C-Span Author Interview

My dear nephew, Cris Kelley, has just done me the honor of resurrecting an interview done by C-Span shortly after “Izzy’s Fire” was first published. This is even more meaningful to me because my nephew lives in Germany. I don’t know how he ran across the interview, since it was done in 2006, but it was surely a nice surprise.… (more…)

Yom HaShoah – A Day of Remembrance – April 19, 2012

Today is known as Yom HaShoah, a day when Holocaust martrys and heroes are honored throughout the world. It is also the 67th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps, where millions lost their lives, primarily because of their faith. There are so many victims of the Holocaust that it boggles the mind. There are also many saviors, individuals… (more…)

North Carolina Book Club Visits

One of the great joys of being an author is to hear that book clubs are studying “Izzy’s Fire.” Recently, Daphne Key, of Clayton, NC, called to say that a friend from Richmond, VA (where I live) had suggested her club read “Izzy.” A retired teacher from Northern Virginia, Daphne took the subject very seriously. She contacted me and we… (more…)

Beginning a New Year

Fresh beginnings are important, but it’s also a time to give credit for the past. Skaiste Aniuliene, Consul General for the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago, invited me to speak several times in November 2010, in accordance with the Lithuanian Parliament’s declaration that 2011 would be a year of remembrance for Holocaust victims. I was honored to share the story… (more…)

December is a time of rejoicing in all things.

During the process of writing and publishing “Izzy’s Fire,” and then traveling to do presentations over the past 14 years, I have experienced miracles, not the least of which was how I was able to visit Lithuania (twice) and Israel and speak in both countries about the book, which I plan to write about later. Right now, though, I am… (more…)

Fall Always Brings Memories

On November 9, 1997, my life was irrevocably changed. Months earlier I had been asked by Gwen Woolf, an editor at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va, to write a story about the Virginia Holocaust Museum, which had been established in Richmond, Va. I refused because I found the Holocaust such an awful subject. Gwen kept after me to do… (more…)

It’s All Worthwhile

Recently I wrote that 450 seventh graders at Elizabeth B. Davis Middle School in Chester, Virginia, had studied “Izzy’s Fire” during the final months of the 2010 school year. I have heard from many of them and some have posted comments on this blog, offering their opinions and saying encouraging things that I’m very grateful for. An incident that happened… (more…)

Where did the summer go?

I can scarcely believe that in just a few short months, we’ll be facing ice and snow. The summer of 2011 has been a difficult time in Virginia. After weeks of sweltering temperatures, there was an earthquake, followed by a hurricane. Untold financial damage was done, and it took days to restore power to everyone in Richmond, VA, where I… (more…)

It’s All Over but the Shouting!

The last eight weeks spent at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have been a test of fortitude. When I signed up for the Baltic Language Institute, where I would study intensive Lithuanian from June to August, I had no idea how grueling the course would be. I also didn’t realize how difficult the language was. Nor did I foresee that… (more…)

Four Weeks Down – Four To Go

As I enter the fifth week of studying Lithuanian, I can report that I’ve learned a great deal. First and foremost, I’ve now realized how difficult it must be for immigrants to master the English language and admire anyone willing to take it on. The task of learning another language, beyond your native tongue, is daunting. I have also learned… (more…)