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Books Beyond Borders at the Osher Marin JCC

This course was offered in Fall, 2016.

American Jewish World Service is partnering with the Osher Marin JCC to launch Books Beyond Borders in Marin!

Five times a year, we will meet to discuss fiction and non-fiction works that relate to AJWS’s mission to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. Each book will inspire a rich discussion about current events and global justice issues and provide a vivid backdrop to deepen your understanding of AJWS’s work.

However Long the NightSeptember 27, 7-9pm
However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph, by Aimee Molloy
Writer and journalist Aimee Molloy shares a personal account of the events that inspired communities throughout Africa to abandon the traditional practice of female genital cutting. The story traces the journey of renowned human rights activist Molly Melching, founder of Tostan—a longtime AJWS grantee that helped communities across the continent bring about this important change. More than a biography, However Long the Night is proof that knowledge of human rights can ignite large-scale social progress.

The Most Good You Can DoNovember 29, 7-9pm
The Most Good You Can Do, by Peter Singer
Can effective altruism change the world? In his latest book, Peter Singer discusses this emerging movement for living a fully ethical life that prescribes doing the “most good you can do.” Such a life requires an unsentimental view of charitable giving, measuring an organization’s impact by reason rather than emotion. Singer introduces us to an array of remarkable people who are restructuring their lives in accordance with these ideas, and shows how living altruistically often leads to greater personal fulfillment than living for oneself.

Ladies of ManaguaJanuary 31, 7-9pm
The Ladies of Managua, by Eleni Gage
Lushly evocative of Nicaragua and its tumultuous history and vibrant present, The Ladies of Managua charts the lives of three generations of magnetic women wrestling with the demons of their country’s revolutionary past and their hopes and dreams for the future. When Maria, her mother and grandmother come together to bury the patriarch who anchored their family, they are forced to confront their complicated, passionate relationships with each other and with their country.

Farming of BonesMarch 28, 7-9pm
The Farming of Bones, by Edwidge Danticat
The Farming of Bones is a powerful story of love and survival that follows Amabelle, a young Haitian woman living in the Dominican Republic in 1937. Her harrowing experience fleeing the wave of genocidal violence targeting Haitian workers provides historical context for the crisis of forced deportation and violence experienced by Dominicans of Haitian descent today.

Half the SkyMay 23, 7-9pm
Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn draw on the breadth of their reporting experience to deliver a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violations. They take the reader on an odyssey through Africa and Asia, telling the story of a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Through their stories of transformation, Kristof and WuDunn show how we can each do our part to effect change and how unleashing women’s potential is the key to economic progress.

For more information, please email sfevents@ajws.org.


# Sessions
Date & time

Tuesdays, Sept 27, Nov 29, Jan 31, Mar 28, May 23
7:00 - 9:00 pm


Please RSVP here

Session Time Days Location Instructors
Sep 27 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Tue OMJCC Larissa Siegel
Nov 29 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Tue OMJCC Larissa Siegel
Jan 31 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Tue OMJCC Larissa Siegel
Mar 28 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Tue OMJCC Larissa Siegel
May 23 7:00 PM–9:00 PM Tue OMJCC Larissa Siegel


Osher Marin JCC

200 N. San Pedro Road

San Rafael, CA 94903



Larissa Siegel

Larissa SiegelLarissa Siegel is the senior development officer in the San Francisco/Western Region office. Larissa has deep roots in both the Jewish and San Francisco Bay Area non-profit communities. Most recently, she served as the director of development at Aim High, an academic enrichment program for low-income, under-served youth. Previously, she worked as a senior development officer at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, as director of New Generations at the New Israel Fund, and as the founding director of the young adult programs at Temple Emanu-El. Larissa serves on the board of directors of Camp Tawonga and on the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Leadership Awards Reading Committee; she volunteers at the San Francisco VA with her dog, Mr. Buster Bravo.