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Jewish Book Month One Book Activities

Jewish Book Month One Book Activities

Sunday, November 19, 2017 to Sunday, December 10, 2017

One Book | One Community 2017

Join the celebration of Jewish Book Month with discussions and events across Chicago’s Jewish community — all focused around this year’s book. Spertus Institute proudly spearheads this initiative.

This year's book is
Windy City Blues
by Renée Rosen

"Captures the heartbeat of Chicago in guitar riffs and harmonica slides."
— Sarah McCoy, author of The Mapmaker's Children

“Fast paced and impeccably researched...Kept me reading long into the night.”
— Kristina McMorris, author of The Edge of Lost

About the Book

In 1950s Chicago, a young Jewish woman stands in the middle of a musical and social revolution.

Leeba Groski lands a job at the legendary Chess Records where she begins her own songwriting career and meets future icons Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, and Chuck Berry. But it’s blues guitarist Red Dupree who changes her life. With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by her Orthodox family, Leeba and Red find themselves drawn into the Civil Rights Movement, where they discover how music can bring people together.

480 pages. Published by Penguin Random House/ Berkley.
Available in paperback, e-book, audio, and large print.

Activities and Resources

While you're reading this year's book (and perhaps scheduling it for your book group to read as well), we're busy preparing an array of resources, contests, and lists of related reading. Sign up in the sidebar to receive the latest information and reserve your spots for the November and December events!

Coming Soon

  • Program details, tickets, and reservations
  • Discussion questions and resources
  • A photo gallery of Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market
  • Downloads of music recorded at Chicago’s historic Chess Record

Renee RosenAbout the Author

Renée Rosen is the bestselling author of Windy City Blues, White Collar Girl, What the Lady Wants, and Dollface, as well as the young adult novel, Every Crooked Pot. She lives in Chicago and is at work on a novel about Helen Gurley Brown.

Photo by Charles Osgood.

Spertus is pleased to have
JUF News as the media sponsor
for One Book | One Community.

Author Events and Special Programs

Kick-Off: Hearing Windy City's Blues
Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 pm
Spertus Institute, Chicago
Join Renée Rosen and musicologist Judah Cohen for a musical tour of Chicago during the era of Chess Records. $10.
Purchase tickets >

North Shore Author Event
Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 pm
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 
Highland Park

Reception and signing precede presentation. Free.
Reserve your spot >

West Suburban Author Event
Tuesday, December 5 at 2:00 pm
Congregation Etz Chaim, Lombard
Signing follows presentation. Free.
Reserve your spot >

Chicago Author Event:
Windy City Blues Finale
Sunday, December 10 at 3:00 pm
Spertus Institute, Chicago
Live blues music by Sweet G and the Lovers Entertainment Band followed by Renée Rosen in conversation with Chicago Tribune Arts Critic Howard Reich. $10.
Purchase tickets >

Books will be for sale and Renée Rosen will be signing books at all events.

Book Discussions

Discussions are led by Facilitator Rachel Kamin, Director of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El. Free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 9 at 7:00 pm
McHenry County Jewish Congregation
Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30 pm
Congregation Etz Chaim
Lombard, IL 60148

Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm
Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation
Lincolnshire, IL 60069

Saturday, December 2 at 12:30 pm
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El
Highland Park, IL 60035

Thursday, December 7 at 7:00 pm
Congregation Or Shalom
Vernon Hills, IL 60061