53 PM


The Book of Joshua

Summary - Shmoop is a decent source for summaries; they're the new cliffnotes. I find their Biblical summaries generally correct,...Read more...

Adult Ed: Prophets Intro

11/23/2019 03:30:56 PM


Slideshow by Rabbi Suri from Rabbi Lizz's Alumni Listserve

Rabbi Lizz's Notes on The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel


December Book Club

11/20/2019 02:21:30 PM


The CNS Book Club has chosen Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies as its next read. From Amazon:
For the millions moved by Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, here at last is Miep Geis's own astonishing story. For more than two years, Miep Gies and her husband helped hide the Franks from the Nazis. Like thousands of unsung heroes of the Holocaust, they risked their lives each day to bring food, news, and emotional support to the victims....Read more...

Adult Education Resumes

10/30/2019 02:23:00 PM


Our regular Adult Ed classes with the Rabbi will start up for the year on November 24th. This year's focus will be on the Books of the Prophets and will meet each Sunday at 1 pm unless otherwise noted. 

November Book Club

10/30/2019 02:18:37 PM


The CNS Book Club has chosen Raining Delusions as its next read. 

From Goodreads: "Raining Delusions is a work of fictionalized stories woven together about those who grew up in a tiny community in The Catskills, and how they related to families, friends, lovers, life’s experiences, obstacles and fate.Some of the events are based on memories, fragments of information, really of village life and the eccentric way people...Read more...

September, October Book Club

08/28/2019 04:32:40 PM


For our next book, we will be reading The Source by James Michener.

This historical novel spans all of Jewish history, linking characters from generation to generation through the persecution of the early Hebrews, the rise of Christianity, and the Crusades to the founding of Israel and the modern conflict in the Middle East.

As such, it is a very long read, so we will meet to discuss it on the last Wednesday of October...Read more...

Book Club Update

08/01/2019 12:10:51 PM


Beginning with August 2019 , our meetings will be on the last Wednesday of the month unless it is a holiday.

Our August book is Gateway to the Moon by Mary Morris. We will meet to discuss the book on August 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Summer Book Club Plans

06/04/2019 01:34:06 PM


Our Book Club meets monthly at the home of a member. Each member takes turns picking the book and providing the snacks for the meeting at which we discuss their pick. 

June's pick is Jewish Children by beloved Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, to be discussed at 10:30 am on June 19th. Jewish Children is available for free on Kindle. 

July's pick is rather long, so you may want to start reading that in June as well! On...Read more...

CNS Book Club

04/24/2019 01:46:51 PM


Our Book Club meets monthly at the home of a member. Each member takes turns picking the book and providing the snacks for the meeting at which we discuss their pick. 

This month's pick is by Nathan Englander, to be discussed at 10:30 am on May 22nd. Options are available for those unable to meet during the weekdays. Message us for more details. 

Previously Read Titles from the 5 years of the CNS...Read more...

Week 7: The Final Class on Ezra and Nehemiah

03/23/2019 11:41:21 AM


Nehemiah 11-13

In an Age of Prose - Notes on the rest of the book

Rabbi Lizz's Source Sheet

This post by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is not about Ezra-Nehemiah, but I thought it was a nice drash for our final moments together of Purim Weekend, and she pulls in some knowledge from Tamara Cohn Eskanazi who wrote "In An Age of Prose."


Week 6 (3/17/19): Ezra and Nehemiah

03/15/2019 09:47:38 AM


Nehemiah Chapters 7-10

Rabbi Lizz's Sefaria Source Sheet

Notes on "In An Age of Prose"


Week 5 (3/10/19): Ezra-Nehemia Resumes

03/09/2019 04:12:28 PM


Nehemiah chapters 4-6

Rabbi Lizz's Source Sheet

Judaism: The First Phase (Last Chapters Notated)

Notes on "In An Age of Prose"

Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780