Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum was born and raised in New York. She studied modern dance and majored in religion and philosophy at New York University and then studied international relations at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After working at the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles, Rosenbaum went back to school to study law. After her first child was born, she took a writing class at UCLA and found that her sensibilities about writing felt much like creating dance—a choreography with words. In the 1990s Rosenbaum traveled to Poland with her in-laws, who are Holocaust survivors. Their experiences inspired A Day of Small Beginnings.
A Day of Small Beginnings starts in rural Poland with a lively 83-year-old ghost named Friedl Alterman. It tracks three generations of a Jewish family unraveling the mysteries of their past. It was selected by Spertus staff and local Jewish librarians for its mystical and surprising plot lines, its stories of characters across generations, and the vivid portrait it paints of life for Eastern European Jews.
Recorded Sunday, December 4, 2011 at the Spertus Institute.