This is the former Aliyah blog of writer Jen Sonstein Maidenberg, spanning the years she lived on Kibbutz Hannaton, in Northern Israel (2011 – 2017). For Jen’s current web site, visit jenmaidenberg.com
Relevant Bio: In her 20 years as a freelance journalist and editor, Jen Maidenberg has reported for multiple news outlets — including The Times of Israel and the Arizona Jewish Post — covering books, literature, authors, science, community activism, and cultural events. Past interviewees have included Curtis Sittenfeld, Sarah Einstein, Rivka Galchen, Yael Neeman, Amanda Stern, Julia Mossbridge, Dean Radin, Oren Jay Sofer, Marjorie Sharmat, David Broza, and Judith Viorst. While living in the Northern Israel kibbutz community of Hannaton from 2010-2017, Jen completed the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University. She wrote about her life and identity as an immigrant woman and mother in Israel for various outlets, including two years of essays in the online literary journal District Lit in a column titled My Time, Your Place. Jen Maidenberg’s essays and poems have been featured in Medium’s Human Parts, Psychology Today, Proximity, Split Lip, Queen Mob’s Tea House, and Silver Birch Press. In 2015, she was named a finalist for the Ruminate Magazine Spiritual Nonfiction Prize, as well as three times a finalist for the Autumn House Press full-length book contest (2016, 2017, & 2020) for her lyric memoir, ‘Til I Am. Two personal essays about her adjustment to life in Israel were included in the 2017 published anthology, Becoming Israeli.