2 or 3 years ago on a trip to Israel with my grandniece, Aliza, at Rosh Hanikra on the shore of the Mediterranean near Israel’s northern border.

Jane Dien

After leaving St. Louis in 1969 and spending 3 ½ years working with immigration for the Jewish Agency in Israel, I moved to New York and began over 30 rewarding years as a fundraising executive on behalf of Israel, mainly Tel Aviv based institutions: Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Schneider Childrens Hospital and Tel Aviv University.  Retired from fundraising in 2001 thinking it was time to relax and enjoy more fully all that New York has to offer.  But instead, by chance, began 12 fascinating years working for a high-end interior design firm.  Finally, in 2013, I really did retire and celebrated by taking my grandniece, Aliza, for 3 weeks to England, Bilbao and Paris. 

In 2007, Dr. Lawrence A. Coben published the book, “Anna’s Shtetl, “ about my mother as a young girl from 1912, at the age of 7,  to 1922, the year she, her mother and sisters came to the United States.  By describing her experiences, it vividly tells the story of the life of Jews in a Ukrainian shtetl during the years of WWI, Russian revolution, Russian civil war, pogroms and famine.  Gratefully the book, now in paperback, offers the many stories of these terrible years that she chose to never share with her children.  And so began my “genealogy obsession.” 

Jane Dien

11/2/17