Jewish Journal


July 17, 2013



Orit Arfa is a writer and author of The Settler.

A native of Los Angeles, Orit's works are informed by a deep connection to the ethical dialectic that flows from her Jewish tradition. Her father was born in a DP camp in Germany after his parents survived Auschwitz, while her mother was born in Iraq on the eve of the mass Jewish emigration from the country in the wake of anti-Semitic pogroms. Orit led a free Jewish life in America, but the restless soul of a free spirit led her to tailor-make her educational journey.

While most college-age students were bar hopping, Orit went college-hopping in search of "The Truth. After stints at Columbia University (her mother will never forgive her for dropping out), Stern College for Women, Bar Ilan University (junior year abroad), and UCLA summer school, she graduated with a BA in Jewish studies and a minor in Journalism from American Jewish University, where she also served as editor of the undergraduate newspaper.

Her journalism career began in New York, where, as a student at Stern College for Women, she interned at the prestigious Jewish daily Forward, then under the editorship of Seth Lipsky. She has renowned Israeli mentalist mentalist Uri Geller to thank for kick-starting her interest in journalism. Her profile of him in the Forward got noticed by The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, where she has been writing ever since.

She moved to Israel in 1998 and worked in more "9-5″ capacities as a communications professional for non-profit organizations. Subsequently, she pursued journalism full-time and wrote about politics, society, lifestyle, travel, nightlife, and dining for a variety of publications, most notably The Jerusalem Post, Israel21C, and Israel Insider. To catch-up on the bar-hopping she missed in college, she pioneered the nightlife section of The Jerusalem Post.

But she also left room for some depth. In 2003 she completed her MA in Bible and Jewish Thought at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies (where she managed to finally uncover "The Truth").

Her experience covering the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 had a profound impact on Orit's view of Israel and Zionism. It was then that she began to develop her first novel, The Settler, which explores the aftermath of the controversial event through the eyes of a 21-year-old evacuee from the Jewish bloc of Gush Katif.

She currently lives in Ariel, Israel.

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