I grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by language, culture, and belief.

photo by Danielle Aquiline


My first book, The Grammar of God: A Journey Into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau/Random House 2015), is about the intense experience of reading the Bible in English after an entire life of reading it in Hebrew.

The Grammar of God was a National Jewish Book Award finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize finalist, and one of Publishers’ Weekly’s Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015. It was recently named a National Jewish Book Club pick for 2018-19 in nonfiction.

I am The Forward’s language columnist. My writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, The Gettysburg Review, and Zoetrope: All-Story.

I have worked as a travel columnist for The International Jerusalem Post and as a poetry columnist for BarnesandNoble.com. I am currently an associate professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, and I am a contributing editor at A Public Space as well as a mentor for The National Yiddish Book Center. I am a 2016-17 Howard Foundation fellow in nonfiction.