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05/22/2017 03:38:06 PM


by Anne Blankman

We never know where our passions will lead us. For Anne Blankman, her love of writing brought her to Judaism.

A few years ago, Anne was a part-time librarian and new mom living in Yorktown, VA when she had an idea for a historical story that wouldn’t let go of her. The idea was simple: A young woman who has grown up in the Nazi Party decides to learn the truth about her father’s death—and her search for answers forces her to question everything she believes. While researching the time period, Anne decided to study Judaism so she could flesh out one of the main characters, a tough and mysterious Jewish reporter.

The more Anne learned about Judaism, the more it resonated with her. By the time she and her family moved to Richmond last year, she was ready to begin the conversion process. Judaism feels like a piece of herself that she had been missing all of her life, and she will always be grateful to the story that brought her onto a new path.

The story itself grew into the novel Prisoner of Night and Fog, which sold at auction to HarperCollins. It was named a Publishers Weekly’s “Flying Start” as one of the most auspicious literary debuts of the year and was recognized as a Sydney Taylor Notable Book by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, was one of three finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. Anne’s newest novel, Traitor Angels, was recently named one of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, VOYA, Kirkus, and the Jewish Book Council. She is one of the JCC’s Book Fair’s featured speakers, and will talk about her books at the Weinstein JCC on November 13th. She loves hearing from readers, and you may visit her online at…or say hi when you see her at Beth Ahabah!

Editor’s Note:

This is part of a new series written by and about the members of Beth Ahabah. If you would like to submit an article about a friend or family member at Beth Ahabah, or your own adventures, avocations or interesting career, please contact Lori Allen in the Temple office at

Sun, June 26 2022 27 Sivan 5782