Leslie and I agreed from the outset that we were writing Jewish Luck for the love of writing and out of admiration for the stories of Vera and Alisa. Despite our high minded objectives, we still encourage readers to buy copies and spread the word. It wouldn’t hurt to cover our expenses!
Speaking only for myself, I also wrote the book because I thought I’d enjoy working together with my sister on a project. I did, and I also loved the process of writing and researching, especially talking weekly with Vera and Alisa. The research trip to St. Petersburg and Stockholm was a bonus. Aside from learning about the lives and struggles of Vera and Alisa, I have learned about the struggles of writers to publish and market their books and have felt warmed by the collegiality and generous spirits of other authors I have met along the way.
What has surprised me, the more introverted of the two sisters, is that I have enjoyed speaking to groups about the books. Recently, I returned from a visit to San Diego where I spoke to Chofit Hadassah in Encinitas. For days afterwards I basked in the aftermath of the experience. I enjoyed the reflections readers shared about Jewish Luck. The questions posed were insightful. And I heard other women’s stories—each one a gripping saga. It is a privilege to be able to listen to the stories of others – especially those that bear witness to the resilience of the human spirit.
My hope is that the conversations will continue and readers will continue to talk to us about their struggles, their friendships, their resilience.
Postscript to the post
Within two hours of posting this article, my phone rang. It was the chief rabbi of the Grand Caymans who was reading Jewish Luck and enjoying the book. Now this was what I was talking about in the post! What fun to talk and connect with him. Rabbi Pewzner's connection to Jewish Luck is even more complicated than living in the Caymans. It turns out his family is from Leningrad/St. Petersburg and his uncle is currently the chief rabbi of St. Petersburg. And what did he want? He wants to meet Vera! For those of you who have read our book, you can lay odds on this meeting taking place. But, I'm currently studying parashat Re'eh to write my column for the synagogue. It begins with a choice. So, I gave the choice to Vera and we'll see if she chooses to contact the rabbi. Stay tuned.
Postscript to the postscript
Vera is interested...but she's in Europe now.