Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir

Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir

by Annette Gendler
Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir

Jumping Over Shadows: A Memoir

by Annette Gendler


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The true story of a German-Jewish love that overcame the burdens of the past.
Finalist for the 2017 Book of the Year Award by the Chicago Writers Association

“A book that is hard to put down.”
Jerusalem Post

“This book confirms Annette Gendler as an indispensable Jewish voice for our time."
—Yossi Klein Halevi, author of Like Dreamers

"The ghosts of the past haunt a woman’s search for herself in this thoughtful, poignant memoir about the transformative power of love and faith.”
—Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound, now a Netflix movie

“An exquisitely written conversion story which expounds upon personal and collective identity.” —Washington Independent Review of Books

“A compelling, gracefully written memoir about the impact of the past on the present.”
—Michael Steinberg, author of Still Pitching

History was repeating itself when Annette fell in love with Harry, a Jewish man, the son of Holocaust survivors, in Germany in 1985. Her Great-Aunt Resi had been married to a Jew in Czechoslovakia before World War II―a marriage that, while happy, put the entire family in mortal danger once the Nazis took over their hometown in 1938.
Annette and Harry’s love, meanwhile, was the ultimate nightmare for Harry’s family. Not only was their son considering marrying a non-Jew, but a German. Weighed down by the burdens of their family histories, Annette and Harry kept their relationship secret for three years, until they could forge a path into the future and create a new life in Chicago. Annette found a spiritual home in Judaism―a choice that paved the way toward acceptance by Harry’s family, and redemption for some of the wounds of her own family’s past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631521706
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 1,059,273
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Annette Gendler is a writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Tablet Magazine, Bella Grace, and Artful Blogging, to name a few. She served as the 2014–2015 writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois. Born in New Jersey, she grew up in Munich, Germany, and lives in Chicago with her husband and three children. Visit her at www.annettegendler.com.

Table of Contents

First Thought 1

Fait Accompli I 8

Fust Date 17

Sholem Aleichem 24

Mea Culpa 28

Heading Off 31

Spain 34

The Talk 37

Israel 41

Behind Walls 51

Surberg 55

Sanatorium Brey 61

Verjudet 66

Crematorium 71

In the Stairwell 73

A Quarter and a Half 77

Unwanted Relations 82

The Flying Dutchman 89

This Is What It Means 100

Sheer of Ice 107

Fait Accompli II 110

Jumping Over the Shadow 112

Proposal 118

The Rabbi 121

Wedding Day 128

Conversion 134

Christmas 144

Gefilte Fish 151

Haselnusstorte 165

A German Jew Like You 167

The Pintele Yid 172

A Visit with the Past 174

Briosne 180

Sh'ma 191

Epilogue 209

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