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Coming to America: Motl the Cantor’s Son

The Yiddish Book Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries is a program in which librarians arrange reading groups to discuss three books of Yiddish literature in translation, and one book related to an immigrant community served by their library. Everyone is welcome to attend one, or more of the scheduled discussions via Zoom. 

Registration is required. Zoom link will be sent out an hour prior to the discussion.

Copies are available for check-out at the Borrowing Desk or by calling 860.347.2520.

This reading and discussion program is to engage teens and adults in thinking about immigrants' experiences encountering America. Using Yiddish literature as a portal, the program will feature Yiddish literature in translation that explores questions of identity, assimilation, language, cuisine, and generational change, presenting American identity as an ongoing conversation, a give-and-take between insiders and outsiders, and will compare these works written in the early 20th century to works by contemporary immigrant writers.

Russell Library will be hosting a series of four book discussion in 2020-2021 for adults and teens. The titles of the books of are Motl the Cantor’s Son, by Sholem Aleichem, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu,A Jewish Refugee in New York, by Kadya Molodovsky, Enemies, and A Love Story, by Isaac Bashevis Singer. These discussions will take place on Tuesday evenings in partnership with The Racial Justice Book Group and Russell Readers. The goals of the program are to introduce Yiddish literature in the context of the broader immigrant experience in coming to America, and to help prompt and inform discussions about American immigration experiences—a topic as relevant today as it was one hundred years ago.


October 20th 6:30 PM

Tevye the Dairyman and Motl the Cantor’s Son by Sholem Aleochem Tuesday

November 17th 6:30 PM (RACIAL JUSTICE combined)

The Beautiful Things Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

Books are available at the Circulation Desk.

The Yiddish Book Center’s “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries is made possible by a gift from Sharon Karmazin.

Russell Readers and the Racial Justice Book Group are sponsored by The Friends of Russell Library.

Questions: Christy Billings of Information Services and Adult Learning. cbillings@russelllibrary.org 860.347.2528 Ext 160

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
  Book Group  
Registration has closed.

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