Deborah Tannen, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and EDCJCC community member traces her father’s life from turn-of-the-century Warsaw to New York City in an intimate memoir about family, memory, and the stories we tell. Her book Finding My Father will be published on September 15th, and has already been declared a top pick for September in Good Morning America’s online book roundup.
Join the Edlavitch DC JCC virtually on September 30th at 7:00 PM for an exclusive interview by the EDCJCC’s new CEO, Dava Schub, as she dives into Deborah’s poignant, yet perilous quest to piece together the puzzle of her father’s life.
Her father’s story begins with his astonishingly vivid memories of the Hasidic community in Warsaw, where he was born in 1908; she traces his journey: from arriving in New York City in 1920 to quitting high school at fourteen to support his mother and sister, through a vast array of jobs, including prison guard and gun-toting alcohol tax inspector, to eventually establishing the largest workers’ compensation law practice in New York and running for Congress. As Tannen comes to better understand her father’s—and her own—relationship to Judaism, she uncovers aspects of his life she would never have imagined.
Finding My Father is a memoir of Eli Tannen’s life and the ways in which it reflects the near century that he lived. Even more than that, it’s an unflinching account of a daughter’s struggle to see her father clearly, to know him more deeply, and to find a more truthful story about her family and herself.