Gendler uses her great-aunt’s story of marrying a Jewish man during World War II to tell her story. Aunt Resi bravely defied tradition. However, her marriage did not survive the war.
Gendler and the man she loved feared losing each other. So, they kept their relationship a secret for three years. Gendler went about learning all she could about Judaism. In the end, she made her own spiritual choice, conversion to Judaism. Not only was the choice hers and hers alone, but it also led the family of the man she loves to accept her.
Annette Gendler is an author, writing instructor, blogger, and photographer. Since 2006, she has taught memoir writing at StoryStudio Chicago. Her newest book, How to Write Compelling Stories from Family History, is based on one of her workshops, which I have also taught at the American Writers Museum in Chicago, the Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, GrubStreet in Boston, WriteSpace Jerusalem as well as the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids.
Her essays have appeared in many journals, and links can be found under Writing on her website. Her photography has been featured in Bella Grace Magazine and Artful Blogging. In 2014-15 Gendler had the privilege of serving as writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.
Follow her on Twitter @AnnetteGendler