About me

I was born in 1952 in the United States and moved to England in my twenties where I raised my family and worked in parenting support, a charity for lesbian and gay parents, health research and feminist women’s health information. I have one daughter, now grown, and a partner of 18 years. I was a foster carer, now retired. I belong to a progressive synagogue and am involved with Radio Salaam Shalom, an internet radio station for Jewish-Muslim dialogue. I am a writer, mainly non-fiction books and articles but my latest book is a novel, Checkpoint.

Who I am now and where I’m coming from can best be described in the Jewish kabbalistic creation story. As I understand it, the story starts with the world in an undifferentiated wholeness which shatters into an infinite number of sparks. These divine sparks are hidden deep in everyone and everything. The task of each person, indeed the very purpose of human life, is to extract the divine sparks, to raise and spiritualise them and by so doing, restore the harmony of the opposites and redeem the world. We repair the world through our loving-kindness and compassion. As we journey through life, every one of us encounters those people, events and things that contain those divine sparks that we are meant to redeem. Each encounter and life event, no matter how great or how small, is an opportunity to raise a spark of holy light or to plunge the world even further into chaos. This ‘raising of the sparks’ is the process of tikkun olam, the restoration or repair of the world.

My first conscious act of tikkun olam was to go to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and raise the divine sparks with the people committed to the Jewish values I’ve always held dear. These people are Christians, Muslims and Jews. They are Palestinians and Israelis. They believe in peace with justice. That trip in 2002 and a tour with the Compassionate Listening delegation in 2005 were the inspiration for my subsequent acts of tikkun olam which are what this blog is all about.


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