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Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum


Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum

It may come as a surprise to those familiar with the themes of my book that I come from a family of atheists. Both my grandfathers were men who had turned their backs on traditional religion, which they regarded as a form of bad science. My mother, daughter of a musician, student of Isadora Duncan dance, and a sculptor, claimed that art was all the spiritual sustenance the family needed. But I always suspected my family's fervent belief in mankind's possibilities had religious roots. Growing up in Great Neck, New York, I used to slip out to church services with my Christian friends and to synagogue with my Jewish friends, curious about what I was missing.

At eighteen, traveling alone in Europe, I came upon a rabbi with a long white beard standing in a doorway in Paris. I thought, how quaint, until I saw the plaque above him which read: On this spot, the Gestapo killed two brothers. It made me realize my religion was not something about which I could afford to be so removed and ignorant, that had I been born in another time and place, the fate of those brothers might have been mine.

Upon returning home, I embarked upon the study of Jewish history and theology that has run like a thread through my life. At New York University I majored in Religion and Philosophy and after graduating, spent a year studying International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. What amazed me most about that year was how deeply moved I was by Israel's beauty, by its people, and its history. The experience brought me to a job at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles.

I moved on to Loyola Law School and worked as a lawyer for about five years. But even First Amendment cases relating to the separation of church and state could not overcome my deep boredom with the practice of law. I have left it to my husband to soldier on in that career.

Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum

Books by Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum

by Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum

Poland, 1906: on a cold spring night, in the small Jewish cemetery of Zokof, Friedl Alterman is wakened from death. On the ground above her crouches Itzik Leiber, a reclusive, unbelieving fourteen-year-old whose fatal mistake has spurred the town's angry residents to violence.  Now Friedl is trapped in that thin world between life and death, her brash decision binding her forever to Itzik.