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.

I write “The World of Words” column at The Forward, covering language and culture. 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.