Barbara Sofer is a prize-winning journalist and author who lives in Jerusalem and who lectures frequently to Jewish and general audiences. She speaks about Israel, Judaism, women’s issues, and spirituality. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, Parents, the Boston Globe as well as many other publications. She has written seven books and contributed to others. Her latest book, with holocaust survivor Rena Quint, is A Daughter of Many Mothers. She is currently writing a sequel to her novel The Thirteenth Hour (Dutton and Signet)
She writes a weekend column for the Jerusalem Post that deals with the challenges and miracles of everyday life in Israel, where she moved from the United States over 40 years ago..
As the Israel Director of Public Relations for Hadassah, she has witnessed and documented the daily effort to create an island of peace and sanity within Jerusalem’s biggest medical center. Because of the prominence of Hadassah Hospital in the news, she has worked with top-tier media, including Sixty Minutes and Nightline in formulating programs that show Israel in a positive light. She contributed to the Emmy winning CNBC program “Jerusalem ER”.
Sofer appeared on Good Morning America’s new Seven Wonders of the World series as an expert on the spiritual uniqueness of Jerusalem and likes to think of herself as a “magida,” an itinerant teller of the stories of Israel, past and present. She has served as a scholar-in-residence and visiting lecture in a variety of venues, including synagogues, churches, regional conferences of Hadassah, national conventions, for communities and at schools.
Her prizes include many Rockower awards for Jewish journalism, the Sidney Taylor Award for the best Jewish children’s book, and the 2008 Eliav-Sartawi Award for creating understanding through Middle Eastern journalism. Sofer is married to scientist/writer Gerald Schroeder. They have five children.
From Jerusalem Post
Lest we forget the coronavirus pandemic year
By Barbara Sofer
Last Tisha Be’av, July 29, 2020, Hinda Hekelman was too sick to fast. She was coughing and weak from the ravages of COVID-19.
“My husband, Chaim, and I don’t know where we were infected, but we think it was in the neighborhood synagogue, when we went to a celebratory kiddush,” says Hekelman, 59, a retired bank officer.
“Back then, it wasn’t easy to get a corona test, and my local doctor told me to wait to see if the cough subsided. A few days later, my husband and I went to the supermarket in our [Jerusalem] neighborhood of Ramot. I noticed a sale on fabric softener, but you had to buy three containers. I thought I might try a different fragrance, so I opened the bottles. None of them seemed to have any fragrance.