Two Jews = Three Shuls

Two Jews = Three Shuls


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The year is 1992. A very respected Rabbi is found murdered in his synagogue located in a wealthy suburb on Long Island. Deborah Katzman is the first woman to become president of the synagogue. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust and a successful bankruptcy attorney. The synagogue's lay leaders had hoped that a woman with her background would be able to reduce the growing friction within their walls. The Rabbi had been growing more and more traditional at the same time as his congregants were becoming more liberal. Younger women were clamoring for equal participation in religious services; older congregants were opposed to the Rabbi's newly heightened religious practices. Emotions were exploding . . . but is all of this enough to cause someone to murder a man of God? The Temple leaders, each an interesting character in their own right, are trying to achieve some modicum of harmony within this once peaceful house of worship. The search for the killer is the plot that is carried forward until the murderer is uncovered in a surprise ending.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781725267947
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 06/05/2020
Pages: 188
Sales rank: 292,565
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Sandra Tankoos has been a teacher and a successful entrepreneur. She has served on the boards of several organizations within the Jewish community and has been president of a congregation in Roslyn, Long Island. She is familiar with the dynamics at play among congregants with similar objectives but varying opinions on how to achieve their goals. Ms. Tankoos has always had a desire to write and now, as a senior and a retiree, has written her first novel. Ms. Tankoos is currently retired and living in Boca Raton, Florida.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A readable and engaging stew of murder mystery, synagogue politics (with which any reader engaged in their house of worship will chuckle with recognition and cringe with frustration), tensions over the role of women in Jewish religious life, and the impact of the Holocaust on the lives of survivors and their children. Tankoos has woven this together beautifully.”

—David Saperstein, Director Emeritus, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; co-author of Jewish Dimensions of Social Justice

“Sandra Tankoos clearly understands the culture and moral code of those who choose to be active in synagogue life. The storyline is compelling, blending both mysticism and day-to-day reality, while struggling to find their rabbi’s assassin. Recommended reading.”

—Michael White, Senior Rabbi, Temple Sinai of Roslyn, Long Island

“This is a very smart book. It understands the language and culture of Jewish Long Island. It understands the inner workings—with all of the warts—of suburban synagogue life. Sides are drawn, irrationality hides behind faith, and petty jealousies abound. . . . The reader cares about the search for the perpetrator of a dark deed. Mysticism meets love, and love unleashes memories of pain and of horrendous loss.”

—Stanley M. Davids, rabbi and editor of Deepening The Dialogue

“So many issues that synagogues confront and don’t confront—they are all in the story! And a murder to be solved as well! A real page-turner. A must-read for anyone and everyone who cares about religious life as it gets played out day to day.”

—Bennett Miller, Rabbi Emeritus, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple, New Brunswick, New Jersey; National Chair, ARZA

“A Jewish whodunnit. Sandy Tankoos includes all the right Jewish elements of gossip, guilt, and ghosts (though Jewish law prohibits us from conjuring them up—but in this case it was the rabbi reaching out to his congregation’s president.) There’s even the prototypical Jewish mother . . . the rabbi’s mother, who of course believes it was her daughter-in-law who killed her son. Can there be anything more Jewish and mysterious? This is truly a delightful read with wonderfully written Jewish characters that everyone can appreciate.”

—Robert A. Silvers, Senior Rabbi, Congregation B’nai Israel, Boca Raton, Florida

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