On Division
by Goldie Goldbloom

Jewish LearningWorks' 8th Annual

A project of the Jewish Community Library

“This is a novel that moves and affects us on so many levels—as a witness to the unremitting pain of losing a child, as an exploration of the dance of intimacy and interiority in a marriage that is nearly lifelong, and as a celebration of our endless capacity to create new life, and to create new lives for ourselves.”

One Bay One Book is:
A yearlong conversation reaching Bay Area adults through opportunities for lively Jewish learning. Stimulated by a selected book and its themes, the program connects readers through discussions, events, and informal conversations.      

The 2019-20 selection is On Division by Goldie Goldbloom (publication date: September 17)

Read reviews at Lilith, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Goodreads.

Surie Eckstein, a grandmother at fifty-seven, is stunned to learn that she is pregnant with twins. Feeling ashamed, she is unable to share the news even with her husband, Yidel, a respected ritual scribe who is ready to retire. As she nurses her secret and starts working clandestinely in a maternity clinic, spending time outside her domestic role for the first time, Surie’s understanding of her life begins to alter.

Surie and Yidel are also haunted by the memory of how they failed to support their son Lipa, who was rejected by his family and community for being gay.

In this intimate novel of a woman at a crossroads, Goldbloom deftly portrays the relationship of individuals to a close-knit community, the impact of secrets and lies, and the persistence of our past experiences in shaping our lives.


Goldie Goldbloom grew up as part of a farming family in Western Australia, where her grandfather settled after emigrating from England in the early 1900s as part of a search for a new Jewish homeland. Her first novel, The Paperbark Shoe, was a National Endowment for the Arts Big Reads selection. Goldbloom, who is Hasidic, has eight children and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

Book Groups:
If you are part of a book group, consider making On Division one of your books for discussion. To reduce barriers to participation, a limited number of book sets will be made available free of charge on a first come, first served basis by the Jewish Community Library, through our Book Club in a Box lending program. 

Join the Conversation!
More than a thousand people in seven Bay Area counties participate in One Bay One Book events each year. For information about resources, book discussions, and additional events, click here or contact us at onebayonebook@jewishlearningworks.org  or 415.567.3327 x 705.

Be a Partner: 
If you are part of an organization or institution, we hope that you will join us. Becoming a partner allows your organization and its constituents to enjoy dynamic learning experiences and connect with the larger Jewish community.  Please contact us at onebayonebook@jewishlearningworks.org or 415.567.3327 x 705 to learn more about the program and becoming a community partner.

The Jewish Community Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street between Scott and Pierce. There is free garage parking at the entrance on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy. For more information visit www.jewishcommunitylibrary.org