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B’nai Sholom Commemorates Life and Brilliance of Israeli Author Amos Oz with Series of Fall Events

B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation in Albany will host a series of events to commemorate the brilliance and distinguished career of Amos Oz, one of Israel’s most prolific writers. 

  • The celebration begins with “Amos Oz: Israel’s Storyteller,” a five-week course beginning Wednesday, Nov. 6, 10:30 a.m. that will focus on three books: a memoir, a collection of short stories and a novel. Led by Martha Rozett, professor emerita at the University at Albany.
  • “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” a film written and directed by Natalie Portman, will be screened Saturday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.
  • A discussion of Judas, Oz’s final novel, will take place after Shabbat services Friday, Dec. 13, as part of B’nai Sholom’s ongoing Synagogue Scholar series. Led by UAlbany Professor Emerita Martha Rozett.

Oz passed away in December 2018 at the age of 79.

            The five-week “Amos Oz: Israel’s Storyteller” will begin with excerpts from A Tale of Love and Darkness, a memoir that traced Oz’s childhood and coming of age in the Jerusalem of the 1940s, as Israel was becoming a state.  It was recently selected by The New York Times as one of the 50 finest memoirs of the past 50 years.  The next text, Between Friends, is a collection of linked stories inspired by Oz’s experience of living on a kibbutz.  The final class will look at his 2014 novel Judas, about a young scholar probing the mysteries surrounding the biblical traitor, Judas.  In the opening sentences, Oz writes that this is a story set in Jerusalem in 1959-1960, a story “of error and desire, of unrequited love, and of a religious question that remains unresolved” – the question of Judas Iscariot’s relationship to Jesus.

            All events in the series are open to the public.  Registration is required for “Amos Oz: Israel’s Storyteller.”  Fee is $30; for B’nai Sholom members it is just $25.  Participants are encouraged to acquire copies of all three books and read as much of them as time permits. 

The Nov. 16 movie and Dec. 13 Synagogue Scholars presentation are free.

Founded in 1971, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation is a home for contemporary Reform Judaism in the Capital Region, creating a vibrant Jewish present that links ancient traditions with the promise of the future.  Nearly 130 diverse households from eight counties seek religious, educational and social fulfillment at B’nai Sholom.

For more information, visit  or contact the B’nai Sholom office: 518-482-5283 or


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