The Author, Her Story

In the third grade she did a book report on Number of the Stars. While other kids were making shoe box dioramas and glue stick posters, she wrote a page-long poem about the heroine's beating heart in the rocking boat in the dark night hiding from the shadow-clad Nazis. She got an A and a sticker and her mother hung it on the fridge.
At Beth Shalom Synagogue, the sixth graders put on a fundraiser play every Mitzvah Day with varying degrees of success. Though her brother, two years her senior, had put in the minimum amount of time selling intermission concessions, Hannah played an impressive Mrs. Frank in a cut-to-PG rendition of The Diary of Anne Frank. She read the book cover to cover even though her brother, who had read it in his seventh grade English class, warned her it was gross.
In four years, her tenth grade confirmation class had dwindled from a eighteen person Bar and Bat Mitzvah group to five dedicated scholars. Two of them-- Sarah Goldstein and Mark Landis-- had parents on Board and had no choice in the matter. Same for Jonathan Lesh; his mother ran the Sisterhood. Jordyn McKaffrey's mother had remarried and her family celebrated Christmas, but her father was Israeli so there that was. Hannah Rosenbaum was there for the synagogue sponsored trips. The last week of Christmas break, they piled into Rabbi Leo's minivan and went to Washington, D.C. They didn't have much to say to each other on the drive down, but in the last room of the Holocaust museum, surrounded by whiteness and candles and prayer, they fell into a different kind of silence....
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