About The Authors - Issue 33


Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 – 1970) was born Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes in Buczacz, Galicia. He left there in 1908 for Jaffa, having published seventy pieces in Hebrew and Yiddish, and never again wrote in Yiddish. In 1908 he published his story Agunot (Forsaken Souls) using the pseudonym Agnon, and in 1924 took Agnon as his family name. In 1912 he moved to Germany, drawn by its lively Jewish cultural life, and in 1924 returned to Jerusalem where he lived until his death. Agnon is among the most widely translated Hebrew authors, and his unique style and language influenced generations of Hebrew writers. He won numerous literary awards, including the 1966 Nobel Prize for Literature.  

Nina Foighel grew up in Copenhagen and is a qualified psychologist. Her debut work was the short story collection Things Disappear and Other Stories (1996), which examines themes such as identity, belonging, and loss, and shifting from realist narrative to dreamlike sequences with fragments of memories and magical symbolism. Her short stories contain a number of references to Jewish culture. Stories from the collection, such as “Back to The Answers” and “Walking Song,” have been published in various magazines, and one story, “The Bag Thief,” appeared in an anthology of Nordic short-story writers. She has also had poetry published.

Ephrat Huss, Ph.D, chairs an MA in Art Therapy for Social workers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. She has written academic papers and books about arts in social work. Her last two books were Arts based participatory research in social work (Policy Press) and Using arts to transform society (Routledge). During the coronavirus years she completed an MA in creative writing at Bar Ilan University, and so at the age of 62 moved from writing “about” arts into the arts with her own creative writing.  She lived for many years in the south of Israel, and now lives in Tel Aviv.

Entela Kasi is a poet, essayist, novelist, and translator, born in Albania in 1975. In addition to four poetry books, she has published four novels: The Harvest of Christmas, Hannah K, Voyage, and Returning. Her poems have been translated and published in anthologies in more than twelve languages and she has been a visiting professor and writer at different Universities in Albania and abroad, with a focus on movements in Albanian literature, freedom of expression, and human rights in post-communist societies. She has been awarded national and International prizes in literature and is currently the president of the Albanian PEN Centre. She lives in Tirana and writes in both Albanian and English.

Ber Kotlerman belongs to the new generation involved in the revival of Yiddish. Currently Professor at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, holding the Sznajderman Chair in Yiddish Culture and Hasidism, he spent his childhood in Birobidzhan, Russian Far East, where his family emigrated after the Holocaust. In the late 1990s to the early 2000s he served as Director for the Association of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Israel and as the Israeli representative of the New York Yiddish Forverts. Since 1999, he has been a contributor to Yiddish periodicals in the USA, Israel, Poland, and France. Author of three fiction books in Yiddish, he was honored with the Canadian Rosenfeld Award for Yiddish and Hebrew Literature and the Rockower Award of the American Jewish Press Association. His novellas have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, and Dutch.

Maurice Krystal is a retired high school English teacher living in Montreal who has just turned 80. He writes articles for The Informer, a local paper, but prefers the short story genre. He particularly likes the way the terseness of words allows space between the lines for the reader to fill in the gaps. This work exams intergenerational trauma, an issue very dear to his heart.

Ela Moskovits-Weiss is an Israeli author and playwright. She has a BA in Hebrew Literature from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an MA in Mass Communication Studies from Boston University. Among her books are: Eve Had No Mother (2004, Yediot Books), Written On The Sea (2009, Hargol Books), Chronicle Of The Night  (2011, Yediot Books), Feelings (2015, Yediot Books), Blue hair red flowers (2018 Yediot Books), and the play, Leap (Tmuna Theater, 2009-2011). Her short stories have been published in such leading Israeli literary magazines as Moznaim, Alaxon, Meshiv-Haruach, and in the daily newspaper Israel Hayom. She also writes biographies for pioneers in their fields, such as Professor Shaul Harel and Professor Judd Neeman.

Elliott B. Oppenheim, MD JD LLM, grew up near New York in a Conservative synagogue, leaning towards Orthodoxy. Following his bar mitzvah, he led a largely secular life until he approached his fifties when he began a return to his Jewishness and made aliyah. He practiced medicine for a whole career and then went to law school, and now he consults in medical malpractice cases on behalf of patient rights and, in criminal defense, he helps to defend the accused. He has devoted the entirety of his career to helping people both in medicine and in law.

Maciej Płaza, Ph.D, born in 1976, is a Polish writer and translator. He is the author of the monograph O poznaniu w twórczości Stanisława Lema (On Cognition in the Work of Stanisław Lem) and three novels: Skoruń (Sluggy), Robinson w Bolechowie (Robinson in Bolechów) and Golem, which brought him several literary awards in Poland. He is renowned for his translations of H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, and Mary Shelley, and his scholarly works about Fredric Jameson, Marjorie Perloff and others.

Mark Russ is a psychiatrist in Westchester County, New York. He was born in Cuba, the son of Holocaust survivors. He has contributed to the psychiatric literature throughout his career and has recently begun to publish short stories and nonfiction pieces. His work has appeared in The Jewish Writing ProjectThe Minison Project, and Sortes.

Ida Shear (a pseudonym) grew up in an Orthodox Jewish Family in New York City. Many of her stories have Jewish cultural and spiritual themes at their center. "The Haggadah of the Chinese Jews" is her first published story and she is delighted to have it in Jewish Fiction.net. Shear currently lives in the country with her husband, son and cat.

David Shrayer-Petrov was born in 1936 in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and debuted as a poet in the 1950s. Exploration of Jewish themes put Shrayer-Petrov in conflict with the Soviet authorities, limiting publication of his work and prompting him to emigrate. A Jewish refusenik in 1979–1987, Shrayer-Petrov lived as an outcast in his native country but continued to write prolifically despite expulsion from the Soviet Writer’s Union and persecution by the KGB. He was finally allowed to emigrate in 1987, settling in New England. Since emigrating, Shrayer-Petrov has published twelve books of poetry, eleven novels, six collections of short stories, four volumes of memoirs, and a play-in-verse. Four volumes of Shrayer-Petrov’s fiction have appeared in English translation: the collections Jonah and SarahAutumn in Yalta, and Dinner with Stalin, and the novel Doctor Levitin, all of them edited by his son Maxim D. Shrayer. Dr. Shrayer-Petrov lives in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

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