Independent Jewish Synagogue in Asheville, NC

unalone, a Book of Midrashic Poems on the Book of Genesis


February 19, 2024    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Type

Congregations Beth Israel and Beth Ha Tephila

present a 4-Week Class led by Richard Chess on unalone, a book of Midrashic Poems on the Book of Genesis, by Jessica Jacobs
February 19 (at CBI)
February 26 (at CBHT)
March 4 (at CBI)
March 11 (at CBHT)
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Jessica Jacobs’s powerful new book of poems, unalone, follows the twelve parshiyot of The
Book of Genesis.  Drawing on her deep knowledge of Genesis, especially the rich midrashic
readings of Genesis, Jacobs crafts illuminating poems that bring the ancient texts into our
contemporary lives.
In this class, we’ll read and discuss the poems in unalone. We may also do some midrashic
writing of our own.  Jessica Jacobs will join us for one of the four sessions.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of unalone, poems in conversation with the Book of Genesis
(forthcoming from Four Way Books, March 2024); Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four
Way Books, 2019), one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the Year, winner of the Devil’s
Kitchen and Goldie Awards, and a finalist for the Brockman-Campbell, American Fiction, and Julie
Suk Book Awards; Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press, 2015), a biography-in-poems of Georgia
O’Keeffe, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and a finalist for the Lambda Literary
Award; and co-author of Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/Penguin
Random House).  She is the founder and executive director of Yetzirah: A Hearth for Jewish Poetry.
“Like our matriarch Serah, the Torah’s first poet, Jessica Jacobs opens the Book of Genesis to
her readers like a gate ‘with an easy latch and well-oiled hinges.’  She takes the time to notice,
allowing readers to hear ‘a sound they know so well’ as though they’ve never heard it.  Jacobs is
this generation’s immaculate poet of the tents, taking us back to ourselves, fully.  She amplifies
‘the still small voice you’ve known all your life,’ so through her deep wisdom you remember you
are unalone.”  Rabbi Burton Visotzky, Nathan And Janet Appleman Professor Of Midrash And
Interreligious Studies Emeritus at the Jewish Theological Seminary

The class is free, the book is $18.  When you register for the class, you will be prompted to pay for the book.  We will communicate in advance about picking up your copy of the book prior to the first class.
The class will be limited to 20 participants.  Please register HERE.
(If you are not a CBI member, please register as Non-member and type your name in the Notes window for registration purposes.)

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Chess at