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Skirball Cultural Center

A Year in Israel in Print

A Special Skirball Book Club


Covers of each book listed in the class

Spend 2024 in Israel through the pages of six bestselling books—each with a different perspective and from a different genre.

Date and Time

Tuesdays, January 30, March 26, May 28, July 30, September 24, and December 3, 7:00–8:30 pm

Pricing and Details

Classes are currently in session. If you would still like to register or have any questions, please email adulteducation@skirball.org.

  • $160 General
  • $140 Members

6 sessions

About the Class

Spend 2024 in Israel through the pages of six bestselling books—each with a different perspective and from a different genre. This bi-monthly evening book club will explore history, culture, and geopolitics through works of non-fiction, memoir, historical fiction, literature, and even poetry. Read along with Skirball Rabbi in Residence Beau Shapiro to share reaction to these diverse representations of Israel, past and present.

JANUARY: The Genius of Israel by Dan Senor and Saul Singer—Bold, timely, and insightful, Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s latest work shines an important light on the impressive innovative distinctions of Israeli society—and what other communities and countries can learn.

MARCH: Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef and Ron Brackin—This gripping New York Times bestseller tells the true story of a Hamas insider who rejected his violent destiny and pursued peace...at the risk of everything.

MAY: A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz—The international bestselling memoir from award-winning author Amos Oz, "one of Israel's most prolific writers and respected intellectuals" (The New York Times), about his turbulent upbringing in the city of Jerusalem in the era of the dissolution of Mandatory Palestine and the beginning of the State of Israel.

JULY: The Tent Generations: Palestinian Poems by Mohammed Sawaie—This collection gathers together works by a select number of Palestinian poets, over the past seven decades, that give expression to the Palestinian experience under Israeli military rule and Israeli occupation, as well as the experience of dispersion and displacement from their homeland following the Nakba of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the subsequent wars of 1967 and 1973. 

SEPTEMBER: Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa—In this “beautiful...urgent” novel (The New York Times), Nahr, a young Palestinian woman, fights for a better life for her family as she travels as a refugee throughout the Middle East. Written with Susan Abulhawa’s distinctive “richly detailed, beautiful, and resonant” (Publishers Weekly) prose, this powerful novel presents a searing, darkly funny, and wholly unique portrait of a Palestinian woman who refuses to be a victim.

DECEMBER: Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi—In this taut and provocative book, one Israeli makes a powerful attempt to reach beyond the wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians. In a series of letters, Yossi Klein Halevi explains what motivated him to leave his native New York in his twenties and move to Israel to participate in the drama of the renewal of a Jewish homeland, which he is committed to see succeed as a morally responsible, democratic state in the Middle East.

Instructor: Rabbi Beau Shapiro began his Skirball residency on June 5, 2023. Prior to joining the Skirball, Rabbi Shapiro spent twenty years at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles as Rabbi, Rabbinic Intern, Song Leader, and Educator, helping to lead the institution through a period of unprecedented growth and change, building relationships and expanding the dimensions of Jewish life within and beyond the temple. He has also served as Youth Director at Temple Israel of Hollywood. Rabbi Shapiro received his Rabbinic Ordination in 2011 from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion, where he also earned a Master’s degree in Hebrew Letters in 2009. Additionally, he holds degrees in Religious Studies and Cinema-Television from the University of Southern California (USC).

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