Friday Morning Bookclub

November 23, 2011

The Friday Morning Bookclub Gives Hush 3.65 Omelets

Filed under: Hush,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 6:59 pm
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Amazon readers gave Hush  4 1/2 stars

Barnes and Noble readers gave Hush 3 1/2 stars

This riveting story takes place in Borough Park, a Chassidic community in Brooklyn which lives by its own special set of rules and where the words “sexual abuse” are never spoken. Once you start reading Hush, you will not be able to put it down!


November 17, 2011


Filed under: Book Discussions,Hush — janinefrier @ 12:32 pm

Hush was first written under the pseudonym Eshes Chayil (woman of valor) because Judy Brown had well founded fears of retribution. After reading the book, one gains a deep understanding of why Judy was so fearful and what her community was capable of…. regarding both  the abuse and the silence. Judy received death threats for publishing this book, before she publicized her real name.  Despite this, she decided to take a brave stance and allow her name to be used because of the horrific abduction and murder of Lieby Kletzky.  She said, “I refuse to continue to allow that fear to force me into hiding over a book that should have been written long ago. I no longer want to be known only as Eishes Chayil when my name is Judy Brown. I must find the courage to stand with the victims who carry the burden of our silence for the rest of their lives.”

Hushing might be what the Orthodox Jewish Community does when one of its own sexually abuses children.  As has been evident in the news lately, however, they are not alone and it can and does happen in other settings too. The community feels threatened and tainted when this happens in their midst.  So the option of least resistance, often, is to sweep it under the rug and hope that it will go away.  But we know that it never will go away.

These topics, along with the disturbing story that Hush tells, led to a deep and enlightening discussion, at our meeting this month.  Although this was a book we were discussing, the real and serious  issues that it brought to light, were not taken lightly. We commend Judy Brown for taking the step into the light and for doing what ever she can to try and prevent this from continuing to happen… no matter in what community it occurs.

November 11, 2011

Eishes Chayil AKA Judy Brown, Author Of This Month’s Book :Hush

Filed under: Hush — susanbright @ 9:20 am
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I am sure that it took a lot of courage for Judy Brown to write Hush and even more courage to reveal her real name. Judy Brown grew up in an ultra-Orthodox community in Borough Park. She wrote her book Hush under the pseudonym of Eishes Chayil in order to protect her friends and family.  Eishes Chayil  translates to Woman of Valor.   In the Orthodox community, a woman of valor is one who raises a family, keeps the laws and sustains the Jewish community. It represents a woman of strength.

Sexual abuse was not something people talked about in Judy Brown’s world, however when an  8 year old boy in Borough Park was sexually abused and  murdered shortly after her book was published Judy Brown revealed her identity.

“I refuse to continue to allow that fear to force me into hiding over a book that should have been written long ago. I no longer want to be known only as Eishes Chayil when my name is Judy Brown. I must find the courage to stand with the victims who carry the burden of our silence for the rest of their lives.”

Bravo Judy Brown!



November 8, 2011

Rate The Book: Hush By Eishes Chayil

Filed under: Hush,Polls,Rate The Book — susanbright @ 1:34 pm
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Help us rate this month’s book!  All votes and comments are welcomed and appreciated!

October 20, 2011

This Month’s Book: Hush By Eishes Chayil

Filed under: Hush,What is next?? — susanbright @ 11:05 am

Everyone is talking about Hush!  Hush takes place in a Chassidic community in Borough Park, New York.  A community where children are sheltered from the evils of the outside world. A world where marriages are arranged and girls do not learn about sex until their wedding night.  Gittel and Devory are best friends. While attending a sleep over at Devory’s house Gittel witnesses Devory’s brother doing something to Devory under the covers. Although she does not fully understand what she is seeing, she senses that it is wrong and ultimately the event drives Devory to take her own life. No one talks about what happened and Devory’s family moves away. Years later, seventeen year old Gittel is still haunted by what happened to her friend and the fact that no one would acknowledge what caused Devory to take her own life.  Please join us in reading this gripping story!

July 13, 2011


Filed under: Book Recomendations,Hush — Esther @ 9:16 am

 A friend of mine recommended the book, “Hush”, to me.  “It’s a must read”.  That was all she said.  When I googled the title, I was somewhat taken aback…..this was considered a “young adult” novel.  Would it really hold my interest?  As I read more about the book, I became more and more intrigued.  “Hush” is written by Eishes Chayil.  This is actually  pen name of the author, and in Hebrew it means Women of Valour.   “Hush” takes place in the Chassidic community of Borough Park, in Brooklyn.  It is a window into a world I know nothing about.  It is a coming of age story of a young Chassidic girl.  It is also a story of abuse, and lies, and secrecy.  Hmmmm….interesting…….

Gittel Klein is a precocious young girl living with her Chassidic family in Brooklyn, in the midst of the ultra-Orthodox, Chassidic Community.  She and her best friend, Devory, live the lives that are expected of good religious girls, following the strict rules of schooling, dress, kashruth, and behavior.  But Devory has a secret – one that causes her to act differently, to disregard the rules, to rebel.  Gittel discovers what that secret is, but in her naive, childish mind, she doesn’t understand it, and she keeps Devory’s secret too.  Until tragedy strikes.

What follows is the story of the lies, the denial, and the betrayal that come from life in this close-knit, closed religious community.  Gittel’s story is told in the first person, and moves back and forth between the voice of the nine year old child, and then, the eighteen year old adult.  The reader is given a first hand look into the traditions, values and rituals of the Chassidic community.  I found it to be fascinating.

The author, whose real name is not known, is herself a product of the Chassidic community, and this story is based on things that she witnessed in her own life.  It does not paint a flattering picture of this ultra religious life….rather it illustrates the insularity of this sect, the values held above all others.  I kept shaking my head, thinking, how foreign this all was to me.

This is a great summer read.  I read it in two days.  I have to warn you, though, that once you start reading, the beds won’t get made, dinner won’t get cooked, the dog won’t get walked…’ll be transported to the world of Borough Park, New York.  Then, you’ll tell all your friends to read it, so you can discuss!

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