Faces of the J

Welcoming a New Author Home

When first-time author Karen Treiger was ready to share her new book with the world, she knew the Stroum Jewish Community Center would be a meaningful venue. Karen has been connected to the J for 50 years — since she was a kid on the swim team — so it was exciting to return to the J as an adult, with her published book in hand.

“It felt like a homecoming, bringing my adult talents to this space,” Karen said. “This was the place where I grew up and was now being welcomed back as a new author. It was lovely.”

Karen’s book, “My Soul is Filled with Joy: A Holocaust Story,” chronicles her in-laws’ journey from their chance meeting in the forest outside the Treblinka Death Camp to their escape to America (read more about Karen’s book here). In the spring of 2019, on the eve of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), she shared excerpts from the book with an intimate and thoughtful audience as part of the J’s Arts + Ideas season of author talks.

Karen wanted to share this Holocaust story with the J community because she believes it’s important to remind people of the stark contrast between our comfortable lives and the horrors people endured during the Holocaust. She hopes it encourages people to realize how lucky they are. Sharing these ideas at the J, in particular, was powerful for her because “it was on Mercer Island and at the JCC that I got my start as a person, and one of the messages of my book is that we should not take what we have in life for granted.”

The SJCC’s Arts + Ideas program brings a variety of artists to the stage — from world-renowned musicians and chefs to local stars — and Karen is grateful for the encouragement of local artists. “It makes our community one of support and help to our local talent,” she says. “It is very important for our local community to know what our own people are up to and what talents and fascinating projects we are all working on.”

Keep your eyes on our community to see what exciting new things are coming next!