Women’s History Month inspires reflection on economist Myra Strober and Jewish life

By Debra Israel

As I prepared to give a talk for Women’s History Month at Indiana State University on the two women who received the Nobel Prize in Economics, Elinor Ostrom and Esther Duflo, I also reflected on a memoir I read a few years ago by the economist Myra Strober.

Strober’s memoir Sharing the Work: What My Family and Career Taught Me about Breaking Through (and Holding the Door Open for Others) tells of her experiences earning her PhD in Economics during the late ’60s at MIT, at a time when even fewer women worked in the field.

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Dr. Renate Justin surmounts tragedy to share her story In ‘What I Have To Tell: A Memoir’

By Scott Skillman

From time to time, the Temple receives unsolicited books for review, consideration or for no reason at all. One such book, What I Have to Tell: A Memoir by Renate G. Justin, M.D. (Crystal Publishing, Fort Collins, CO, 2019), caught my eye, as it was credited to a former member of the Terre Haute Jewish community.

In 163 pages, we are informed of a world of pain and how one person chose to rise above it. Our narrator makes clear a person can rise above her circumstances, but that does not necessarily mean she can escape them.

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Scott Shay takes on moral relativism with ‘In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism’

By B. Scott Skillman

If ever a subject existed where people felt comfortable offering criticism, religion must be near the top of the list.

And so it is that we get to the core of Scott Shay’s book, In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism (Post Hill Press, 2018).

Shay lays forward his position that monotheism (belief in the existence of one God) is both historically essential and eminently practical for thoughtful people navigating modern-world challenges.

The review copy came to me through Chai Mitzvah, an organization based in West Hartford, Conn., and founded by the book’s author that promotes group-based continuing education to post-secondary teens and adults.

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UHC religious school students greet the holiday by reviewing a new Hanukkah book

UHC religious school students may be few in number, but they’re always game for a holiday challenge. When the call goes out, the class is on the scene to build a sukkah, set the Pesach table or, when a new Hanukkah book arrives over the transom, step in as literary reviewers.

Race Up Mount Ram: A Hanukkah Story (48 pages) from Eclectic Ivri Press, by Melissa Berg, tells the story of Chayim, a resolute underdog who calls upon all his resources to climb Mount Ramon in Israel’s Negev Desert and become Champion of the Maccabees.

Chayim’s opponent is the popular favorite Rimon, who, needless to say in this tortoise-vs.-hare story, learns to regret his lackadaisical approach to training.

Sunday school elementary school instructor Jennifer read Race Up Mount Ram to religious school students Sophie and Garrett on the morning of Hanukkah eve and patiently moderated the thoughtful discussion that followed.

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