Hillel’s Summer Reading List



July 12, 2016

What Hillel International staffers are reading this summer – from history to mystery and pop culture to Judaica (Photo: Geoffrey Melada)

The school year is over and the dog days of summer are in full swing. Hillel International staff are busy gearing up for the Class of 2020’s arrival on campus this fall, but even the busiest staff have the chance to take a break with a good book this summer. Here are 20 of their suggestions, so you can do the same.

Why Be Jewish, Edgar Bronfman
“In Why Be Jewish, a book finished just before he passed away, the legendary Edgar Bronfman, z”l, shares his thoughts about leading a meaningful, secular Jewish life. Covering just about every Jewish holiday, this book brings traditional texts into the secular discussion, allowing for deep, but non-judgmental religious conversation.”
Jake Green | Digital Communications Associate

Pouring Six Beers at a Time: And Other Stories from a Lifetime in Baseball, Bill Giles
Pouring Six Beers at a Time is a non-fiction book for baseball lovers (especially the Phillies phans) who desire an inside scoop. Giles’ writing is relatable; he speaks as an everyman, though nothing about his life or proximity to the game of baseball is commonplace.”
Sara Stesis | Assistant Director for Student Engagement

Nurture the Wow, Danya Ruttenberg
Nurture the Wow is full of deep, thoughtful reflections on living the life of a parent with mindfulness, and seeing opportunities in the challenges of parenthood. And it’s all connected with Jewish texts and ideas. Plus, it’s written by one of our colleagues!”
Jessica Lott | Director of Jewish Educational Networks

The Butterfly Garden, Don Hutchison
“A psychological thriller that sucks you in from the get-go, The Butterfly Garden will quickly take your mind off of any stresses and tune you in to what the characters are feeling. I’m having a hard time putting it down at night.”
Brittany Ellis-Schmidt | Executive Assistant, Office of the President

Rebbe, Joseph Telushkin; The World According to Star Wars, Cass Sunstein
“So far this summer I have read Rebbe, a biography of the Lubavitcher rebbe by Joseph Telushkin, and The World According to Star Wars, by Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein. Sunstein’s book is at once entertaining and informative, though his two main insights—all literature is the search for fathers, luck and improvisation play a large role in our lives—are not exactly new. And we’ll agree to disagree on the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate. Of the two works, Rebbe contains the greater Jedi wisdom, about the power of language to shape our thoughts and the power of work to ennoble our lives.”
Geoffrey Melada | Director of Communications

The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown
“Not only is The Lost Symbol a super easy read, but it’s cool because it takes place in DC, so you can visit all of the places referenced. I would highly recommend if you like a novel with a suspenseful and mysterious plotline.”
Jamie Eisner | Intern, Events and Conferences

Walk Me Home, Catherine Ryan Hyde
Walk Me Home is an easy summer read that would best enjoyed poolside or beachside. I always enjoy light reads during the summer. This book is about two sisters who are finding their way home after the death of their mother. They spend months walking from state to state and encounter many helpful individuals along their journey. It shows how kind and encouraging strangers can be.”
Alison Gugerty | Assistant Director, Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow
Elana Rubin | Communications Associate

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
Malki Karkowsky | Associate Director of Stewardship

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015, Adam Johnson
Janel Carpenter | Donor Data Specialist

The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig, Stefan Zweig
Anna Langer | Director, Israel Action Program

Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, Dennis Ross
Josh Yudkin | Chief of Staff, Hinenu:Israel Education and Engagement

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, William Bridges
Erica Frankel | Managing Director, Office of Innovation

Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
Ruth Ferguson | Program Associate, Social Entrepreneurship

My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem
Shira Weiner | Manager of Executive Talent Recruiting

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper Kerman
Katie Wexler | Assistant Director, Schusterman International Center Human Resources

Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog, Garth Stein
Maria Radacsi | Director of Design and Production

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
Matt Berger | Senior Adviser for Strategic Communications

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
Michelle Lackie | Associate Vice President, Social Entrepreneurship

This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper
Rachel Horowitz | Talent Associate