Book month events begin with son and conclude with father

At least 10 Portland-area Jewish organizations plan November programs about My Father’s Paradise, by Ariel Sabar, as part of National Jewish Book Month.

The month begins Nov. 4, when Congregation Beth Israel’s book club hosts a Skype interview with the author. He will respond to questions submitted by the audience. This event will begin at 9 am at Beth Israel, 1972 NW Flanders St.

The celebration continues the next day at 7 pm with a staged reading of Chapter 1 of My Father’s Paradise at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center (see related story).

On Nov. 14 at 5:30 pm, Michael Totten, author of Where the West Ends, and Iranian Kurd Sheida Kharrazi will participate in a panel discussion sponsored by Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University. Totten will talk about his experiences reporting in Kurdistan. Kharrazi, a member of the local Iranian Kurdish community, will come dressed in traditional Kurdish clothing and talk about her youth in Kurdistan and her belief that, one day, the region will be an independent nation. “Independent Kurdistan? Perspectives on the Non-Arab Middle East” is free and will be held in PSU’s Smith Memorial Union, Browsing Lounge.

The month-long exploration of the book’s themes concludes Nov. 30-Dec. 2 with a weekend scholar-in-residence program featuring Dr. Yona Sabar, father of the author of My Father’s Paradise. Sponsored by Congregation Neveh Shalom, the Institute for Judaic Studies and the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University, the weekend will include several events with Dr. Sabar at Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane. Details still are being finalized, but will include a Kurdish dinner on Friday and a havdallah program Saturday. For more information on the scholar-in-residence events, contact Jennifer Greenberg at 503-246-8831 or

In between, a variety of events are planned. They include:

Nov. 6, 6:30 pm: Book discussion at Hillsdale Library with Laura Liebman;
sponsored by Kesser Israel and Multnomah County Library

Nov. 7, 7 pm: Book discussion with Middle Eastern food at Lake Oswego library;
sponsored by Beit Haverim

Nov. 13, 6:45 pm: Book discussion and Middle Eastern food
at Midland Regional Library

Nov. 14, 7:30 pm: Book Discussion and Middle Eastern Dessert
at Congregation Kol Ami in Vancouver

Nov. 15, 7 pm: Forget Baghdad, a film about Iraqi Jews; $8/museum members,
$10/general admission, at Oregon Jewish Museum

Nov. 18, 10 am: Revital Shiri-Horowitz, author of Daughters of Iraq,
will discuss her story and the difficulties her family faced immigrating to Israel
at Congregation Beth Israel

Nov. 19, 7 pm: Book discussion at Havurah Shalom

Nov. 29, 7:15 pm: Book discussion led by Sylvia Frankel at Rose Schnitzer Manor;
sponsored by Melton, Cedar Sinai Park and MJCC

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