League welcomes public to local events

Rosenberg to lead discussion of ‘The Bread Givers;’ mayor to offer update at lunch event


The League of Women Voters of Montgomery County invites the community to join two public programs this week.

The first, the Well Read Citizen’s Book Club will discuss the young life of fictional Sarah Smolinsky (protagonist of The Bread Givers) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in St. John’s Fellowship Hall, 212 S. Green St. 

The second program, the monthly Lunch with the League, involves Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton giving an update the happening in the city, at noon Friday in the Fusion 54 building.

Wednesday’s book discussion of “The Bread Givers” by Anzia Yezierska will be led by Dr. Warren Rosenberg who invites participants to come whether they’ve read the novel or not. After a century of voting rights, women take certain things for granted. Despite this enfranchisement, many questions remain about women’s autonomy. “The Bread Givers” takes us back a century to meet a young woman born into poverty and oppression as the fourth daughter of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in New York City’s Lower East Side. Sarah is constrained by family obligations, economic status, and the strict religious culture into which she was born. Her father is a religious scholar and teacher who presides over his family with implacable paternal authority.

Unwilling to be caught up in an arranged marriage and servitude, Sarah boldly leaves home and labors hard and long to create an independent destiny. Her hardwon striving for professional independence and her climb out of poverty come with big questions, questions we still ask today: can one ever leave family, religious heritage, and a hard scrabble life behind? “Old ways” may haunt a New American Woman of any era, even in 2023. “The Bread Givers” was published in 1925.

Guests are invited to bring snacks and/or a drink for this lively discussion during which Rosenberg will draw upon his teaching of the book and his own heritage and experiences.

At Friday’s Lunch with the League, Barton will update the community about what’s currently happening in the city. From the city’s membership in the Solar United Neighbors co-op to the new Frances Wooden playground, a lot is happening on many fronts. The mayor will focus on Crawfordsville’s economic development, job growth, infrastructure and innovation. New housing, nature parks and job growth all signal progress in a city of our size, but focus must remain on attracting labor, updating infrastructure, affordable housing and providing  adequate retail. Barton will address these and other opportunities and challenges. Plenty of time wwill be allotted for questions from the audience.

Lunch with the League is a public information event about our city and county which takes place each month on the third Floor of Fusion 54. Well Read Citizen’s Book Club recurs on the first Wednesday of each month. The public is always invited to attend both of these regularly scheduled events.