Arthur Frederic Kemelman
After receiving my BA from McGill University in Montreal in 1964 I went on to do my MA in English Literature at the University of Liverpool in England. Returning to the US in 1967, I began teaching at a state college in northern Minnesota (Bemidji). On vacation in Marblehead at my parentsí home, I met an Israeli girl, the daughter of my fatherís literary agent in Israel. She was in the US serving as a counsellor at a summer camp. Here was the opportunity to marry a lovely woman and I subsequently went to Israel in 1969 and in 1970 we were married. Iíve been living in Israel ever since.
For the first few years in Israel I worked as a reporter for the local English newspaper and wrote articles for various foreign journals and magazines. In the early 1980s I became the head of the Project Development Office and Donor Recognition Section at Tel Aviv Universityís Public Affairs Division. In the 1990s I became a freelancer and began writing and editing for the hi-tech market which was developing here. In the early 2000s I turned more and more to editing Ė books, papers, doctoral theses etc. A major project that I was involved in for a year and half was editing an encyclopaedia about all the Jewish communities that were wiped out by the Nazis. It was published by Yad Vashem and NYU. Nowadays I mostly confine my editing to academic papers in engineering and management.
My wife, Ziona, a social worker has many accomplishments to her name, In addition to looking after me for the past 48 years Ė how difficult/easy this is depends on with whom you speak -- she was the head of our cityís neighborhood renewal program. She later served as the executive director in Israel of the American Association for Ethiopian Jewry and then went on to establish and head the city of Tel Avivís program for the homeless, the first of its kind in Israel and which served as a model for other such programs in the country.
We have three sons, all of whom are engineers, and eight grandchildren. Despite its immense presence in the news, Israel is a small country and we get together quite frequently since we all live within an hourís drive of each other. My sons have been to Marblehead on many occasions and know all the important landmarks Ė Glover School, High School, Landing, Preston Beach etc. Ė as well as the names of most of my teachers from 3rd grade onward up to and including our driving teacher, Herbie Grimes. With a bit of urging they can even render a reasonably good version of Marblehead Forever.
When not editing, I am apt to be gardening. At one time on our half-acre plot some 25 kilometers from Tel Aviv I raised virtually every vegetable under the sun and even a few egg-laying chickens. Over the years, however, Iíve cut back , due to the increasingly high price of water and well, the truth be told, the old bones ainít what they used to be. I now pretty much confine myself to growing flowers, and maintaining the various fruit trees I planted down through the years including a small stand of macadamia trees, pecans, mango, citrus etc. For many years I have also been doing a lot of carpentering and woodturning , producing wooden jewelry that I market on Etsy.
I was in the Israel army reserves for 25 years, serving 30 Ė 40 days a year, first in an anti-aircraft unit and then with a liaison unit to the UN on the Golan Heights. Eventually, the army decided (reluctantly I am sure) they could manage without my services and mustered me out when I was in my mid 50s.