Norma Simon

Jewish Before I Was American

My grandparents, my aunt, uncle, two cousins, my parents and I lived in one Williamsburg, Brooklyn brownstone until the early 30s. I spoke Yiddish before I learned English. I was taught to read and write in Hebrew and in Yiddish. Aunt Dora generously shared her public library books of Yiddish poetry and stories with me. We read daily Yiddish newspapers. “Yiddishkeit” was part of my everyday life, not just reserved for Shabbat and holidays.

I wrote about my early years in my first juvenile novel {Ruthie, Meredith Press, 1965). Thinking back to those Williamsburg years, I realize that I became a Jewish person before I became an American person.

Norma Simon is the author of more than 50 children’s books, 13 on Jewish holidays or subjects; 2 new ones due out in 1997 on Passover and Hannukah (HarperCollins). She moved to Cape Cod 27 years ago.


Sugar & Spice – and Beyond

The articles in this special section:

Girls Who Thought about Sex

Barbara Brenner

They were all Orthodox

Deborah Brodie

So I Had to Write it Myself

Floreva G. Cohen

Safe in America

Paula J. Caplan

Sarah Was My Soulmate

Rebecca Goldstein

God Will Have to Allow It

Esther Hautzig

The Impact of Reality

Yona Zeldis McDonough

Jewish Rabbits

Rachel Kadish

Searching for Jewish Clues

Johanna Hurwitz

The Book under My Pillow

Leslea Newman

Please Write One More…

Elizabeth Michaelson

Deborah & Letty

Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Feminist (But Not Jewish)

Sara N.S. Meirowitz

Jewish (But Not Feminist)

Sara N.S. Meirowitz

Books for the 90s

Sara N.S. Meirowitz