The Jewish Community Library invites you to “Think Inside the Box” with our Book Club in a Box program!

Whether you are thinking of starting a group or are already in one, we can help every step of the way — including providing the books free of charge. Call 415.567.3327 x706 or email to learn how we can serve you. And click here to sign up for our email newsletter for book groups.

It’s the no commitment book club! Come for one session, or come for all three.

In conjunction with this year’s One Bay One Book program, these titles explore family secrets.

Pick up your copy of the book at the Library or at a Pushcart branch at the Palo Alto or San Francisco JCC. For more information, contact the Library at 415.567.3327 x 706. There is no fee to participate, and all are welcome. Discussions are facilitated by Jim Van Buskirk and are held at the Jewish Community Library, 1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco.

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro


Stunned by the results of a DNA test indicating that her father was not her biological father, Shapiro explores the intersections of family secrets, memory, history, biology, and identity.

Judas by Amos Oz


In Jerusalem in 1959, a young biblical scholar finds work as a caregiver for a brilliant but cantankerous old man. In the house also lives an alluring widow, the daughter of a deceased Zionist leader. This love story and coming-of-age novel is an allegory for the State of Israel and for the New Testament narrative from which it draws its title.

Memento Park by Mark Sarvas


When a Hollywood character actor gets a call about a painting allegedly looted from his family by Nazis in 1944 Budapest, his life is thrown into personal, professional, and spiritual turmoil. Of the many questions asked—about family and identity, art and history—a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

We invite you to “Think Inside the Box” with our Book Club in a Box for Businesses program! Whether you are thinking of starting a group or are already in one, we can help every step of the way—including providing the books. Call 415.567.3327 x705 or email to learn more.

Transform lunchtime into Book Group time!

Creating a book group in the workplace can be a wonderful way to build community, give colleagues a different sort of opportunity to interact with each other, and foster intellectually satisfying activity.

Through Book Club in a Box for Businesses, the Library will lend your company a set of books (chosen from a list of 130 titles) for interested participants to read. A month later, the Library will send a facilitator to your site during lunchtime (or another convenient time) to lead a discussion with your colleagues. The cost is only $300 per session (a portion of which is tax-deductible), but multiple Book Club in a Box discussions may be arranged at a discounted rate. Your company’s involvement will be acknowledged on the Library’s website.

Your company can choose from a wide range of selections, including contemporary and classic fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. Although all of the titles have some Jewish dimension, they cover a huge range of topics, and include writers from more than fifteen countries. Click here for a list of available titles, as well as links to articles, reviews, and interviews.

You are also welcome to use this year’s One Bay One Book selection, The Periodic Table by Primo Levi, which hundreds of people in the greater Bay Area are reading and discussing it in their book groups.

Coming soon.

For available titles, click here.

Bay Area book groups can borrow twelve copies of a book free of charge, with discussion questions and other background information. Choose from more than 160 titles, including contemporary and classic fiction, memoirs, and nonfiction. The titles cover a huge range of topics, and include writers from more than fifteen countries.

Additionally, One Bay One Book is a yearlong Bay Area-wide conversation around a single book and its themes. The selection for 2018-19 is the novel The Plot Against America by Philip Roth.

Your group can also borrow mini-courses created by noted Bay Area scholars. Each mini-course is designed to be held in three two-hour sessions. A detailed handbook along with discussion questions for the participants allow for an intensive exploration of a subject, using books, film, and other media.

Our Facilitator Training Handbook offers helpful tips for facilitating book groups, whether you are starting a new group or rejuvenating an existing one.

Our People of the Book Club newsletter has updates about new additions to Book Club in a Box, as well as local events, Internet links, and book recommendations. Click here to sign up.