Today is June 19, 2019 -

Book Swap 2019: For the Love of It

by Joanie Jacobson

Book Swap made its debut during the 2002 Jewish Federation Campaign and was a huge hit. The Miriam Initiative at Beth El Synagogue is bringing it back (in an updated version) for women who love books.

“Women talking about books they love is always great fun,” said Nancy Rips, who will host and facilitate Book Swap 2019 on Tuesday, April 9, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in her home. A surprise refreshment by Chef Cedric will be featured.

“Women are invited to bring one of their favorite books and tell the rest of us why they love it,” Nancy explained. “Everyone will get a chance to share their story. It’s fun because you can discover a book that never crossed your mind. You can learn and be excited about a whole new subject, You can leave with new thoughts, new acquaintances, new worlds. You can escape to the Land of Books with others who share your passion.” What’s not to like?

Nancy Rips fell in love with books the first day she stepped into her dad’s library. She was four.

“My dad loved books. The library was on the first floor of our house. It wasn’t a den with books, it was a library — stacks of books all the way to the ceiling on all four walls. I loved to just sit there and watch him read. Like my dad, I’m surrounded by books at home — books in every room and a two-story wall of books complete with ladder.

“I’ve make a life around books,” Nancy explained, “selling in Omaha book stores since 1976, promoting books on TV and radio since 1981, serving on the library board, lending my support to other literary organizations since 1995, and becoming a published author in 2008.” Her fifth book, “Noah and the Eight Trucks of Hanukkah”, hits the stands this fall.

Nancy Rips brings books to life. Using costumes, props, music, song and storytelling at speaking engagements and performances has become her trademark. Presentations often center around common themes — holidays, sports, Hollywood, humor and kids, to name a few. Her goal: to always make books “accessible and entertaining.”

“I want reading to be exciting for people,” she concluded. “I mean, c’mon. At the end of the day, it’s got to be fun.”

The April 9 Book Swap at is free and open to the community with a limit of 35 participants. Please register by April 3, either online at bethel- or by calling Beth El at 402-492-8550.

The Miriam Initiative is a series of ongoing projects and programs created, developed and presented by Beth El women. The Initiative welcomes all women who want to participate at any level from leadership to fellowship. Call the synagogue for more information.