Program Activities

Activities offered at Great Jewish Books may vary from year to year. Here are some examples of activities from a past program: 

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00 a.m. Breakfast at Hampshire College dining hall
9:00 a.m. Class 1: Grace Paley, "The Loudest Voice"
10:00 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. Class 2: Isaac Bashevis Singer, "Yentl"
11:15 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. Discussion groups
12:15 p.m. Lunch at Hampshire College dining hall
1:15 p.m. Free time: Optional hike up Mount Norwottuck
3:15 p.m. Yiddish sing-along
4:30 p.m. Reading time
5:30 p.m. Dinner at Hampshire College dining hall
7:00 p.m. Reading and discussion with writer Ilan Stavans
10:00 p.m. Quiet hours in the dorm

I want college to be exactly like this.
Great Jewish Books student

Sample Reading List

The Great Jewish Books reading list can also vary from year to year. Here are some of the works students have read in the past:

  • Sholem Aleichem, “On Account of a Hat"
  • Yehuda Amichai, “And the Migration of My Parents”
  • S. An-sky, The Dybbuk
  • Isaac Babel, “The Story of My Dovecot”
  • David Bezmozgis, “Roman Berman, Massage Therapist”
  • Rachel Galvin, Pulleys & Locomotion
  • Sayed Kashua, “Cinderella”
  • Etgar Keret, “Shoes”
  • Irena Klepfisz, selected poems
  • Kadia Molodowsky, “God of Mercy”
  • Amos Oz, “The Hill of Evil Counsel”
  • Grace Paley, “The Loudest Voice”
  • Dahlia Ravikovitch, selected poems
  • Adrienne Rich, “Split at the Root”
  • Joann Sfar, The Rabbi’s Cat, Volume 1: “The Bar Mitzvah” 
  • Isaac Bashevis Singer, “Gimpel the Fool”
  • Anna Deveare Smith, Fires in the Mirror
  • Ayelet Tsabari, “Say It Again, Say Something Else”

Just for fun: Which great Jewish book will you read this summer? Download a printable origami fortune teller to find out! (It's a great way to learn some Yiddish vocabulary, too.)