Roberta Kalechofsky, Ph.D.

Speaker and Lecturer

Available for the Following:

  • Vegetarianism
  • Jewish Vegetarianism:
    Discussion and/or Workshops for Students or Adults
  • Animal Rights
  • Animal Research and Human Experimentation
  • Animal Rights and Feminism
  • Independent Publishing
  • Readings from Her Fiction

Following are A Brief Biography, Résumé, and Recommendations.

Photo by Audrey Gottlieb

Roberta Kalechofsky is the author of seven works of fiction, a monograph on George Orwell, poetry and two collections of essays. She has been published in quarterlies, reviews and anthologies, and was the recipient of Literary Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts.

Several of her stories, and two novellas, La Hoya and Stephen's Passion, have been translated into Italian and published in Italy. La Hoya received excellent reviews in major publications, such as Corriere Della Sera., and was included in a college curriculum in Italy under the title, Veduta di Toledo.. Stephen's Passion has also been included in a college curriculum in courses in American Fiction in the University of Florence, under the title, La Passione Di Stephen. Her novel, Bodmin, 1349: An Epic Novel of Christians and Jews in the Plague Years, was included twice in a college curriculum in the United States.

She began Micah Publications in 1975 and has received publishing grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, in addition to her literary fellowships. As a publisher, she created The Echad Series, which includes five anthologies of Jewish writing from around the world, and has published 40 different titles in poetry, fiction, scholarship, vegetarianism and animal rights. She is active in the animal rights and vegetarian movements and began the organization, Jews for Animal Rights, in 1985, and coordinates publishing projects with this organization.

She has also been a contributing editor to various magazines, such as Margins, and On The Issues, and taught at Brooklyn College for four years.

She was a participant in a round-table discussion, "Please Use Other Door: Literary Creativity and the Publishing Industry," with Cynthia Ozick, Hugh Nissenson, Gordon Lish, Elizabeth Sifton and Robert Boyers, which was published in RSA Journal, #3 (March, 1992).

She graduated from Brooklyn College and received a doctorate in English literature in 1970 from New York University.

A critical essay on her work can be found in the Dictionary of Literary Biographies, Volume 28: Jewish Fiction Writers. A list of her published work and/or extended resume is available upon request.


Résumé

Roberta Kalechofsky, Ph.D.

Fax: 781-639-0772

micah@micahbooks.com http://www.micahbooks.com

Education:

1970: Ph.D. in English Literature, New York University
1956: Masters in English Literature, New York University
1952 B.A., Brooklyn College

Author:

Seven works of fiction, two collections of essays, a prose-poem, a monograph on George Orwell. Stories, articles, reviews, and interviews that have appeared in quarterlies, journals, and anthologies, such as Epoch, Western Humanities Review, Confrontation, Works, Bearing Witness To The Holocaust, ed. by Alan Berger, 1991; The Woman Who Lost Her Names: Selected Writings by American Jewish Women, 1980, ed. by Julia Wolf Mazow;Ball State University Forum, The Enduring Legacy: Biblical Dimensions in Modern Literature , 1975, ed. by Douglas Brown; The Best American Short Stories of 1972, Sou'Wester, Pulpsmith, American Book Review, Response,The Writers' Digest Anthology, 1976; articles on John Cheever and Cynthia Ozick in Encylopedia of World Literature. (Full list of publications sent on request.)

Work in Translation:

1995: La Hoya in Italian (Palomar Publications) 1996
1996: "Children of God" (short story) in Figlie di Sarah, ed. Mario Materassi (Passigli Editori),
1998: Stephen's Passion in Italian (Palomar Publications)

Publisher and Editor:

1975-present: Founded Micah Publications, published 34 books to date; the source for Jewish Vegetarian Books and publisher of Echad, five literary anthologies of Jewish writing from around the world (cataologue sent on request).
1988-1992: contributing editor to On the Issues
1974-1977: contributing editor to Margins, A Review of Little Mags and Small Press Books
1973-1974: editor on Branching Out, Canada's first feminist magazine, Edmonton, Alberta

Teacher:

1976-1977, Salem State College, part-time, Department of English
1972-1973, Hillel Day School, Swampscott, MA
1962-1963, Brooklyn College, School of General Studies, Department of English
1956-1959, Brooklyn college, School of General Studies, Department of English
1952-1953, University of Connecticut, part-time instructor, Department of English

Lecturer and Speaker:

1998: Ortese Endowment Lecture, University of Florence, Nov. 25, 1998 ("The Book: Its Enemies and Lovers")
Palomar Publisher's Bookstore, Bari, Italy: Discussion of Stephen's Passion
University of Salerno: Invited talk on the works of Roberta Kalechofsky
Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington ("Vegetarianism and Kashrut")
1996: University of Florence, Department of American Literature
1992: Round table discussion on literary creativity and publishing with Robert Boyers, Gordon Lish, Hugh Nissenson, Cynthia Ozick, Elizabeth Sifton, and Mario Materassi,published in RSA Journal 3/1992
1985-present: Vegetarian conferences
1975-present: Readings from fiction and poetry
1991: International Vegetarian Congress, Israel
1990: Society for Ethics and Animals, American Philosophical Institute, Boston, MA
1988: Holocaust Scholars' Conference, Anne Frank Institute, Philadelphia
1983: Association of Jewish Studies, Boston, MA
1982: Lectures at Bar Ilan Univesity, Tel Aviv University, Institute for Contemporary Jewry at Hebrew Univresity
1976-1977: Eight lectures on selected novels, Jewish Community Center, Marblehead, MA
1976: Guest writer and speaker at Creative Writing program, Roger Williams College, Rhode Island
1976: WGBH-TV program on Small Press Publishing

Honors:

1987: Literary Fellowship in Fiction, Massachusetts Council on the Arts
1982: Honorary Membership in Israel Bibliopile Society
1982: Literary Fellowship in Creative Writing, National Endowment for the Arts
Publishing Grant from Massachusetts Council on the Arts
1980: Grant from National Endowment for the Arts in small Press Publishing
Finalist in Massachusetts Council on the Arts Fellowship in Fiction
1977: Finalist in Massachusetts Council on the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.
Cited for Distinctive Writing in Best American Short Stories of 1977.
Grant from National Endowment for the Arts in Small Press Publishing.
1976: Cited for Distinctive Writing in Best American Short Stories of 1976
1972: Included in Best American Short Stories of 1972

Professional Organizations:

The Authors' Guild
National Writers' Union (charter member)
Israel Bibliophile Society
Culinary Guild of New England
Association of Jewish Book Publishers

Non-Professional Organizations:

Hadassah
Anti-Slavery Society
Amnesty International
Jewish Vegetarians of North America
Jews for Animal Rights (founder, 1985)
Culture and Animals Foundation
International Jewish Vegetarian Society
North American Vegetarian Society

Voluntary Work:

Committee on Soviet Jewry
Committee on Ethiopian Jewry
1971-1973: Headstart program, Lynn, MA
1970-1978: Israel Bonds
1970-1978: Jewish Federation in Marblehead, MA

Articles About Roberta Kalechofsky:

The Jewish Monthly, Penny Kaganoff, "An Independent Woman of Words," 1988
Dictionary of Literary Biographies, "American Jewish Writers," vol 28, ed. by Daniel Walden, 1984.
Judaica Book News, "The Evolution of An Independent Publisher," 1983
Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 17, 1976
Gale's Encyclopedia of Contemporary Authors
Coda's Directory of Fiction Writers
International Who's Who Directory of Writers
International Drectory of Independent Scholars
The Washington Post, Aug. 30, 1976
The Lynn Item, Nov. 7, 1975

Travels:

Travelled widely throughout Western Europe, Poland, Mexico, Israel and the United Kingdom; lived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1973-1974; lived in Jerusalem, January, 1982-May, 1982.


Recommendations:

 

Nov. 20, 1998

Dear Roberta,

On behalf of the Jewish Community of Greater Washington, I would like to thank you for your appearance at our 29th Annual Jewish Book festival on Sunday morning, November 15, 1998. Your presentation on Jewish Vegetarianism and book sales were extremely successful. The many vegetarian and non-vegetarian members of our community were fascinated by your illuminating, knowledgeable, and well prepared lecture on the subject. Word has spread in the community about your discussion and there have been other requests to purchase your books. I myself have had little or no meat since our meeting and have had in depth conversations with family and friends about adopting this philosophy.

We would look forward to more news from you and would love to have you speak at our center again. Thank you again for your enlightenment and a most rewarding appearance at our JCC. We all look forward to reading, listening, and talking with you again.

With best wishes,

Barbara Winnik, Literary Arts Director

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington


April 14, 1998

I am writing on behalf of Roberta Kalechofsky, President of Jews for Animal Rights (JAR). I first became aware of Ms. Kalechofsky and JAR in 1991 when I was given a calendar published by her company, Micah Publications. I was impressed enough by the information presented in the calendar to contact Ms. Kalechofsky in Marblehead to speak with her directly about JAR and animal issues.

From the very first phone contact, it was clear to me that this woman not only knew what she was talking about, but was able to communicate it very effectively, both orally and in writing. We continued to share information by phone and by mail until I finally invited her to be a guest speaker at my Adult Education Seminar entitled "Judaism and Animal Rights."

My class of 22 adults was completely enthralled by her presentation, which was both honest and well-researched, without relying on shock-tactics and trite slogans. Ms. Kalechofsky had plenty of materials available, but did no high-pressure sales pitches, and she spent much time answering questions thoughtfully and completely.

I am continually impressed by the work Roberta Kalechofsky and JAR does in its quest to lessen the pain we humans inflict on non-human animals, and I would highly recommend Ms. Kalechofsky as a speaker for an organization wishing to expand its horizons and open its hearts and minds to a more humane way of life.

Sincerely,

Jodi Schechtman, Cantor

Temple Beth Am, Lexington, MA


April 22, 1998

Professor Tom Regan

Department of Philosophy and Religion

North Carolina State University

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my pleasure to write a few words concerning Roberta Kalechofsky, a person I have known for some fifteen years now, and for whom my admiration and respect have continued to increase, the more I have come to know her and her work.

Whenever I have been called upon to introduce Roberta, whether at a public gathering or to friends, I always present her as "my teacher." I don't mean "my teacher" in any formal sense, I hasten to add; I mean "my teacher" because of all I have learned (and continue to learn) from her through her writings, her lectures, and our conversations.

Roberta's is a copious mind, at once broad and deep. Small details (dates, neames and the like) I have learned from her; but also large themes (about, for example, the relationship between the objectification and exploitation of women on the one hand, and animals, on the other). The consummate scholar, Roberta is among the most disciplined learners and thinkers I know. Her mind, quick; her will, tireless; she truly serves as an inspiration to all of us who aspire to make ours ideas clear--and to make them count.

All these virtues (and more) are reflected in her public lectures. Whereas some lecturers I know are "flashy" and superficial, Roberta is disciplined and deep. Yet such are the evident powers of her ideas and the person behind them that I have never known anyone to find Roberta boring. Just the opposite. Hers is the talent of one who knows how to push the minds of her listeners beyond their normal boundaries. Small wonder that those who hear her find the experience exciting and rewarding.

I trust I have made clear how very much I admire and respect Roberta Kalechofsky. Of all the historians of ideas with whom I am familiar, if I had a choice between listening to just one of them, I would not hesitate to choose Roberta. She is that good, that worth spending time with.

Respectfully yours,

Tom Regan

University Alumni Distinguished Professor

and Department Head


 To Whom It May Concern:

It is my privilege and pleasure to have this opportunity to write about Roberta Kalechofsky. I first heard her speak at Rutgers University at "The New Generation for Animals Conference" in 1993, and I was so impressed by her talk on "the Geneology of Social Reform" that I contacted her aftewards and requested a copy of her paper. Her research was so impeccable, her ideas so original and her delivery so powerful that the listeners were spellbound. In subsequent talks I again found her scholarship and vision, her great intellligence and presence shine through her speech.

Because Roberta's range of scholarship spans so many subjects--from Jewish vegetarianism to feminism, to publishing--she is uniquely qualified to lecture, and is in demand as a speaker with different organizations. I listened to Roberta speak at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York some years ago and she had the audience gasping as she read excerpts from her book; I attended her talk at the 1995 Summerfest and the response of the audience was overwhelming.

Because I thought she was unique I invited her to be a guest speaker at the Vegetarian Vision Thanksgiving Dinner Event in New York in 1997, and the audience loved it. She understood that this was a light evening gathering that needed information as well as entertainment and she adjusted her topic and her style accordingly. She stimulated the minds and the palates of the people and included some wonderful quotes. She was a hit.

Any audience would be lucky to have Robeta Kalechofsky as a speaker.

Susan Kalev, MSW, CSW

Former Administrator, Vegetarian Vision, Inc.


 May 1, 1998

This is a recommendation for Roberta Kalechofsky. Roberta is a fun, informative, and energetic speaker. Especially concerning Judaism and animal issues, for which she has a passion, she will stimulate much discussion. Drawing from a wide range of experiences as a publisher, author, teacher, activist, and mother, Roberta is able to kindle ideas in different segments of her audience.

Sincerely,

Charles Stahler, Director,

Vegetarian Resource Group


 To Whom It May Conern:

This letter is written in support of the presentation made by Roberta Kalechofsky and Rosa Rasiel as part of our Jewish Book Month Celebration in 1997. Both women presented interesting facts and opinions about vegetarian cooking and eating and how it relates to their Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook.

Many in our audience were captivated by their talk. as an added, bonus, the authors presented little tastes of some of their healthy treats, which endeared them all the more to the audience.

Sincerely,

Carole B. Shutzer,

Jewish Book Month Administrator

Jewish Community Center of the North Shore

Marblehead, MA


April 17, 1998

Roberta Kalechofsky read from her work at Telling Tales, the Brookline Reading Series. She was moving, entertaining, and appealing. I recommend her highly for lectures and readings, and for more informal engagements as well.

Sincerely,

Edith Pearlman, Author and Director of Telling Tale