SBHEC book club kicks off year with page-turner


“The Weight of Ink,” by Rachel Kadish, is the first book of 2019-2020 for the “Not Your Average Book Club” at the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center (SBHEC). 

The book club will meet on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. SBHEC, inside of the Dwares Jewish Community Center, at 401 Elmgrove Ave., Providence. One of the unique aspects of this book club is that it is designed so everyone can participate, whether or not you are able to read the book prior to meeting.

“The Weight of Ink” is a winner of the National Jewish Book Award and an Amazon Best Book of the Year. An intellectual, suspenseful and entertaining page-turner, Kadish’s book tells the story of two remarkable women separated by three centuries, the ambition that connects them and the power of the written word.

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early 21st century, “The Weight of Ink” is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.  

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of 17th-century Jewish documents discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”  

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, “The Weight of Ink” is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about two women and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order reconcile the life of the heart and mind.  

The “Not Your Average Book Club” is free and open to all. RSVP to May-Ronny Zeidman at Refreshments will be served.

LEV POPLOW is a communications consultant writing on behalf of the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center. He can be reached at