Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 5 PM
In-person in the cabana (outdoor setting) at the Hojua condominium (1288 Ala Moana Boulevard).
The On the Same Page Book Group will be meeting for the first time in this new year, Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 5 PM in the cabana (outdoor setting) at the Hokua condominium (1288 Ala Moana Boulevard). Validated ground level parking is available in the garage. As before, we’ll enjoy a potluck nosh.
We want to see you and you’ll learn much from the discussion and Professor Hoffenberg. RSVP to me (Patricia Kawa'a) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-372-1659. We need a list of names of attendees at the front desk.
We’ve read and discussed Dara Horn’s “All Other Nights” and “The World To Come”. “People Love Dead Jews” (230 pages + ten reading group questions) is Horn’s latest.
From the back cover, 'Dara Horn is often asked by major publications to write on subjects related to Jewish culture - and increasingly in response to recent waves of deadly antisemitic attacks. Horn was troubled to realize what all of these assignments had in common: she was being asked to write about dead Jews, never about living ones.' This book is one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2021.
Peter H. Hoffenberg, PhD, Professor of History, UH Manoa will be joining us. I recall his excellent presentation on this subject at Temple Emanuel-El and he’ll bring his considerable talent and knowledge to the discussion.
The book is available at Barnes & Noble: paperback $17.95 hardback $22.95 ebook $19.49. Amazon: paperback $16.19 kindle $9.34. Hawaii State Library System: Call # 909.04924 Ho. ISBN 978-1-324-03594-7 and the Temple Emanu-El Library. Please come whether you have read the book, just a part or not at all.
Discussion questions can be found at the end of the book, but are listed here to help guide reading:
1. What was your first reaction to the title? Having read the book, what do you take as its meaning? Why did Dara choose it?
2. James Carroll says, “Because antisemitism is a Christian problem more than a Jewish one, Christian readers need this book.” Broadening Carroll’s statement to include non-Jewish readers in general, do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why?
3. Horn writes that she kept antisemitic experiences of her youth filed away in a mental sock drawer. Do you connect with this way of dealing with difficult situations? Why do you think Horn found that the mental sock drawer wasn’t as effective for her children?
4. Horn posits that perhaps people wouldn’t be as interested in seeing Anne Frank’s house if she had survived the Holocaust. Do you agree? Why?
5. Were you aware of the myth of changed surnames at Ellis Island? Why do you think so many people hang on to it even though it has been debunked?
6. Horn writes that “the popular obsession with dead Jews, even in its most apparently benign & civic-minded forms, is a profound affront to human dignity” (p.xxiii). How did our society become fixated on dead Jews? Is there a way to channel this obsession into something healthier? What would that be?
7. Do you think there are other cultures or minority groups for which the dead are more interesting than the living in the popular imagination, or is this particular to the Jews?
8. Consider Horn’s question, “If the purpose of literature is to ‘uplift’ us, is it even possible to write fiction that is honest about the most horrifying aspects of the Jewish past” (p.73)? Is it?
9. After the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, Horn’s children responded by simply stating it happened “because some people hate Jews” (p. 49). What do you think this reaction says about the newest generations to experience antisemitism, and how has it differed from that of previous generations? Does it reflect how antisemitism itself has changed?
10. Horn believes that Jews represent the idea of freedom. In what ways is freedom reflected through the experience of the Jews?
October 2022: "The Pearl and the Flame" by Rabbi Natan Margalit, Ph.D.
September 2021: "The Art of Resistance" by Justus Rosenberg.
July 2021: "Florence Adler Swims Forever" by Rachel Beanland.
May 2021: "The Mathematician's Shiva" by Stuart Rozjstaczer.
March 2021: "Torah and Taro" by Matthew R. Sgan
January 2021: "My Father's Paradise" by Ariel Sabar.
November 2020: "Beneath a Scarlet Sky" by Mark Sullivan.
September 2020: "Black, White and Jewish" by Rebecca Walker.
July 2020: "My First American" by Lore Segal.
August 2022: "A Matter of Size".
July 2022: "The Yankles".
August 2021: "The Meyerowitz Stories".
June 2021: "The Zookeeper's Wife".
April 2021: "Red Sea Diving Resort".
February 2021: "Maktub".
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Meet the Board
President: Chris Gerson; Vice President: Paul Gracie;
Secretary: Sue Brown; Treasurer: Andrea Berez-Kroeker.
Directors: Bob Brown, Hannah Hall, Patricia Kawa'a, Hank Trapido-Rosenthal, Melanie Rabiroff and Edwyna Spiegel.
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