On Sunday, December 11, 2022 beginning at 10:00 AM, the Museum presented its first-ever New York Jewish Book Festival, featuring talks, panels, and author signings. The daylong event touched on themes of Jewish heritage including culture and history, modern life and literature, the Holocaust, food and cookbooks, and books for kids and families.
The following authors and panelists were scheduled to appear at the inaugural New York Jewish Book Festival at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on December 11th, 2022.
Jonathan Alpeyrie • Esther Amini • Arielle Angel • Gregg Bordowitz • Sophie Brookover • Stephanie Butnick • Phil M. Cohen • Greg Dawson • Mark Elber • Ariella Elovic • Nadine Epstein • Alice Feiring • Liana Finck • Omer Friedlander • Bonnie Friedman • Elisabeth Frischauf • Jonathan Goldberg K.C. • Karen Gordon • Daniel Gross • Sabina Hahn • Alex Halberstadt • Mark Harris • Jack Hersch • Dianne Hess • Susan Hood • Marjorie Ingall • Annette Insdorf • Penny Jackson • Menachem Kaiser • Maira Kalman • Isabel Kaplan • Lisa Keys • Linda Kinstler • Irena Klepfisz • Sally Koslow • Leah Koenig • Ann D. Koffsky • Kim Kushner • Joy Ladin • Adam Langer • Zeke Levine • Arthur A. Levine • Sara Lippmann • Lynda Cohen Loigman • Stacy London • Mari Lowe • Susan Elia MacNeal • Bob Mankoff • Jacquelyn Martin • Yona Zeldis McDonough • Julia Moskin • Shoshana Nambi • Yevgenia Nayberg • Sarah Maslin Nir • Caraid O’Brien • Mark Oppenheimer • Eddy Portnoy • Eleanor Reissa • Aviva Rosenberg • Moriel Rothman-Zecher • Helen Betya Rubinstein • Jodi Rudoren • Amy B. Scher • Susan Weidman Schneider • Martin Schoeller • Liza Schoenfein • Peninnah Schram • Amy E. Schwartz • A.O. Scott • Sarah Seltzer • Suzette Sheft • Lynn Sherr • Gary Shteyngart • Judith Shulevitz • Lizzie Skurnick • Karen Smith • Rebecca Soffer • Reha Sokolow • Chana Stiefel • Larry Stiefel • Emily Tamkin • Michael W. Twitty • B.A. Van Sise • Helene Wecker • Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer • Steven Wilson • Mikhl Yashinsky • Kitty Zeldis • Jane Ziegelman • Judith Zimmer
Jonathan Alpeyrie‘s career spans over a decade and has brought him to over 25 countries, covering 13 conflict zones assignments in the Middle East and North Africa, the South Caucasus, Europe, North America, and Central Asia. He has worked as a freelancer for various publications and websites, such as the Sunday Times, Le Figaro magazine, ELLE, American Photo, Glamour, Aftenposten, Le Monde, BBC. He is a photographer for Polaris Images and is working on publishing a book about WWII.
Esther Amini is a writer, painter and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her debut memoir Concealed: Memoir of a Jewish-Iranian Daughter Caught Between the Chador and America was selected as one of the best books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews. Amini’s short stories have been appeared in Elle, Lilith, Tablet, The Jewish Week, Barnard Magazine, and Paper Brigade, among other publications, and seven of her pieces have been performed by The Braid.
Arielle Angel is the editor-in-chief of Jewish Currents. She was a 2018 New Jewish Culture Fellow and a 2016 Fellow at Tent: Creative Writing at The Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. In addition to Jewish Currents, her work has appeared in The Guardian, Guernica, Off Assignment, and Protocols.
Gregg Bordowitz is an artist and writer whose most recent book is titled Some Styles of Masculinity (Triple Canopy and D.A.P. 2021). He is also the author of The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003, Volition, and General Idea: Imagevirus. His work has been exhibited widely.
Sophie Brookover has been a culture writer since she could hold a pencil (though she didn’t know it was called that in kindergarten, she was just really jazzed about the Muppets LP she’d received for Chanukah). During her career as a librarian, she reviewed children’s and YA literature for School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews, and served on the Michael L. Printz and Margaret A. Edwards Award Committees. She now writes criticism and explainers for culture outlets including Vulture, Town & Country, Avidly, Alma, and her weekly cultural recommendations and criticism newsletter, Two Bossy Dames.
Stephanie Butnick is a host of Unorthodox, the #1 Jewish podcast, and director of podcasts for Tablet Magazine. She is the author, along with her podcast co-hosts, of The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything in Between.
Phil M. Cohen is an award-winning author and an ordained rabbi who holds a Ph.D. in Jewish thought and an MFA in fiction. Nick Bones Underground, Cohen’s first novel, may be the first speculative fiction novel penned by a rabbi. He is the author of more than twenty published stories, dozens of articles and papers, and the eBook Lucky 13. He blogs for The Times of Israel and on his website.
Greg Dawson has been a journalist for over 50 years, winning awards for his work as a TV critic, columnist, and feature writer at magazines and newspapers, including The Boston Herald, Indianapolis Star, and Orlando Sentinel. He is the author of two books on the Holocaust, Hiding in the Spotlight and Judgment Before Nuremberg, and Busted in Bloomington, a collective memoir of the ‘60s written with his wife, Candy Dawson.
Mark Elber was born and raised in New York City. He won the Undergraduate Poetry Prize in 1972 at the University of Pennsylvania and was “Poet of the Year” at the Beat Museum in San Francisco in 2007. His poems have appeared in various literary journals, including Mudfish, The Jerusalem Review, Home Planet News, Poetica, Muddy River Poetry Review, and in the anthology Welcome to the Resistance. He is the author of The Everything Kabbalah Book and The Sacred Now: Cultivating Jewish Spiritual Consciousness. He was ordained as a rabbi through ALEPH, The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, and is the rabbi at Temple Beth El in Fall River, Massachusetts. He is the winner of the 2022 Henry Morgenthau III Poetry Prize for his first book of poems, Headstone.
Ariella Elovic is the author and illustrator of CHEEKY: A Head to Toe Memoir. She is the founder of @thecheekyblog, an online platform through which she combats the shame so many of us feel in relation to our bodies. Her work has been featured by The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, and Teen Vogue.
Nadine Epstein is an award-winning journalist and essayist, and editor-in-chief and CEO of Moment Magazine. She hosts The Road to Gender Equity, a series of far-reaching conversations exploring long term strategies to ensure women’s rights in the U.S. and co-hosts The Wide River Project, a series exploring the complexities of Black-Jewish relationships with Eric Ward. Her books include Elie Wiesel, An Extraordinary Life and Legacy: Writings, Photographs and Reflections and Spiritual Bathing: Healing Rituals and Traditions from Around the World. Her articles and essays have been published in Moment, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and Newsweek among other publications. She is a mixed media artist and creator of the iShadow Project.
Alice Feiring, New York City-based author and journalist, was proclaimed “the queen of natural wines” by the Financial Times. A recipient of a coveted James Beard Award for wine journalism, among many others, she has written for multiple outlets including The New York Times, New York magazine, Time, AFAR, World of Fine Wine, and the beloved wine zine, Noble Rot. When she’s not writing, she is a frequent lecturer and panelist on all things wine, natural or not. Her latest book is a memoir, To Fall in Love Drink This. Other books include Natural Wine for the People, Dirty Guide to Wine, For the Love of Wine, Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally.
Liana Finck is the author of Let There Be Light, Passing for Human, and Excuse Me ,and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. She has had artist residencies with the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Willapa Bay.
Omer Friedlander is the author of the short story collection The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land. He was born in Jerusalem in 1994 and grew up in Tel-Aviv. He is a Starworks Fellow in Fiction at New York University. His stories have won multiple awards, and his writing has been supported by the Bread Loaf Fellowship and Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. He teaches Creative Writing at Columbia University.
Bonnie Friedman is the author of the best-selling Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction, and Other Dilemmas in the Writer’s Life, which has been widely anthologized. Her most recent book is Surrendering Oz, a Life in Essays. Her essays have been included in The Best American Movie Writing, The Best Buddhist Writing, The Best of O., Oprah Magazine, andThe Best Writing on Writing.
Elisabeth Frischauf’s epic narrative memoir poem They Clasp My Hand, published in April 2022, was short-listed for the Austria Literary Prize. Other literary credits include the rhymed narration text “Let’s Talk about AIDS,” “Sister Films,” and two poems, “My Holocaust,” and “First Generation American.” A medical doctor and visual artist, her work appears in juried shows and private collections.
Jonathan Goldberg K.C. is known as one of the United Kingdom’s leading trial advocates and defenders. Goldberg makes frequent television appearances on CNN, Al Jazeera, Sky and ITV commenting on issues of legal interest. For several years, he wrote a column in the Jewish Chronicle entitled “Ask the QC.” He is a rare recipient of two The Times Lawyer of the Week awards.
Karen Baum Gordon is the daughter of Rudolf Baum, a survivor whose thwarted efforts to save his parents during the Holocaust had multigenerational effects. Baum Gordon’s first book, The Last Letter: A Father’s Struggle, a Daughter’s Quest, and the Long Shadow of the Holocaust, was nominated for the American Library Association’s Sophie Brody Medal for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature and was an ABC Good Morning America Pick of the Week. A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Business School, Baum Gordon co-founded Strategic Horizons, Inc., an executive coaching and management consulting firm, after working as a consultant at McKinsey & Co., managing several NYC restaurants, and training as a chef in France and the U.K.
Daniel Gross is one of the most widely read writers on finance, economics, and business history. Gross worked as a reporter at The New Republic and Bloomberg News, wrote the “Economic View” column in The New York Times, and served as Slate’s ”Moneybox” columnist. He is the author of eight books, including Forbes Greatest Business Stories of All Time; Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation; and Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline and the Rise of a New Economy.
Sabina Hahn is a Brooklyn-based author and artist. Sabina illustrated PJ Library books, Onions and Garlic and Jonah. She is also the author of the picture books, Pineapple Princess, and I Am a Dragon, and is a contributor to Enchanted Lion Books’, A Velocity of Being. She is known to public radio-listening families as the artist for “Circle Round,” the storytelling podcast.
Alex Halberstadt is the author of the family memoir Young Heroes of the Soviet Union, a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2020, as well as Lonely Avenue: the Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, GQ, Food & Wine, MoMA Magazine and The Paris Review. Nominated twice for the James Beard Award for Excellence in Journalism, his essays have been anthologized in Best Food Writing 2014 and The Best American Food Writing 2018.
Mark Harris is the author of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, which was a New York Times notable book of the year, and Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War. A graduate of Yale University, Harris lives in New York City with his husband, Tony Kushner.
Jack Hersch is a journalist, commercial pilot, and expert in the field of distressed and bankrupt companies. He has served as a public company board member and has guest-lectured in the business schools of M.I.T., U.S.C., and U.C. Berkeley, among others. His first book, Death March Escape: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust, won the 2019 Spirit of Anne Frank Human Writes Award. His second book is The Dangers of Automation in Airliners: Accidents
Waiting to Happen.
Dianne Hess is Executive Editor for Scholastic Press where she primarily acquires and edits an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction picture books—as well as some MG/YA nonfiction. Her books have received an array of awards, including Sydney Taylor Awards, National Jewish Book Awards, Newbery and Caldecott Honors, Coretta Scott King Honors, NAACP Image Award and Honor, Pura Bel Pre Honors, and more.
Susan Hood is the award-winning author of many books for young readers, including Lifeboat 12; Ada’s Violin; Shaking Things Up; The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics; and Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team. She is the recipient of an E.B. White Honor Award, the Christopher Award, the Américas Award, the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, and the Bank Street Flora Steiglitz Straus Award.
Marjorie Ingall is the author, with Susan McCarthy, of Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies, forthcoming in January. She’s also the author of Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children and The Field Guide to North American Males. A former columnist for both Tablet magazine and the Forward, she is co-creator of the apology watchdog site SorryWatch.com and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Book Review. She’s also written for New York magazine, Town & Country, Ms., Glamour, Self, Elle, and Sassy.
Annette Insdorf is Professor of Film at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and Moderator of the popular “Reel Pieces” series at Manhattan’s 92Y, where she has interviewed almost 300 film celebrities. She is author of the landmark study, Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust (with a foreword by Elie Wiesel); Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski; Francis Truffaut, a study of the French director’s work; Philip Kaufman, and Intimations: The Cinema of Wojciech Has. Her latest book is Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes, currently in its fourth printing.
Penny Jackson is an award-winning novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Her novel Becoming the Butlers was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best books for young adults. Awards for her writing include a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Elizabeth Janeway Prize in Writing (Barnard College), the Pushcart Prize, and the Gideon Poetry Review prize. Her story, “My Daughter’s Boyfriends,” was published in Lilith in Spring 2021.
Menachem Kaiser is the author of the memoir Plunder, a New York Times Critics Best Book of 2021, and the winner of the 2022 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.
Maira Kalman illustrated E.B. White and William Strunk Jr.’s classic The Elements of Style and is the author of bestsellers My Favorite Things, The Principles of Uncertainty, and And the Pursuit of Happiness. She is the author/illustrator of twenty children’s books and has created over one dozen New Yorker covers. Her work is held in the collections of museums around the world and recent exhibitions include the smash-hit Sara Berman’s Closet at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her watches, clocks, and accessories, under her legendary design firm M&Co, are featured at the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.
Isabel Kaplan is the author of the national bestselling novel NSFW, which has been shortlisted for The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, as well as the national bestselling young adult novel Hancock Park. She graduated from Harvard and holds an MFA in creative writing from NYU.
Lisa Keys is a veteran journalist. Before becoming the Managing Editor of the New York Jewish Week, she was the Editor of Kveller. She has been a regular contributor to the New York Times, the New York Post, and more.
Linda Kinstler is the author of Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends. She is a contributing writer for Jewish Currents, and her award-winning journalism has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Economist, and more. She is completing a PhD in Rhetoric at U.C. Berkeley.
A trailblazing lesbian poet, child Holocaust survivor, and political activist whose work is deeply informed by socialist values, Irena Klepfisz is a vital and individual American voice. Her Birth and Later Years: New and Collected Poems, 1971-2021 is the first complete collection of her work. For fifty years, Klepfisz has written powerful, searching poems about relatives murdered during the war, recent immigrants, a lost Yiddish writer, a Palestinian boy in Gaza, and various people in her life.
Sally Koslow is the author of The Real Mrs. Tobias, Another Side of Paradise, The Widow Waltz, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, and With Friends Like These and the nonfictional Slouching Toward Adulthood: How To Let Go So Your Kids Can Grow Up. Her debut novel, Little Pink Slips, was inspired by her long career as editor-in-chief of iconic McCall’s Magazine. Her books have been published in a dozen countries.
Leah Koenig is the author of six cookbooks, including The Jewish Cookbook and Modern Jewish Cooking. She is currently at work on her next book, which explores Rome’s historic Jewish cuisine. Koenig’s writing and recipes can be found in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Epicurious, and Food52, among other publications. She also writes a weekly newsletter, The Jewish Table, which shares recipes and stories from the world of Jewish food. In addition to writing, Koenig leads cooking demonstrations and workshops around the country and world.
Ann D. Koffsky is the author and illustrator of more than forty books, including What’s In Tuli’s Box?, the Kayla & Kugel series, Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor and Shabbat Shalom, Hey. Several of her books have been PJ Library selections, and her book Noah’s Swim-A-Thon received a Sydney Taylor notable designation from the Association of Jewish Libraries. Previously, she was also an editor and art director at Behrman House Publishers and an adjunct professor of art at Yeshiva University. She also distributes free, Jewish themed coloring pages before the holidays. To sign up to receive them, just email Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org with “SIGN ME UP!” in the subject line.
Kim Kushner is a culinary educator and the author of four bestselling cookbooks. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, she has developed recipes for Food & Wine and Chile Pepper magazines and has worked as a private chef. In 2005, she launched Kim Kushner Cuisine and now travels the world teaching her wildly popular cooking classes. Kim has appeared on the Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times International Edition, Huffington Post, Saveur, and the Chicago Tribune, and is recognized as a leader in redefining kosher cuisine; her cookbooks feature everyday recipes for delicious and artful dishes made from accessible, seasonal ingredients.
Joy Ladin is the author of ten books of poetry, including 2022’s Shekhinah Speaks, National Jewish Book Award winner The Book of Anna, and Lambda Literary Award finalists Impersonation and Transmigration. She has also published a memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life, and a groundbreaking work of trans theology, The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors. She is an emeritus member of the Board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ+ Jews in the Jewish world.
Adam Langer is a journalist, editor, podcast producer, and the author of a memoir and five novels, including Cyclorama, The Washington Story, Ellington Boulevard, The Thieves of Manhattan, The Salinger Contract, and the internationally best-selling novel Crossing California, which was described in the Chicago Tribune by James Atlas as “the most vivid novel about Chicago since Saul Bellow’s Herzog and the most ambitious debut set in Chicago since Philip Roth’s Letting Go.” Formerly a senior editor at Book Magazine and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, he currently serves as Executive Editor at the Forward.
Arthur A. Levine is the President and Editor-in-Chief of Levine Querido, a vibrant new independent publisher distributed by Chronicle Books. Levine Querido is born of a fervent mission to give voice to a uniquely talented, exceptionally diverse group of authors and artists, a career-long passion of its founder.
Zeke Levine is a doctoral student in musicology at NYU. He is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, Yiddishist, and musicologist, and combines his love of music, words, and the Yiddish language to craft songs, compositions, translations, and scholarship that look to the past to make sense of the present.
Sara Lippmann is the author of the novel Lech and the story collections Doll Palace and Jerks. Her work has been honored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has appeared in The Millions, The Washington Post, Lit Hub, Epiphany, and elsewhere. With Seth Rogoff, she is co-editing the anthology Smashing the Tablets: Radical Retellings of the Hebrew Bible for SUNY Press.
Lynda Cohen Loigman received a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Her debut novel, The Two-Family House, was a USA Today bestseller and a nominee for the Goodreads 2016 Choice Awards in Historical Fiction. Her second novel, The Wartime Sisters, was named a Best Book of 2019 by Real Simple Magazine and her third novel, The Matchmaker’s Gift, was named a Best New Book by People Magazine and a Best Book of Fall by the New York Post, Parade Magazine, Buzzfeed, and Good Morning America.com.
Stacy London is one of America’s foremost style experts. In 2021, she became the founder and CEO of State of Menopause, a holistic product line for women which addresses the symptoms associated with menopause and perimenopause. In this new phase of her career, London is doing what she has done her entire career as a stylist: help people from suffering silently, raise their confidence and self-esteem by alleviating external symptoms, and removing the shame that surrounds them. She is also widely known as the co-host of TLC’s iconic show, “What Not to Wear.” Following that success, she hosted and executive produced 3 seasons of “Love Lust or Run.” Stacy has written two books, Dress Your Best, which was published to stellar reviews, and The Truth About Style, a New York Times bestseller. In 2020, she hosted a podcast discussing mental health, Could Be Better, in collaboration with the Crisis Text Line and The Jed Foundation (JED).
Mari Lowe has too little free time and spends it all on writing and escape rooms. As the daughter of a rabbi and a middle school teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school, she looks forward to sharing little glimpses into her community with her books. Her debut novel, Aviva vs. the Dybbuk, was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR and received three-starred reviews.
Susan Elia MacNeal is the New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope mysteries. MacNeal won the Barry Award and has been nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, Agatha, Left Coast Crime, Dilys, and ITW Thriller awards. Mother Daughter Traitor Spy is her first standalone novel.
For over 40 years, Bob Mankoff has been the driving force of comedy and satire at some of the most honored publications in America, including The New Yorker and Esquire. He is currently the cartoon editor at the weekly online newsletter Air Mail and runs Botnik Studios, a network of writers, artists, and programmers who create software that augments human creativity with big data analytics. Mankoff is the author of numerous books, including his New York Times bestselling memoir How About Never – Is Never Good For You?: My Life in Cartoons. His story was the focus of the 2015 HBO documentary Very Semi-Serious.
Jacquelyn Martin is a staff photojournalist with the Associated Press in Washington, DC, and a board member of the Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW), a non-profit that educates the public about the work of female photojournalists. Covering a diverse range of topics from the White House to enterprise feature projects, she has circumnavigated the globe covering every Secretary of State since Hillary Clinton and was the last photojournalist to have the opportunity to photograph Nelson Mandela prior to his death. Martin’s portrait series and documentary project focusing on people with albinism in Tanzania has been exhibited at the World Bank in Washington, DC, and in Kenya. Her work has been honored with awards from the White House News Photographers Association and National Press Photographers Association, as well as featured in WPOW’s annual touring exhibitions.
Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of seven novels for adults and twenty-six children’s books. For over a dozen years, McDonough has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine, and she works independently to help aspiring writers polish their manuscripts.
Julia Moskin, a lifelong New Yorker, has been a New York Times Food staff reporter since 2004. She grew up (and still lives) within 10 blocks of Zabar’s. In 2017, she was on the “She Said” team of reporters who won the Pulitzer Prize, uncovering sexual harassment at restaurants owned by Mario Batali, Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield. She reports on food news (startling readers with the fact that most sushi is frozen, not fresh), writes profiles, and spots trends (like ramen, funfetti, and Korean fried chicken, which she wrote about before any other U.S. journalist). Her 2020 investigation into sexual coercion at the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers led to the resignation of its entire board, as did her 2004 investigation into financial corruption at the James Beard Foundation.
Shoshana Nambi grew up in Mbale, Uganda’s Abayudaya Jewish community, learning Hebrew at the nearby synagogue and teaching songs and the Torah portion to young children. In 2019, she and her 12-year-old daughter, Emunah, moved to NYC. Shoshana is now a fourth-year rabbinical student on her way to becoming the first female rabbi from her community in Uganda. The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda is her first book.
Yevgenia Nayberg is an award-winning author, illustrator, painter, and set and costume designer. As a set and costume designer, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Fellowship for Theatre Designers, the Independent Theatre Award, and the Arlin Meyer Award. She has received multiple awards for her picture book illustrations including three
Sydney Taylor Medals. Her debut author/illustrator picture book, Anya’s Secret Society, received a Junior Library Guild Gold Selection Award. Her latest book, I Hate Borsch! was published in 2022. Born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, she lives in New York City.
Sarah Maslin Nir is a staff reporter for The New York Times. Nir was a Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for “Unvarnished,” her more than yearlong investigation into New York City’s nail salon industry that documented the exploitative labor practices and health issues that manicurists face. Before becoming a staff reporter, Nir freelanced, traveling to the Alaskan wilderness in search of people who prefer to live in isolation, and to post-earthquake Haiti. She began as the New York Times’s nightlife columnist and continued on to a career that has taken her from covering kidnappings by terrorists in Benin, West Africa, to wildfires in California and everything in between. A born and raised Manhattanite, Nir earned a masters at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and graduated from Columbia University, where she studied politics and philosophy. She is the author of Horse Crazy. She loves horses.
Caraid O’Brien has translated seven plays by Sholem Asch from Yiddish into English. She is a writer, performer, translator, and director. Her translation from the Yiddish of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance directed by Obie award winner Aaron Beall “set Show World aflame” according to the Village Voice and was produced by the Rorschach Theatre in Washington D.C. She is a three-time recipient of a new play commission from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for her contemporary adaptation of Dovid Pinski’s Yiddish classic Jake the Mechanic as well as the first ever English translations of Sholem Asch’s underworld plays Motke Theif and The Dead Man.
Mark Oppenheimer is the author of five books, including Knocking on Heaven’s Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture and The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia. He was the religion columnist for The New York Times from 2010 to 2016 and has written for numerous publications. The host of Tablet magazine’s podcast Unorthodox, Oppenheimer has taught at Stanford, Wellesley, and Yale, where since 2006 he has directed the Yale Journalism Initiative.
Zibby Owens is an essayist, memoirist, award-winning podcaster, book publisher, entrepreneur, and CEO. Owens founded Zibby Media, a privately held media company. She is the host of the award-winning podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books. Owens is a regular contributor to ABC-TV’s Good Morning America and other broadcast outlets, where she shares her mission-driven enthusiasm for books. She is the author of the memoir Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature, the children’s book, Princess Charming, and the editor of two anthologies on motherhood.
Eddy Portnoy is the Academic Advisor and Director of Exhibitions at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. A specialist in Jewish mass culture, his work has appeared in numerous academic journals, and the exhibitions he has curated have won plaudits from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and VICE, among others. He is the author of Bad Rabbi and Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press (Stanford University Press, 2017).
Eleanor Reissa is Brooklyn born and bred; a victim/beneficiary of the public school system from K through college. In spite of that (or because of it) she has had a life beyond her own imagination – as a Tony nominated director, a Broadway/TV actress, a singer in every major venue in New York, a playwright, artistic director of the Folksbiene, and a published author of The Letters Project: A Daughter’s Journey. She hosts the podcast Those Who Were There: Voices from the Holocaust and narrates the visitor’s guide to The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is a Jerusalem-born novelist and poet. His first novel, Sadness Is a White Bird, was a finalist for a Dayton Literary Peace Prize and a National Jewish Book Award, won an Ohioana Book Award, and was long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Barrelhouse, Colorado Review, The Common, The New York Times, The Paris Review Daily, and ZYZZYVA, and he is the recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honor, two MacDowell Fellowships, and Yiddishkayt’s Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship.
Aviva Rosenberg is the Youth Services Librarian at the Ridgefield Free Public Library in Ridgefield, NJ. She previously served as a school media specialist. Aviva has been on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee since 2021 and is currently the Vice President of the Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries division of the Association of Jewish Libraries.
Helen Betya Rubinstein‘s essays and fiction have appeared in Gulf Coast, The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review Daily, Literary Hub, and Jewish Currents, where she is a contributing writer. Her book Feels Like Trouble: Transgressive Takes on Teaching, Writing, and Publishing is forthcoming. She teaches at The New School and works one-on-one with other writers as a coach.
Jodi Rudoren is Editor-in-Chief of the Forward. A veteran reporter, editor, and digital innovator who spent more than two decades at The New York Times, she is helping lead a transformation of the storied 125-year-old Forward. Jodi writes a weekly newsletter, “Looking Forward,” that has received broad acclaim, edits the morning briefing “Forwarding the News,” and helped turn the newspaper’s signature advice column, “A Bintel Brief,” into a podcast that just completed its second season. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Fuller Project, a nonprofit newsroom doing groundbreaking investigative work on gender.
Amy B. Scher is the award-winning and bestselling author of the How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can series which has been translated into over 20 languages; and her memoir, This Is How I Save My Life (Simon and Schuster, 2018), which details her battle with chronic Lyme disease, her journey to India for an experimental medical treatment, and the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’-like adventure that followed. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Morning America, CNN, CBS, Oprah Daily, and more. She lives in New York City with her wife and their bad cat.
Susan Weidman Schneider, one of Lilith’s founding mothers, has been editor in chief since the magazine launched. Her writing about Jewish women’s philanthropy, the Jewish stake in abortion rights, the persistence of gender stereotyping and more have been credited with moving the needle on feminist change in the Jewish world. She’s the author of Jewish and Female and Intermarriage, and co-author of Head and Heart, a book about money in the lives of women.
Martin Schoeller is one of the world’s preeminent contemporary portrait photographers. His signature style of extreme close-up portraiture has been utilized across his career, whether his subject is a celebrity or a Holocaust survivor, encouraging the viewer to draw comparisons “between his subjects, challenging a viewer’s existing notions of celebrity, value, and honesty.” Here, a community takes shape from individual stories. Schoeller’s portraits are exhibited and collected internationally, as well as part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Schoeller’s exhibition Survivors: Faces of Life After the Holocaust. Photographs by Martin Schoeller, is the inaugural exhibition in the Rita Lowenstein Gallery at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Liza Schoenfein is a longtime food writer, editor, and recipe developer and author of the blog “Life, Death & Dinner.” She is a frequent contributor to the food section of The Forward, where she was the food editor for several years. She was editor-in-chief of Jewish Living magazine and executive editor of Saveur, and has contributed to publications including Civil Eats, Cooking Light, Elle, Epicurious, Fitness, Rachel Ray, and Saveur. She splits her time between Manhattan and the Hudson Valley.
Peninnah Schram, an internationally known storyteller, teacher, author, and recording artist, is Professor Emerita of Speech and Drama at Stern College of Yeshiva University. She travels across the U.S. and other countries presenting storytelling programs and workshops for all ages, and as a scholar/storyteller-in residence. Schram is the recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator and the National Storytellers Network 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award. Her biography, Peninnah’s World: A Jewish Life in Stories, authored by Caren Schnur Neile, was recently published in November 2021.
Amy E. Schwartz is Moment Magazine’s opinion and book editor, as well as editor of the magazine’s popular “Ask the Rabbis” section. She is editor of the 2020 book Can Robots Be Jewish? And Other Pressing Questions of Modern Life, available for sale at momentmag.com. Before joining Moment in 2011, she spent 17 years as an editorial writer and weekly op ed columnist at The Washington Post, specializing in education, science and the culture wars, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 1988. She has also worked at Harper’s, The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. Schwartz is president of the non-denominational Jewish Study Center in Washington, DC and speaks and runs workshops on Jewish commentary, poetry and psalms.
A.O. Scott has been a film critic at The New York Times for more than twenty years, reviewing thousands of movies and writing essays on cinema, literature, and many other subjects. His book, Better Living Through Criticism, was published by Penguin in 2016. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Sarah Seltzer was named a winner of the 2013 Lilith fiction contest and eventually took a job at the magazine, where she now serves as executive editor. A self-described “old millennial,” she is working on a novel about a family of folk singers. Her story, “Ironing,” was published in Lilith in Summer 2013.
Suzette Sheft is a sixteen-year-old student at the Horace Mann School in New York City. In her free time, she enjoys writing, reading, running, volunteering, and spending time with her family. She won a Scholastic Silver Key for an excerpt of Running for Shelter, her debut novel. The book is dedicated to her late father who inspired her to write and share her family’s story.
Lynn Sherr spent more than thirty years with ABC News, covering a wide range of stories at 20/20 and World News. She is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space, SWIM: Why We Love the Water, Tall Blondes: A Book About Giraffes, and Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words. Sherr is currently freelancing on a variety of platforms and co-hosted the podcast “She Votes: Our Battle for the Ballot.”
Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure and the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Lake Success, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been published in thirty countries.
Judith Shulevitz is a contributing writer to The Atlantic Monthly and the author of The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time (2010). She has had weekly columns at The New York Times Book Review, Slate, The New Republic, and New York Magazine and been an editor at Lingua Franca, New York Magazine, and The New Republic. Her essays have appeared in countless publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. Her November 2019 cover essay for The Atlantic, “Alexa, Should We Trust You?,” looked at the unique power of voice-activated technology—that is, what makes talking speakers and cars and toys so seductive and possibly treacherous.
Lizzie Skurnick’s most recent work is Pretty Bitches: On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words That Are Used to Undermine Women. She is the author of That Should Be a Word: A Much-Needed Lexicon for the Modern Era and Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We’ll Never Stop Reading. As the founding editor of Lizzie Skurnick Books, she has reissued dozens of YA classics. Skurnick is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, NPR, PBS, Elle, Jezebel, and many other publications. She also teaches at NYU.
Karen Smith graduated with a degree in English Literature from Queens College before beginning her career at Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, where she spent ten years editing picture books, middle grade, and young adult fiction and non-fiction. She is now an editor at Workman Kids where she edits non-fiction books for all ages that are accessible and inspiring, helping readers to learn about the evolving world around them. Karen lives with her family in Queens, NY.
Rebecca Soffer is cofounder of Modern Loss, which offers creative, meaningful and encouraging content and global community addressing the long arc of grief. She is also the author of the bestselling The Modern Loss Handbook: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience (Running Press, 2022) and coauthor of Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome (Harper Wave, 2018), which The Strategist named a best book on loss for a younger generation. Soffer has been featured across media, including on CBS Mornings, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, NY1, MSNBC, CNN, and CTV and her writing has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, TIME, Marie Claire, and NBC Think. She is an original producer for the Peabody Award-winning The Colbert Report and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Reha Sokolow was born in Berlin, Germany in January 1943. She remained there with her parents until May 1948. Sokolow is the Associate Director of Education of Jewish National Fund. She has taught creative writing to Russian students and is a Speaker/Docent at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. She is author of Defying the Tide: An Account of Authentic Compassion During the Holocaust.
Chana Stiefel is the award-winning author of more than 30 humorous and heartfelt books for children, both fiction and nonfiction. Her recent titles include The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs and Let Liberty Rise: How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty. She loves visiting schools and libraries to share her passion for reading and writing with children.
Larry Stiefel is a pediatrician at Tenafly Pediatrics and the author of the short story blog “The Maggid of Bergenfield,” from which Mendel’s Hanukkah Mess Up was created. Chana and Larry live in New Jersey and have four children.
Emily Tamkin is the senior editor, US editor at the New Statesman, where she covers US politics, foreign policy, and society. A former staff writer at BuzzFeed News and Foreign Policy Magazine, she has reported on the policies and personalities that make up foreign relations from the United States and across Eastern Europe. Her writing has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Columbia Journalism Review, Politico, the New Republic, the Washington Post, and Slate, among other publications.
Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. He has been honored by FirstWeFeast.com as one of the twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, named one of the “Fifty People Who Are Changing the South” by Southern Living, and one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.com. Twitty has appeared in numerous media and has given more than 250 talks in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in Ebony, the Guardian, and on NPR.org. He is also a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance, a TED fellow and speaker, and the first Revolutionary in Residence at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
B.A. Van Sise is an author and photographic artist. He is the author of the visual poetry anthology Children of Grass: A Portrait of American Poetry with Mary-Louise Parker, and Invited to Life: After the Holocaust with Neil Gaiman, Mayim Bialik, and Sabrina Orah Mark. He has previously been featured in solo exhibitions at the Center for Creative Photography, the Center for Jewish History, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, as well as in group exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and the Whitney Museum of American Art; a number of his portraits are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. His nonfiction and poetry have been featured in numerous publications, and he is a frequent reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.
Helene Wecker is the author of The Hidden Palace which won the CALIBA Golden Poppy Award for SF/Fantasy novels and was the Book Club pick of the year chosen by the Jewish Book Council. It is the sequel to her debut novel The Golem and the Jinni (Harper, 2013) which was awarded the Mythopoeic Award, the VCU Cabell Award, and the Harald U. Ribalow Prize. Her work has appeared in Joyland, Catamaran, and in the anthology The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories.
Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer was born on June 4, 1928, in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1939, her family sent the young Ruth to Switzerland to escape the Nazis. She went on to become a member of the Haganah and was wounded in Israel’s War of Independence. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, she moved to New York in 1956 where she worked for Planned Parenthood. A lecture she delivered in 1980 led to a radio talk show called Sexually Speaking. The show was a hit and Dr. Ruth became a nationally recognized authority on sexual matters. In 2009, an Off-Broadway play about her life, Becoming Dr. Ruth, opened, and in 2019 the documentary Ask Dr. Ruth premiered on Hulu. Dr. Ruth has written 45 books and is currently teaching at Columbia Teachers College and Hunter College. She is the proud grandmother to four grandchildren and is a longtime trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Steven Wilson has spearheaded many successes for prominent publishing houses globally in his work of developing new business avenues, product creation, and developing sales organizations internationally. He launched the New York publisher Imagine and Wonder in 2021 and recently published the graphic novel We Survived the Holocaust: The Bluma and Felix Goldberg Story by Frank W. Baker.
Mikhl Yashinsky is a Manhattan-based theater artist, Yiddishist, and translator, and has worked as a stage director of opera at institutions, including the Vienna’s Theater an der Wien with his production of the Holocaust-era opera Brundibár. With the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, he starred in Di kishef-makherin (The Sorceress), and he is currently appearing on Broadway in the Folksbiene’s Yiddish-language Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Joel Grey. His forthcoming translations from the Yiddish include the memoir of Ester-Rokhl Kaminska. In 2019, Yashinsky was named to the “Forward 50,” the newspaper’s annual list of “influential, intriguing, and inspiring” American Jews.
Kitty Zeldis is the pseudonym for an award-winning author of nine novels and over thirty-five books for children. Her essays, articles, and short fiction have been published in many national and literary publications. She is also the Fiction Editor of Lillith Magazine.
Jane Ziegelman, a James Beard Award winning food historian, is the author of 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement, and A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression, which she wrote together with her husband, Andrew Coe. She lives in Brooklyn.
Judith Zimmer has published short fiction in Five on the Fifth, an online literary magazine. The author of several nonfiction books, she has written for the New York Times, Psychology Today, and other outlets. She lives in New York City and Connecticut, and is working on a novel. Her story, “Max’s Mom Goes to Camp,” was published in Lilith in Summer 2016.
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