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Kripke Jewish Federation Library

 » Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group

The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group

November 15, 1979 marked the debut of the Jewish Federation Library Book discussion group (renamed the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group). A team of dedicated women, including late "Library Diva" Dorothy Kaplan, were intent on beginning a book club at the Library. Their goal was to select books with Jewish content and/or authors which they hoped would appeal to women of different ages and taste. With the diversity of topics - everything from poetry and mysteries to science fiction and biographies – and guest facilitators, the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group offers something for everyone!  You are welcome to join.  There is no cost and there is always an insightful exchange of observations. 

The group meets on the third Thursday of each month from 1-2 pm in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library.  Contact Library Specialist, Shirly Banner, at sbanner@jewishomaha.org Next group meeting on March 16, 2017.




January 17, 2019 | 1 pm | Kripke Library

"The Heist" by Daniel Silva


 Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue.

Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one . . .

Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with sixteen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant creation, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

Following the success of his smash hit The English Girl, Daniel Silva returns with another powerhouse of a novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.




February 21, 2019 | 1 pm | Kripke Library

"A cup of tea" by Amy Ephron


Rosemary Fell was born into privilege. She has wealth, well–connected friends, and a handsome fiancé, Philip Alsop. Finally she has everything she wants.

It is then, in a moment of beneficence, that Rosemary invites Eleanor Smith, a penniless young woman she sees under a streetlamp in the rain, into her home for a cup of tea. While there, Rosemary sees Eleanor exchange an unmistakable look with Philip, and she sends Eleanor on her way. But she cannot undo this chance encounter, and it leads to a tempestuous and all–consuming love triangle –– until the tides of war throw all their lives off balance.

Inspired by a classic Katherine Mansfield short story, A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron engages with its vivid –– and often amusing –– cast of characters, wonderful period detail, brilliant evocation of the uncertain days of World War I, and delightfully spare and picturesque sense of story.




March 14, 2019 | 11:30 pm | jcc auditorium
"after anatevka: A Novel inspired by 'fiddler on the roof' " by Alexandra Silber


jewish book month luncheon 


Jewish Book Month is an important annual event in both the American Jewish community and the publishing world. It is sponsored by the Jewish Book Council. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s participation in Jewish Book Month. The Community Engagement and Education arm of the JFO is proud to host its traditional Author Luncheon, this year featuring Alexandra Silber. In addition to being an author, Alexandra is an accomplished stage performer.

Alexandra has recently completed a sweeping historical novel in the grand tradition of Russian literature, After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by “Fiddler on the Roof.” This love story continues the tale, ending as a stunning conclusion to a the musical that has gripped audiences around the globe for decades.

Alexandra Silber was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up outside Detroit, Michigan. She graduated with a degree in Acting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has performed in numerous productions throughout the world. Alexandra has written White Hot Grief Parade, a poignant comic memoir about losing her father to cancer when she was 18. She is also an accomplished playwright and has written modern language adaptations of three Greek tragedies.

Copies of After Anatevka… are available for purchase (or to be checked out) in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library.


 no group meeting in April, 2019 (Passover)


May 16, 2019 | 1:00 pm | Kripke Library
"Nemisis" by Philip Roth


Set in a Newark neighborhood during a terrifying polio outbreak, Nemesis is a wrenching examination of the forces of circumstance on our lives.

Bucky Cantor is a vigorous, dutiful twenty-three-year-old playground director during the summer of 1944. A javelin thrower and weightlifter, he is disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. As the devastating disease begins to ravage Bucky’s playground, Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: fear, panic, anger, bewilderment, suffering, and pain. Moving between the streets of Newark and a pristine summer camp high in the Poconos, Nemesis tenderly and startlingly depicts Cantor’s passage into personal disaster, the condition of childhood, and the painful effect that the wartime polio epidemic has on a closely-knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children.



June 20, 2019 | 1:00 pm | Kripke Library
"Almost Family" by Roy Hoffman


Nebraska Waters is black. Vivian Gold is Jewish. In an Alabama kitchen where, for nearly thirty years, they share cups of coffee, fret over their children, and watch the civil rights movement unfold out their window, and into their homes, they are like family—almost.

As Nebraska makes her way, day in and out, to Vivian’s house to cook and help tend the Gold children, the “almost” threatens to widen into a great divide. The two women’s husbands affect their relationship, as do their children, Viv Waters and Benjamin Gold, born the same year and coming of age in a changing South. The bond between the women both strengthens and frays.

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award and Alabama Library Association Award for fiction, Roy Hoffman’s Almost Family explores the relationship that begins when one person goes to work for another, and their friendship—across lines of race, income, and religion—develops degrees of understanding yet growing misunderstanding.



July 18, 2019 | 1:00 pm | Kripke Library
"Scenes from village life" by Amos Oz


Scenes from Village Life is like a symphony, its movements more impressive together than in isolation. There is, in each story, a particular chord or strain; but taken together, these chords rise and reverberate, evoking an unease so strong it’s almost a taste in the mouth . . . "Scenes from Village Life is a brief collection, but its brevity is a testament to its force. You will not soon forget it.”—New York Times Book Review

Strange things are happening in Tel Ilan, a century-old pioneer village. A disgruntled retired politician complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging at night. Could it be their tenant, that young Arab? But then the young Arab hears the digging sounds too. And where has the mayor’s wife gone, vanished without a trace, her note saying “Don’t worry about me?"

Around the village, the veneer of new wealth—gourmet restaurants, art galleries, a winery—barely conceals the scars of war and of past generations: disused air-raid shelters, rusting farm tools, and trucks left wherever they stopped. Scenes From Village Life is a memorable novel in stories by the inimitable Amos Oz: a brilliant, unsettling glimpse of what goes on beneath the surface of everyday life.


History of Book Selections

Selections for 2018 click here.
Selections for 2017 click here.
Selections for 2016 click here.
Selections for 2015 click here.