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HP Public Library to Hold Yiddish Reading Groups

The Highland Park Public Library is one of 29 libraries nationwide selected to participate in the Yiddish Book Center’s “Stories of Exile” Reading Groups for Public Libraries initiative this year.

“Stories of Exile” is a reading and discussion program to engage teens and adults in thinking about experiences of displacement, migration and diaspora. In this program, librarians organize reading groups to discuss three books of Yiddish literature in translation, and one book related to the experience of a community served by their library.

“The ideas and stories introduced this year are timeless and relevant to our current moment,” said Susan Bronson, executive director of the Yiddish Book Center. “Throughout history, communities have grappled with challenges of displacement and exile. By reading together, we hope to foster conversations about the meaning of home, identity and belonging. Many works of Yiddish literature are born of exile. We hope to introduce new readers to these literary treasures.”

“The Highland Park community is currently welcoming many new refugees and migrants, and many longtime community members also have similar histories in their or their families’ pasts. We hope that exploring these similarities through literature may help neighbors to build empathy for each other,” said adult services librarian Nathalie Levine. Levine and adult services librarian Sherry Johnson are coordinating this series of programs.

Upcoming “Stories of Exile” Reading Groups include:

October 23, 6:30 p.m.

Highland Park Community Center (220 S. 6th Ave., Highland Park):

“On the Landing: Stories by Yenta Mash,” translated by Ellen Cassedy.

The discussion will focus on “Resting Place,” about Jewish deportees’ arrival in Siberia, and “At the Western Wall,” about a grandmother’s experience in her new country of Israel.

November 13, 6:30 p.m.

Highland Park Conservative Temple—Congregation Anshe Emeth (201 S. 3rd Ave., Highland Park):

“The Glatstein Chronicles” by Jacob Glatstein, edited by Ruth Wisse, translated by Maier Deshell and Norbert Guterman. The discussion will focus on Book One, in which a Jewish American writer travels home to Poland to visit his dying mother in the mid-1930s.

January 22, 6:30 p.m.

Highland Park Community Center (220 S. 6th Ave., Highland Park):

“In the Land of the Postscript: Short Stories” by Chava Rosenfarb, translated by Goldie Morgentaler.

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