An Evening with AnitaDiamant will be held at Beth El Temple in West Hartford.
Submitted by Amy Goldman, Beth El Temple
Best-selling author, AnitaDiamant, will speak at The Women’s Network of Beth El Temple, West Hartford, on Monday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. about her latest book, The Boston Girl. Perhaps most well-known for The Red Tent,Diamant is the author of eight non-fiction books relating to Jewish life and five novels.
At the opening of the book, The Boston Girl, 22-year-old Ava asks her 85-year-old grandmother, Addie, “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” Encumbered by parents who hold fast to Jewish traditions, Addie faces the pull of modern life and society. The book is about a young woman’s desire to explore family and friendship in a new world, with new perspectives on everything from clothing and careers to education and Judaism.
The theme of The Boston Girl is a fitting one for this event sponsored by the new Women’s Network, which was previously known as Sisterhood. According to Beth El’s Rabbi Ilana Garber, “The book tells a story of a transition from bubbe’s Judaism; it’s all about rediscovering who we are as Jewish women.”
“Beth El has always been progressive about trying to understand who the modern woman is. Women can be a lot of different things and that’s what the new Women’s Network is all about,” says Garber. “We are still about service to others, but we are also about deepening our own selves. We are celebrating the good things from the past as we recognize that women are continuing to evolve into the future.”
There is a subtle shift in purpose of Beth El’s new Women’s Network. Beth El Temple President and past Sisterhood President, Lois Koteen, of West Hartford shares, “It’s a different way of thinking about today’s women. Women are working and are active volunteers,” says Koteen. “What women want to do is network with each other; they want to learn, to grow, deepen their spiritual involvement and add meaning to their lives.”
During the evening, all of Beth El Temple’s past Sisterhood presidents will be honored. They are: Alison Demarest, Sheila Diamond, Leah Katz, Sharon Levine-Shein and Diane Lieberfarb of Avon, Sandra Rulnick of Bloomfield, Abbey Miller Kreinik of Hartford, Annette Gavens, Eva Kaplan, Jennifer Klau, Lois Koteen, Fran Landy, Rosalind Rachlin, Robin Santiago, Muriel Slotnick, Sidra Sperling, Francine Stier and Bernice Wiener of West Hartford, Reesa Litman of Niantic, Sally Chorney, of Narragansett, Rhode Island, Edith Dresner of Boca Raton, Florida, Julie Risisky of Deerfield Beach, Florida, Rita Schoolnik of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Anita Sigel of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Susan Ungar of Palm Beach Garden, Florida.
This event is a part of the Greater Hartford Community Israel Festival. “Israel was founded based on thousands of years of history and hope, yet is at the forefront of change, evolution, and creativity today,” says Garber. As part of the Israel Festival, the event will include a festive Israeli dessert reception.
Books will be available for purchase courtesy of the Judaica Store of West Hartford. There will be an ASL interpreter present for the hearing impaired. Cost for the event is $25 in advance, $30 at the door, $54 patron (includes reserved seating). It is open to the public; call 860-233-9696 for more information. All proceeds to benefit the Torah Fund/Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.