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Ileen Spoor invites you to begin reading the next selection for Midbar Kodesh Temple’s book club whi

"Odessa, Odessa" by Barbara Artson is a beautifully told story that unfolds over decades of the 20th century—a story in which two families, joined in tradition and parted during persecution, will remain bound by their fateful decision to leave Odessa. The story follows the families of two sons from a proud lineage of rabbis and cantors in a shtetl near Odessa in western Russia. Reviews say that the vivid events and rich details of the intricate story are compelling and important. The novel is grounded in meticulous reconstruction of time and place and rich with memorable characters.

Author Barbara Artson is a retired psychoanalyst who calls San Francisco her home. She regularly contributes essays and reviews of films and books to professional journals. In addition to a PhD in psychology, she holds BA and MA degrees in English literature, and taught Shakespeare as a graduate student. Visit her at

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