Rules for JCC Israel Book Club:
1) We all know that parking may be tricky around the JCC. Please leave yourself sufficient time to locate parking and be available to start the discussion no later than 5 minutes after our assigned time.
2) It is helpful to the flow of discussion to limit factors that may be disruptive: please refrain from side conversations, and place your telephone on vibrate mode or turn off. If you need to leave the room, please leave and return as quietly as possible.
3) While finishing the book is not a requirement to attend the meeting, please be mindful that the discussion is launched by the book, and having familiarity with the book and its themes will make the discussion much more successful.
4) If not all present have completed the book, please understand that the discussion may reveal elements of the plot that may potentially “spoil” the ending for some. For respect to go in both directions: if someone reveals that they have not finished the book, other book club members are asked not to unnecessarily reveal plot twists, etc. unless they are relevant to the overall discussion.
5) Please remember that our goal is to create lively discussion rather than to necessarily find consensus.
6) To keep the discussion lively, the opinions of all members are equally important. The facilitator may act to encourage those who have not yet spoken or have spoken little to give their feedback, and may focus the discussion away from those who have given a relatively larger amount of feedback or may ask these members to limit the length of their discussion in order that all voices are heard.
7) Themes found in literature and discussions of them may lead to significant passion in the readers. In order for the group to feel safe for all members, it is asked that all feedback be made respectfully. It is the role of the facilitator to intervene if the facilitator or another group member identifies an interaction that is potentially disrespectful.
Role of the Facilitator:
1) Read and familiarize yourself sufficiently with the book that you are to facilitate in order to help the discussion be interesting and flow smoothly
2) Consult the study guide and prepare a list of questions that may be useful to the conversation if the discussion lags
3) Consult positive and negative reviews of the work but hold this information until the end of the discussion so as to allow the discussion to naturally flow
4) Prepare a 2-3 minute introduction of the author to be given initially
5) Do not feel personally responsible to “lead” or direct the discussion
6) Ensure that all group members are encouraged to participate in the discussion; respectfully intervene when a small number of group members are dominating the discussion and not allowing others to interject
7) Respectfully intervene if passions about the work, its subject matter, or other topics are becoming potentially out of bounds