26 2017

One American Dream with Bernard Beck

7:30PM - 9:30PM  

Flemington Jewish Community Center 5 Sergeantsville Road
Flemington, NJ

$ Cost $ 10.00

Touching on the influence of religious faith in the secular world, debut novelist Beck intriguingly examines Jewish immigrant life in New York City during the early 20th century. In July 1890, arriving in America from Minsk, Jacob Rubinowitz decided to become Jack Rubin. In this three-generation family story, Jack is the catalyst, and Beck paints a portrait of a man equally admirable and frustrating. After youthful struggles, Jack marries Rose, the daughter of immigrant scholar Ben-Zion Perlman. Jack helps Rose harness her fashion talent. With Jack’s investments, the Rubins prosper and provide a home for Ben-Zion, who grows resentful and jealous as he ages. The interfamilial tension grows worse as the relationship between Ben-Zion and his precocious granddaughter, Ruthie, deepens. Ruthie, an accomplished writer as a teen, is invited by a publisher to expand a short story into a novel about the Pale of Settlement and its “heritage of pogroms, and life in the shtetle.” Ruthie falls in love with her young editor, Harry Berger. Angry objections arise. The Rubins are Orthodox Jews; the Bergers are Reform. Then, Ben-Zion encourages a decision that soon provokes unintended consequences, one aggravated by Harry’s religious conviction growing more fervent. A novel best enjoyed for its examination of a people and a culture.

Bernie, a native of the New York/New Jersey area, spent two years in the army, then managed his father’s gift ware business for thirty years. After the recession of 1988, he began his second career as a business consultant and an adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers University; Upon retirement, Bernie authored the book; The Bible, The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written; True Jew, Challenging the Stereotype , drawing upon his religious school background, combined with his marketing knowledge.