Sheila Katz’s 5 books you really need to read

Sheila Katz, head of NCJW. Photo by David Stuck

Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, is known for her causes: Judaism, feminism, progressive politics, reproductive health rights and racial justice.

She also reads. So when we asked her what her favorite books are, she returned a Top 5 list of books she wants you to read, too.

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
By Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke and Dr. Brené Brown bring together a dynamic group of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics and cultural figures to discuss vulnerability and resistance to shame, issues the two have dedicated their lives to understanding and teaching.

Period. End of Sentence
By Anita Diamant
This book illuminates the many ways that unequal access to menstrual products and care can limit opportunities, erode self-esteem and even threaten lives. This powerful examination of the quickly evolving movement for what the book calls “menstrual justice” shows how women and allies can be part of a necessary change.

Being Heumann
By Judith Heumann and Kristen Joiner
Recounting Judy Heumann’s lifelong battle to achieve acceptance and respect in society as a woman living with polio, this is a story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn’t built for all of us. Heumann’s activism and leadership, as outlined in the book, are captivating and inspirational to all.

Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure
By Menachem Kaiser
This book is a brilliant story about a man taking up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Sosnowiec, Poland. The author makes readers question what it means to seize your own legacy.

Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir
By Ashley C. Ford
Stepping into the world of growing up a poor Black girl in Indiana with a family separated by incarceration, this story explores how isolating such childhoods could be. The author shares her battle with her environment and own body as she discovers who she is and what she was born into, and at times the complicated bond that can bind these two realities.


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