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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: "Who By Fire" by Matti Friedman

Sunday, October 30, 10:00 am | Register here for this in-person program in the Library

Click here for Robin's review of "Who By Fire"

Join us to discuss Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai by award-winning Israeli journalist Matti Friedman. During the Yom Kippur War, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen impulsively traveled to Israel and sang for encamped soldiers across the Sinai Desert. This is a captivating (and short!) book about personal redemption, music in wartime, and Israeli history. Please note: this program will also be offered via Zoom on Sunday, November 6, at 4:00 pm.  See below.

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Meet Actress-Singer-Author Eleanor Reissa

Sunday, November 6, 10:30 am | Register here for this in-person program in the Beit Midrash

Eleanor Reissa is a Tony-nominated director, a Broadway and television actress, a prize-winning playwright, a former artistic director of the world's oldest Yiddish theater, and a singer in every major venue in New York City and in festivals around the world. She will introduce her new memoir, The Letters Project, about her journey to unravel her parents' Holocaust experience. She will also perform some of her signature songs! 

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Book Chat: "Who By Fire" by Matti Friedman

Sunday, November 6, 4:00 pm | Register here for this Zoom program

Click here for Robin's review of "Who By Fire"

Join us via Zoom to discuss Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai by award-winning Israeli journalist Matti Friedman. During the Yom Kippur War, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen impulsively traveled to Israel and sang for encamped soldiers across the Sinai Desert. This is a captivating (and short!) book about personal redemption, music in wartime, and Israeli history. Please note: this program will also be offered in person in the Adas library on Sunday, October 30, at 10:00 am. See above. 

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Meet Adas Author Liz Scheier

Sunday, November 13, 10:00 am | Register here for this in-person program in the Library

Liz Scheier will introduce her "gripping and darkly funny" memoir, Never Simple, about growing up with her tempestuous single mother who built their life based on elaborate lies. What do we owe our parents even when they fail us?  Liz grapples with this question, and with how to share her mother's positive traits with her own children without passing down the trauma of her mental illness.  Never Simple has garnered praise from the New York TimesPublishers Weekly (starred review), Kirkus, Library Journal, and other publications. It was chosen as a Best Book of March by Amazon and Apple Books.

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Meet Author Hans von Trotha via Zoom

Sunday, December 4, 11:00 am | Register here for this Zoom program

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

German historian-journalist-novelist Hans von Trotha will introduce 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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Book Chat & Meet Author Omer Friedlander

Sunday, January 22, 11:00 am | Register here for this Zoom program

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

Join us to discuss the charming, immersive Israeli short story collection, The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land. Halfway through this Zoom program, the book's author, Omer Friedlander will pop in for a virtual visit and to answer questions.  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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The Library


Archives
 

 

Meet Author Geraldine Brooks​

Click here to see a video recording of the program (available through Sept. 21)

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 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


 

Toddler Sing N' Play

Treat your baby or toddler to our Sing N’ Play library program, offered free of charge, and resuming in Spring 2022 on Monday and Friday mornings. Please contact Gan HaYeled for more information.

 

 

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

 

 
Fri, October 7 2022 12 Tishrei 5783