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One Book, One Jewish Community

One Book, One Jewish Community engages readers from across Greater Philadelphia in books that speak to diverse aspects of Jewish identity and community. One Book, which launched in 2006 as an initiative of Jewish Outreach Partnership (now Jewish Learning Venture) has been led by Gratz College since 2019.

Each year, the One Book committee carefully selects a book to share across the Greater Philadelphia community. The year-long programming connected to the annual book selection gives thousands of individuals varied opportunities to learn about new Jewish authors; explore Jewish culture, and share the joy of reading with others in our community. A list of selections from past years can be found here


The One Book, One Jewish Community Book selection for 2021-2022:

People Love Dead Jews book cover

People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present by Dara Horn

“People Love Dead Jews: Reports from a Haunted Present” is a startling exploration of how Jewish history is exploited to comfort the living. Reflecting on subjects as far-flung as the international veneration of Anne Frank, the blockbuster traveling exhibition called ​Auschwitz, the Jewish history of the Chinese city of Harbin, and the little known ​“righteous Gentile” Varian Fry, Dara Horn challenges us to confront the reasons why there might be so much fascination with Jewish deaths, as emblematic of the worst of evils the world has to offer, and so little respect for Jewish lives as they continue to unfold in the present.

Horn draws on her own family’s life — trying to explain Shakespeare’s Shylock to a curious 10-year-old, her anger when swastikas are drawn on desks at her children’s school in New Jersey, the profound and essential perspective offered by traditional religious practice, prayer and study — to assert the vitality, complexity and depth of this life against an anti-Semitism that, far from being disarmed by the mantra of ​“Never Forget” is on the rise.

Learn more about this event.

Are you interested in hosting a One Book program or have an idea for one? Contact Lori Cohen at

Single Hero Image interior pages

Alice Hoffman siting for an interview about her book