Led by BJ members Rabbi Carole Balin and Jennifer Sylvor, the Israeli Authors Discussion Group takes us on a journey of rich and thought-provoking Israeli literature. This month we will read Professor Schiff’s Guilt by Agur Schiff.

Professor Schiff’s Guilt is about an Israeli professor who travels to a fictitious West African nation to trace a slave-trading ancestor, only to be imprisoned under a new law barring successive generations from profiting off the proceeds of slavery. But before departing from Tel Aviv, the protagonist falls in love with Lucile, a mysterious African migrant worker who cleans his house. Entertaining and thought-provoking, this satire of contemporary attitudes toward racism and the legacy of colonialism examines economic inequality and the global refugee crisis, as well as the memory of transatlantic chattel slavery and the Holocaust. Is the professor’s passion for Africa merely a fashionable pose and the book he’s secretly writing about his experience there nothing but a modern version of the slave trade?