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Rose Ruth Freudberg Memorial Sisterhood Library

We invite you to come visit!

Enjoy our Jewish-themed fiction and non-fiction, try out Israeli authors, browse Jewish magazines and newspapers, study sacred texts, or even play games and do puzzles, surrounded by the warmth of books.  Members are welcome to borrow from our rich and growing collection of books, films, and musical recordings, encompassing more than 30, 000 items.

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Search Our Online Catalog

Please be advised that the online catalog lists all items owned by the Library, but does not reflect whether those items are currently available or on loan. To search the library catalog, click here.  To check on the item's availability and to request a hold, contact Robin Jacobson

 

 

Book Club

Join our popular book club, which includes meet-the-author and other literary events.  Meet interesting, new people and encounter a broad range of books and ideas. No obligation to attend every meeting – come when you can. For information contact Robin Jacobson.

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The Library


Upcoming Programs 
 

 

Book Chat: The Familiar by Leigh Baradugo

Sunday, September 22, at 10:30 am in the Adas Library
Register here

Read "Robin's Review" here

Join us in the library for an in-person discussion of The Familiar by Leigh Bardugo, a thrilling novel blending historical fiction and fantasy, set in 16th century Spain.  What happened to the Jews forced to become conversos (converts to Catholicism) who remained in Spain after the mass expulsion in 1492?  The author imagined an answer to this question, provoked by her curiosity about the fate of some of her own family members.

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Meet Israeli Author Maya Arad 

in conversation with Lauren Strauss

Sunday, December 8, at 11 am via Zoom
Register here​​​​​​​

Meet celebrated Israeli author Maya Arad – described in Haaretz as the “finest living author writing in Hebrew.” During her virtual visit, Dr. Arad will discuss The Hebrew Teacher, the first of her books of fiction to be translated into English. Wise and witty, the three novellas in The Hebrew Teacher delve into the experience of Israelis living in the United States, family dynamics, living a meaningful life, and much more.  Arad will be in conversation with Dr. Lauren Strauss, Director of Undergraduate Studies for American University’s Jewish Studies Program.

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The Library


Archives
 

 

Beneath the Arch of Titus: Jews in Rome

Click here to see a video recording of the program 

Click here for Robin's review of "Intimate Strangers"

We delved into the fascinating, epic tale of the Jews of Rome with Dr. Fredric Brandfon, author of Intimate Strangers: A History of Jews and Catholics in the City of Rome.  [Note: recording ends abruptly]

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Meet Author GennaRose Nethercott

Click here to see a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Thistlefoot” 

Writer and folklorist, GennaRose Nethercott introduced her acclaimed novel, Thistlefoot - a finalist for the 2023 Jewish Fiction Award and one of NPR's and the Wall Street Journal's "Best Books of the Year." This rollicking adventure story of magical realism centers on two siblings who receive an unusual inheritance from Ukraine. Witty and wise, the novel explores profound issues, including the way the past intertwines with the present.

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Legal Scholars Brad Snyder & Jeffrey Rosen in Conversation

Click here to see a video recording of the program

Click here for Robin's review of "Democratic Justice”

Legal scholars Brad Snyder and Jeffrey Rosen discussed Democratic Justice, Snyder's acclaimed new biography of Felix Frankfurter – Jewish immigrant, Harvard law professor, civil rights activist, Zionist leader, advisor to multiple presidents, and Supreme Court Justice. 

Brad Snyder is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Jeffrey Rosen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, a Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, and a contributing editor of The Atlantic. Both are authors of multiple books.

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Meet Author Omer Friedlander

Click here to see a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land"

Following a group discussion of the charming, immersive Israeli short story collection, The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land, the book's author, Omer Friedlander, popped in for a virtual visit.  Only 28-years-old, Friedlander has earned high praise and starred reviews for "capturing the particularities" of his Israeli homeland through his "graceful and lyrical" prose. Excitingly, The Man Who Sold Air has been selected this year for California's prestigious One Bay One Book program. Friedlander is a young author to watch!

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Meet Author Hans von Trotha via Zoom

Click here to see a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Pollak's Arm"

German historian-journalist-novelist Hans von Trotha introduced his new “small jewel of a novel,” Pollak’s Arm, about the legendary Jewish art dealer Ludwig Pollak. In October 1943, an unexpected guest visits Pollak at his home in Rome and urges him to take shelter in the Vatican to avoid a Nazi round-up. As he weighs his decision, Pollak reflects on his life in art, particularly his spectacular discovery of the missing arm from an ancient statue. Why is this statue, and the Trojan War myth it portrays, so important to his decision? 

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Meet Author Geraldine Brooks​

Click here to request the video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks discussed her new novel, Horse. This gripping story of the Civil War, an iconic racehorse, and a mysterious painting offers a "multi-layered reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America." 

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Meet Author Andrew Lawler​

Click here to see a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Under Jerusalem"

Acclaimed author-journalist Andrew Lawler introduced his new book, Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World's Most Contested City, with an immersive, illustrated presentation. Lauded by reviewers, Under Jerusalem is a thrilling archeological adventure story of "biblical treasures, intrepid explorers, and political upheaval."

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Meet Author Julian Zelizer​

Click here to see a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Abraham Joshua Heschel"

Julian Zelizer is a professor of American political history at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He presented his book, Abraham Joshua Heschel: A Life of Radical Amazement, which portrays Heschel as both a religious and political figure. To this day, Heschel remains a powerful example of the relevance of Jewish values in the struggle for social justice. 

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Jewish Museum Virtual Tour: "Hare With Amber Eyes" Exhibition 

Click here to see a video recording of Edmund de Waal discussing the exhibit

Click here for Robin's review of "Hare With Amber Eyes"

We enjoyed a wonderful virtual tour at New York City's Jewish Museum of the exciting new exhibition, “The Hare With Amber Eyes,” based on the international bestseller by Edmund de Waal. Like the book, the exhibit traces the history of the prominent Jewish Ephrussi family and showcases the breadth and depth of their illustrious art collection. 

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Meet Author Anne Sebba 

Click here to request a video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy" 

Noted biographer-historian Anne Sebba presented her latest work of nonfiction, Ethel Rosenberg: An American Tragedy. Seventy years after the sensational trial and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg for espionage, what do we now know about the guilt of Ethel Rosenberg? Did Cold War politics. anti-Semitism, or attitudes towards women play a role in the case? Why did Ethel and Julius choose to orphan their two young sons rather than accepting prosecution offers that could have spared their lives and freed Ethel to return home?

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Book Chat: Letters to Camondo​

Click here for a video recording of Edmund de Waal introducing his book

Click here for Robin's review of "Letters to Camondo"

This beautiful, intimate book is about the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris and the Jewish family who donated this treasure house of decorative art to France. Letters to Camondo reflects on profound topics – Jewish migration and identity, France’s treatment of Jews during World War II, and the impulse to collect and cherish objects of art. The book’s author, Edmund de Waal, is a world-famous ceramicist whose previous books include the international bestseller, The Hare with the Amber Eyes.

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Meet Author-Psychologist Sherry Turkle

Click here for video recording of the program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "The Empathy Diaries"

MIT Professor Sherry Turkle introduced her latest book, The Empathy Diaries, a vivid and poignant memoir of growing up in Jewish Brooklyn and her awakening interest in topics that led to her path-breaking work. Turkle is a pioneer in the study of the impact of digital technology on human behavior. A frequent media commentator on computer culture and ethics, Dr. Turkle’s previous books include the New York Times bestseller, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

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Meet Author Max Gross

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "The Lost Shtetl"

After a group discussion of The Lost Shtetl, author Max Gross joined to share his perspective on his novel. The Lost Shtetl, about a Yiddish-speaking village hidden within a Polish forest for generations, won a 2020 National Jewish Book Award. 

 

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Meet Astronomer-Author Avi Loeb

Click here for a video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Extraterrestrial" 

Are we alone in the universe? Dr. Avi Loeb, world famous astrophysicist and former chair of Harvard’s Astronomy Department, is the author of the best-selling science memoir, "Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth." Dr. Loeb took us on a mind-bending journey from Israel to the far reaches of space to show the latest evidence for extraterrestrial intelligent life. 

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Meet Author Geraldine Brooks

Click here to request the video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of Geraldine Brooks' novels

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks discussed her experiences as a Middle East foreign correspondent and novelist. Her beloved historical novels have gained new relevance in 2021 - they deal with plague (Year of Wonders); racism (March and Caleb's Crossing): Jews in diverse communities (People of the Book); and charismatic leaders (The Secret Chord). 

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Meet Author David Biespiel

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "A Place of Exodus"

Are we ever done leaving home? Acclaimed poet and essayist David Biespiel discussed his memoir, "A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas," telling the story of his Jewish boyhood in Texas, and musing on the meaning of home, family, and identity.

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Book Chat: The Tunnel by A.B. Yehoshua
With special guest Stuart Schoffman

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A 

Click here for Robin's review of "The Tunnel"  

Following a group discussion of this comic and thought-provoking novel by one of Israel’s foremost authors, Stuart Schoffman, creator of the English translation of "The Tunnel," joined the group to share his unique perspective. 

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Meet Author Jonathan Kaufman

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "Last Kings"

Jonathan Kaufman, former China Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, discussed his acclaimed non-fiction book, "The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties that Helped Create Modern China." 

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Meet the Author
Goldie Goldbloom on Ordinary Hasidic Jews

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "On Division"

Goldie Goldbloom talked about her prize-winning novel, "On Division," and the joys and frustrations of Hasidic life from the perspective of an insider.

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Meet the Author
Rachel Kadish & Her Novel: "The Weight of Ink"

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

Click here for Robin's review of "The Weight of Ink"

Rachel Kadish discussed her award-winning novel, "The Weight of Ink", set partly in 1600's Jewish London and partly in modern London.

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Meet Author Boris Fishman 

Click here for video recording of program, excluding Q&A

​Click here for Robin's review of "Savage Feast"

Acclaimed author Boris Fishman shared the stories behind his latest book about the Soviet Jewish émigré experience, "Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table (A Memoir with Recipes)." 

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The Library


Thank You

Our deep gratitude to the many community members who build and support the library through donations. And a special thank you to those who fund our special collections:

  • Barbara Abrams Cohen Collection for children’s holocaust-related books
  • Glenn S. Easton Jewish Genealogy Collection
  • Salzberg Family Music Library
  • Sisterhood Jewish Heritage Video Collection in memory of Anita Schwartz (z”l)
  • Ruth and Emanuel Weinstein (z”l) Collection encompassing Jewish literature, early Jewish settlement in the United States, strong Jewish role models of the past and present, and contemporary events related to the Jewish Community.
  • Sybil Wolin Passover Collection

We also appreciate support from the following funds:

  • Henry L. & Claire P. Kronstadt Library Endowment Fund
  • R. Robert Linowes Memorial Bookshelf Fund
  • Rabbi Solomon H. Metz Library Fund.
  • Charles Jay Pilzer Computer Center Project.

The Library



 

 

Contact

Robin Jacobson,
(librarian@adasisrael.org)
Library & Literary Programs Director
Adas Israel Congregation
2850 Quebec Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-362-4433 X116

 

 
Wed, June 19 2024 13 Sivan 5784