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Book Discussion Group

All Kehilla members are invited to join us for our customary meetings on the second Monday of the month in the Fireside Room.

 The Forgetting River by Doreen Carvajal

Monday, March 14, 7pm 

Raised a Catholic in California, New York Times journalist Doreen Carvajal is shocked when she discovers that her background may actually be connected to conversos from Inquisition-era Spain: Jews who were forced to renounce their faith and convert to Christianity or face torture and death. With vivid childhood memories of Sunday sermons, catechism, and the rosary, Carvajal travels to the centuries-old Andalucian town of Arcos de la Frontera, to investigate her lineage and recover her family’s original religious heritage.  As she strives to find proof that her family had been forced to convert to Christianity six hundred years ago, Carvajal comes to understand that the past flows like a river through time–and that while the truth might be submerged, it is never truly lost.

(We will get some copies of this book from the San Francisco Jewish Lending Library)

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar

Monday, April 11, 7pm.

Hayat Shah is a young American in love for the first time. His normal life of school, baseball, and video games had previously been distinguished only by his Pakistani heritage and by the frequent chill between his parents, who fight over things he is too young to understand. Then Mina arrives, and everything changes.

American Dervish is a brilliantly written, nuanced, and emotionally forceful look inside the interplay of religion and modern life. Ayad Akhtar was raised in the Midwest himself, and through Hayat Shah he shows readers vividly the powerful forces at work on young men and women growing up Muslim in America.

Ayad Akhtar is the author of Disgraced, a play that recently played at the Berkeley Rep Theatre.

Please find a copy of the book at the library or a bookstore.  For more information, please contact Jan at




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