Sunday Jewish Book Group: The Shawl and Rosa

Sunday, November 15, 2020 2:00pm to 3:00pm

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Join us on November 15 at 2:00 p.m. for a discussion of The Shawl and Rosa by Cynthia Ozick.  The discussion will be lead by Na’amit Sturm Nagel, Instructor, Shalhevet High School.

The Sunday Jewish Book and Discussion Group is free and open to the public. This event will happen virtually in Zoom. Please RSVP by contacting Rhonda Rosen at or 310-338-4584.

About the Short Story

"Rosa" by Cynthia Ozick was first published in the New Yorker in 1983. However, its protagonist, Rosa Lublin, was introduced three years earlier in "The Shawl," a 6 page short story also published in the New Yorker. The two stories were re-released together as a book in 1989 entitled The Shawl. "Rosa" also appeared in the anthology Prize Stories 1984, a collection of O. Henry Prize winners.

While "The Shawl" tells the painful story of how Rosa's infant daughter is brutally killed by a Nazi guard in a concentration camp, "Rosa" revisits the protagonist 30 years later, who is still devastated by her daughter's death. Living a meager, isolated existence in a "hotel" for the elderly, financed by Stella her resentful niece, Rosa is unable to let go of her daughter and the past. "Rosa" dramatizes the lasting impact of the Holocaust on a unique, complex character who is not entirely sympathetic. While obviously the far-reaching effects of the Holocaust is a major theme in this story, Ozick also deals with themes of alienation and denial and explores how American culture devalues and isolates the elderly.

About the William H. Hannon Library

The William H. Hannon Library fosters excellence in academic achievement through an array of distinctive services that enable learners to feed their curiosity, experience new worlds, develop their ideas, inform their decision-making, and inspire others. The library is open to the public during regular business hours. More information can be found at

  • Cheryl J. Weiner

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