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Miriam's Coast-To-Coast Book Club

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 21 Av 5780

7:00 PM - 8:00 PMZoom

RSVP to Robby. To purchase the book on Amazon, click here.

Coast-To-Coast Book Club to Feature Susan Paley
by Joanie Jacobson

Fasten your seat belts. The Miriam Initiative’s Coast-To-Coast Book Club is headed for Atlanta, now the home of former Omahan Susan Paley, who will take women in the Omaha Jewish community and beyond on a literary adventure they’ll long remember, exploring the award-winning book Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. The event is scheduled for
Tuesday, August 11, from 7:00-8:00 pm CDT on Zoom.

“Susan’s love of books is contagious,” said close friend Sibby Wolfson, “and hearing her talk about them is always a joy. Every time we discuss a book, I learn from her, happily, and so will the women who join us on August 11.”

A project of Beth El Synagogue, the Coast-To-Coast Book Club encourages women in the Omaha Jewish community to invite their mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins and girlfriends across the country to join them online. “Last time, we had over 60 women from 14 states participate,“ said Robby Erlich, Engagement Coordinator at Beth El. “We’re very excited to have Susan live-streaming from Atlanta, and the book sounds like a great read.”

Paley describes Before We Were Yours as “an inconceivable story hiding in plain sight in U.S. history.” Based on a tragic true story, it’s been a best seller for years and has attracted readers of all kinds of books. “Now that we’ve moved, I want so much to learn about old Atlanta and the South,” Paley explained — “who were the people, what did they feel, what was life like? I’m trying to make sense of the huge and obvious Southern issues through the small stories about families and feelings. Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, for example, is riveting, powerful and devastatingly realistic. I’m re-reading Faulkner and seeing his writing with fresh eyes.”

Paley fell in love with books at a very early age. “My father mentored me,” she recalled. “He was truly a Renaissance man in his love for literature, and he passed on the gift of treasuring books to my sisters and me. He would choose the books he wanted me to read and then we’d discuss their themes and ideas.

When living in Omaha, Paley led two book groups, one for several years at Beth El. “I’m attracted to women’s book clubs,” she noted. “The shared discussions and collective insights build community in different ways than in a mixed group. A special bond is created, one of shared interests, respect for each others’ points of view, and a willing desire for exploration into the topics raised. Leading those groups was among the happiest experiences of my life. “One of the best jobs ever was at Beth El teaching Jewish and Holocaust studies to eighth graders. I’m now a docent at the Breman Jewish Museum in Atlanta, helping public school kids from all over Georgia learn about the Holocaust. It’s hugely satisfying. Thank you, Gloria Kaslow, for mentoring me. “I look forward to ‘re-connecting’ with Omaha,” Paley concluded, “and taking part in the Coast-To-Coast Book Club!”

The Miriam Initiative provides a wide array of programming for the Women of Beth El. To register for the August 11 Coast-To-Coast Book Club, RSVP to Robby Erlich at Zoom invitation to follow.





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