Joseph Baran is a writer and poet, industrial designer by profession, residing in New Jersey. His work in progress is a Holocaust novel inspired by his family’s recollections. His writing has appeared online and in print in People Holding and Peacock Journal. For thirty years, he has been a contributor at Goodwill Rescue in New Jersey, aiding the homeless and individuals struggling with substance abuse. For twelve years, as a private endeavor, Joseph has offered support to LGBTQ persons, eventually writing a fictionalized short story about his experience. Recently, he has become involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of TN, and JDC of New York. Joseph enjoys running, cycling, photography and painting. He is on Twitter at @josephjoebaran, and on Facebook at @JosephBaranWriter.
Jacob Dinezon (the author) (1851?-1919) was a leading figure in 19th-century Eastern European Jewish literary circles. He was a successful novelist, friend and mentor to many of the renowned authors of his day, including Sholem Aleichem and I. L. Peretz, and a staunch advocate for Yiddish as a literary language. During the First World War, Dinezon turned his attention to social welfare work by helping to found an orphanage and school for children. His debut novel, The Dark Young Man, published in 1877, is considered the first Jewish realistic romance and the first bestselling novel in Yiddish.
Elaine Ford's five novels include Missed Connections (1983) and Life Designs (1997). Her story collection, The American Wife, won the 2007 Michigan Literary Fiction Award. A second collection, This Time Might Be Different: Stories of Maine, was published posthumously in 2018. “Bearing Witness” is excerpted from Bread and Freedom: Stories of an Immigrant Family’s Journey. Portions of Bread and Freedom have appeared in Water-Stone Review, Crazyhorse, Westchester Review, and Iron Horse Literary Review. Ford’s fiction chapbook The Marriage Bed is online at echapbook.com/fiction/ford/index.html. Find chapters of her historical novel-in-manuscript God’s Red Clay at superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue16/fiction/elaineford, and www.westchesterreview.com/blog/2018/10/9/elaine-fords-revelation. Author website: www.elainefordauthor.com.
Geanie Grenshaw (a pseudonym) was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She studied writing at NYU and drama at the HB Studio and Playwrights Horizons. After taking a course in Holocaust Studies and Documentation at FIU, she interviewed survivors for both FIU and the Spielberg Shoah Foundation for ten years. She is a mother, grandmother, and wife currently living in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen is the winner of the JQ-Wingate Prize for Waking Lions. She is a clinical psychologist, has worked for the Israeli civil rights movement, and is an award-winning screenwriter. She won Israel's prestigious Sapir Prize for best debut. Waking Lions, her first novel published in the United States, has been published in seventeen countries and was a New York Times Notable Book.
Esty G. Hayim is the author of four novels, a short story collection, and a play. She studied theater at Tel Aviv University and teaches creative writing at Kibbutzim College of Education and in Hanegev University. Her latest novel, Corner People, was published to wide critical acclaim and awarded the 2014 Brenner Prize. She received the Israeli Prime Minister’s Levi Eshkol Literary Award in 2002 and in 2015. She also won the Keren Rabinovich Translation Award in 2016. The Novel Corner People was translated to Italian and published in Italy in 1917 by Stampa Alternativa publishing house. In October 2018 it won the second prize at the Adewi-Wizzo literary prize in Italy. This novel is going to be published in French and other languages this year. Hayim, whose short stories have appeared in anthologies worldwide, is also a literary reviewer for Ha’aretz and has acted with the Cameri Theatre, a leading Israeli repertory theater, in plays by Hanoch Levin and others.
Penny Kohn worked for many years at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. An active member of Minyan Shaleym, she currently teaches a Kindergarten/First grade class at Temple Beth Zion and teaches creative writing and also puppetry to children in the Brookline, MA schools. She has audited many classes at the Solstice Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College and has studied at Grub Street in Boston. She has published in Shark Reef Literary Magazine. This story was inspired by “My House Shall be a House of Prayer for All,” in Moment Magazine, December 2005.
Sarah Marx Levin’s work has been featured in Tablet, Mosaic, and Hevria, among other outlets. A recent alumna of St. John’s College (Maryland), she works as a freelance writer and editor. She is currently among the inaugural class of students at the Drisha Institute’s Yeshiva, an intensive program of advanced Torah study for young Orthodox women. She lives in Rosh Tzurim, Israel, with her husband and a flourishing herb garden.
E.C. Messer lives by the Pacific Ocean with her husband and four cats, one of whom has a bionic heart. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @ecmesser. She would like very much to know you.
Mendele Mokher Seforim (Mendele the Bookseller in Yiddish ) is the pen name of Shalom Yakov Abramowitz (1835-1917). Although known as the “grandfather of Yiddish Literature”, he is generally acknowledged as the founder of modern fiction in Hebrew as well as Yiddish. In fact, he began his career as a Hebrew writer, later writing in Yiddish as a way to reach a wider audience. In addition to stories that portrayed Jewish shtetl life with honesty and without judgment, Mendele wrote essays and drama in both Hebrew and Yiddish throughout a life spent mostly in Russia.
Hava Pinhas-Cohen is a poet, lecturer on literature and art, and a facilitator of poetry and prose writing workshops in Jerusalem. She is an editor of poetry books and art books. She founded the magazine Dimooy for Jewish literature, art, and culture in 1989, and edited it for 22 years. In addition, Pinhas-Cohen is the founder and artistic director of the "Kissufim” Conference of Jewish writers and poets, which will be held for the fifth time in 2019. A main topic of Pinhas-Cohen’s research and writing is Jewish literature and the identity of Jewish literature after the Second World War. Pinhas-Cohen has had, to date, twelve books of poetry published. With the poet Israel Eliraz, she co-authored A School of One Man, a book of conversations about poetry and art. Her poems have been translated into English, French, German, Dutch, Bulgarian, Spanish, Chinese, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Turkish, Slovenian, Romanian, and Italian, and have appeared in various anthologies in those languages.
Ann Rosenthal was born in the UK and has worked in Israel, Kosovo, and most recently Cambodia, reporting from conflict zones. She holds the International Student Playscript Award and has published in multiple genres and outlets, including The Times, London and New Zealand Poetry, where she currently lives.
Jane Salodof MacNeil, a native New Yorker and journalist, lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She holds a B.A. from the City College of New York and an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University. Since retiring as a senior editor for the International Medical News Group, she has completed two novels: Throwaway People: Let’s Test Granny to Death (a satire) and Gossamer(a 20th-century retelling of the story of Joseph and His Brothers). She wrote “The Night Light” a quarter century ago and is dismayed by its immediacy.
Akiva Schick, a New York City native and Modern Orthodox Jew, is a graduate of Yeshiva University, with a BA in English Literature. He has lived and studied in Jerusalem where he studied Bible and Talmud, and currently works for Scholastic Inc. He also works as a freelance editor, and is currently working on his first novel. His hobbies include the history of the Ancient Near East and losing track of tabs on his computer.
Phyllis Schieber is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer. Her parents, Holocaust survivors, settled in the South Bronx and later moved the family to Washington Heights, NY. She is the author of four novels: The Manicurist, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, Willing Spirits, andStrictly Personal. She is currently working on a collection of stories about growing up as a child of Holocaust survivors that will include “The Man in the Glass Booth.”
Jane R. Snyder began writing with crayons and hasn’t stopped since, though she now uses a keyboard. A New-York native now based in Nashville, TN, she is a graduate of Syracuse University (M.F.A.) and Parsons the New School of Design (B.F.A.), and studied with the late William Packard in his “by-invitation-only” writing workshops at N.Y.U. and with poet Toby Olson at The New School. Her work has appeared in The Jewish Week, Nashville Arts, The New York Quarterly, The Forward, Response, Western Art and Architecture, Woman (the poetry anthology), Union, and other print and online publications. An award-winning songwriter, her compositions have been heard on TV, on CDs, and as the soundtrack for Permanent Creases, an independent film by Trine Andersen. Ms. Snyder has completed, but not yet published, a new-adult novel, Chronic Wellness, and is now working on her next book. Please visit: www.janersnyder.com
Steve Stern is the author of a number of novels and story collections, including The Frozen Rabbi and The Book of Mischief. He's the recipient of the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American fiction and the National Jewish Book Award, and has received fellowships from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations. His stories have been included in the Pushcart and O.Henry Prize anthologies, and three of his books were cited as New York Times Notables. He lives with his partner the comic artist Sabrina Jones and divides his days between Brooklyn and upstate New York.
Herbert Zarov is a life-long Chicagoan who began his career in academia, teaching English and American Studies at Roosevelt University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and Smith College. In the late 1970s he left teaching to go to the University of Chicago Law School where he won the Beale Prize for legal writing and went on to practice law for four decades at a large international law firm. He has published articles ranging from a study of Milton’s political rhetoric to analyses of cutting edge issues in American tort law. He retired from the practice of law in 2017 to devote himself to writing fiction.