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Home >> Israeli Writers >> Judith Rotem

Judith Rotem

Judith Rotem was born in Budapest to a very orthodox Jewish  family. As a baby she was one of the 1684 people who were saved by Dr Kastner. After 7 months in a concentration camp and 10 months in refugee camp, she and her family arrived in Eretz Yisrael. At that time she was 3 years old and the new state of Israel was about to come into existence.

When she was ten, her parents moved the family from the pastoral moshava she loved so much to the nearby extremely religious town of Bnei-Brak. This gave rise to the inner conflict she expresses in her writing today. She dreamt of reading and writing without limitations, but had to accept the dictates of her family and society.

When she was 18 she married a young Torah scholar and became a teacher while he continued studing. Over the next 12 years she gave birth to 9 children, two of whom died in infancy. Despite all this, she did not give up on her dream of becoming a writer. She struggled to overcome many difficulties and eventually succeeded in creating a new life with her children, outside the ultra-orthodox society.

She is the author of 8 books, an established and much loved writer and a happy and active grandmother.
Some of her books: Distant Sister (non-fiction), I love So Much (novel), Longing (novel), Craving (novel).
Her books have been translated into English, Italian, German  and Hungarian. 

Lecture Topics:

 Finding my lost voice - The way from the ultra-orthodox world to the world of writing.

 Haredi society through the eyes of a woman deserter.

 My sad Biblical heroins - rewriting Biblical stories from a woman's perspective.

 The flesh and the spirit - love, libido and sex in the Jewish sources.

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Images by: Fritz Cohen, Moshe Milner, Nati Harnik, Chanania Herman