About

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I have been living and writing in Israel since 1967.   I mentor writers in Israel and around the world online. In May 2013 I opened The Writing Pad, a platform for writing classes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Over my years in Israel I’ve worked for Teddy Kollek, the former mayor of Jerusalem, treated soldiers with shell shock after the Yom Kippur War, translated poetry from Hebrew to English, helped establish Kol Haneshama, a Reform synagogue in Jerusalem, guided tourists down cisterns,  organized events for hundreds at threshing floors and life-cycle celebrations for families in caves — all at Neot Kedumim, the Biblical Landscape Reserve in Israel. I’ve stomped on grapes with a Benedictine monk, survived several wars, two intifadas and multiple terrorist attacks, mothered three Sabras, grand-mothered five, grown organic broccoli, starred in The Sisters Rosenzweig, written a personal essay column for The Jerusalem Post, mentored incredible people, discovered my love of teaching, and celebrated my bat-mitzvah at 65, after which I became a rapper (short-lived) and a Torah reader (also short-lived.)

I completed a memoir, Give Sorrow Words, in June 2015, moved to Tel Aviv and started learning hair styling at Tomer v’Sheli in October 2015.  If you want me to cut your hair rather than your texts, you will have to wait until  August 2016.

I’ve earned the following degrees, in chronological order:  Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in American Culture  from the University of Michigan; Bachelor of Social Work from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Certificate in Psychotherapy from the Israel Institute of Psychoanalysis in Jerusalem; Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Maryland;  Master of Arts in English (fiction) from Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

For almost twenty years I have been teaching creative writing in English in Israel, encouraging and supporting Anglo-Israelis to write in their native tongue.

Between 2007 and 2012, I  served as  Coordinator of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University.

After hair-styling, who knows what will be next.JudySelfie