Book Club Discussion Questions
FOR PROHIBITION WINE
- To what extent do you think that the Jewish immigrant experience is similar or different from that of other religious, cultural, or ethnic groups?
- What are some of the contrasts and tensions between old world and new world cultures in this Jewish family?
- To what extent do prejudice and dislike of foreigners impact the lives of Rebecca and immigrants in general?
- What are some of the assets and limitations of being in a close-knit immigrant family for Rebecca?
- What advantages and disadvantages do women in this family have compared to those of men?
- Why do you think that Leah’s death and burial are kept a secret in the family?
- What health, well-being, and safety issues, along with prevention strategies, are different in Rebecca’s time from how they are now?
- How would you describe the relationship between Rebecca and Nathan? What is your reaction to the physical abuse by Nathan of Rebecca and her son?
- How do you think Rebecca finds the strength to keep her family together?
- What impact do poverty and survival strategies, including selling illegal alcohol, have on Rebecca’s children?
- What do you think of the fact that Rebecca involves her children in breaking the law?
- To what extent is the local community supportive or not supportive of Rebecca’s situation?
- Why is education for her children, including her daughters, so important to Rebecca?
- To what extent do you think that owning property and a house impacts Rebecca’s ability to survive?
- What do you think about Rebecca’s desire and effort to control her children even after they became adults—in life and in death?
- Are there things that you learned about Prohibition in this book that are different from commonly held perceptions about the era?
- What was the impact of Prohibition on federal and local governments, law enforcement, and people of different religious groups and socioeconomic means?
- To what extent do you think that Rebecca’s experience is reflected in America’s experience today? What would be different for her today? What would be the same?