Ahavah Reads Ladies Book Club

7:00 pm

September 7, 2017

We meet 3-4 times a year at a wine bar (no less!) and discuss a chosen book while sipping a glass (or 2) of wine! This week you will see advertising for our book club first gathering. Sep 7 at Allison Fowler house (but we promise to have wine!)

This book is pretty special as we will have the author as our guest speaker. It is an incredible story. One that will leave you gasping at some points…promise!

Here is the information about the book

Date: September 7 at 7pm-8:30pm

Location: Allison’s home: 11619 SW Northgate Ave. PDX 97219

Description of book: Safran’s memoir, Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid, was released September 10, 2013, by Hyperion. The memoir was praised by critics. Kirkus Reviews wrote that it was “a remarkable account of survival despite the odds”. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and wrote “This assured debut is reminiscent of David Sedaris’s and Augusten Buroughs’s best work: introspective, hilarious, and heartbreaking”. San Francisco Chronicle wrote that it “offers engaging story after story and a healthy dose of narrative tension throughout.”

Free Spirit follows Safran’s life story from his birth in a San Francisco commune, to traveling the American west with his single mother as she searched for Utopia. As they encountered a cast of colorful characters, they lived in everything from an ice cream truck to a lean-to on a stump. When Safan’s mother married an abusive ex-guerilla, their life darkened. Eventually Safan learned to fight back and help free his mother and himself from abuse.

Here are other books that we will discuss- but you can start reading them nowJ

  1. The choice book club The best place on earth- look below for information –

Date: October 17 6:30-8pm at Sip Divine in Multnomah Village

Description: Confident, original and humane, the stories in The Best Place on Earth are peopled with characters at the crossroads of nationalities, religions and communities: expatriates, travelers, immigrants and locals.

In the powerfully affecting opening story, “Tikkun,” a chance meeting between a man and his former lover carries them through near tragedy and into unexpected peace. In “Casualties,” Tsabari takes us into the military—a world every Israeli knows all too well—with a brusque, sexy young female soldier who forges medical leave forms to make ends meet. Poets, soldiers, siblings and dissenters, the protagonists here are mostly Israelis of Mizrahi background (Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent), whose stories have rarely been told in literature. In illustrating the lives of those whose identities swing from fiercely patriotic to powerfully global, The Best Place on Earth explores Israeli history as it illuminates the tenuous connections—forged, frayed and occasionally destroyed—between cultures, between generations and across the gulf of transformation and loss.

Contact Dorice Horenstein for more information: education@shaarietorah.org


  1. Henna house by Nomi levy

Date: March 6 6:30-8pm at Sip Divine in Multnomah Village


An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth century, from the acclaimed author of The Family Orchard.

In the tradition of Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, Henna House is the enthralling story of a woman, her family, their community, and the rituals that bind them.

Nomi Eve’s vivid saga begins in Yemen in 1920, when Adela Damari’s parents desperately seek a future husband for their young daughter. After passage of the Orphan’s Decree, any unbetroth Jewish child left orphaned will be instantly adopted by the local Muslim community. With her parents’ health failing, and no spousal prospects in sight, Adela’s situation looks dire until her uncle arrives from a faraway city, bringing with him a cousin and aunt who introduce Adela to the powerful rituals of henna tattooing. Suddenly, Adela’s eyes are opened to the world, and she begins to understand what it means to love another and one’s heritage. She is imperiled, however, when her parents die and a prolonged drought threatens their long-established way of life. She and her extended family flee to the city of Aden where Adela encounters old loves, discovers her true calling, and is ultimately betrayed by the people and customs she once held dear.

Henna House is an intimate family portrait and a panorama of history. From the traditions of the Yemenite Jews, to the far-ranging devastation of the Holocaust, to the birth of the State of Israel, Eve offers an unforgettable coming-of-age story and a textured chronicle of a fascinating period in the twentieth century.

Henna House is a rich, spirited, and sensuous tale of love, loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and the dyes that adorn the skin and pierce the heart.

  1. The zoo keepers’s wife –spring (we will show the movie in May)

Date: May 8 6:30-8pm at Sip Divine in Multnomah Village


A true story, as powerful as Schindler’s List, in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands.

When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw—and the city’s zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen “guests” hid inside the Zabinskis’ villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants—otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.

With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.

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