Interview: Author Debra Green Loves Jewish Culture And Making People Laugh

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As a kid, Debra Green loved reading about large families. Her favorite books were All-of-a-Kind Family, Little Women, the Narnia books, and The Bobbsey Twins series. Now, she is author of many chapter book series and YA novels and her main genre is humor. She is among the authors who wrote an entry for a new anthology called Coming of Age: 13 B’Nai Mitzvah Stories. It debuts April 19.

She is a proud believer in her Jewish faith. Learn more about Green below:

Question: How did you get chosen to write for Coming of Age?

Answer: I’m not sure. I know editor Henry Herz because we both live in Southern California. I went to Israel with 18 other writers, including editor Jonathan Rosen, courtesy of the wonderful PJ Library organization.

Q: What was your bat mitzvah experience like?

A: My parents had just gotten divorced, so it was a tough time in my life. I felt very accomplished to have read from the Torah and led the service, and enjoyed having my friends and family with me.

Q: When did you discover how important your faith was?

A: It’s always been very important to me. Not only did I become a bat mitzvah, but I studied afterward for the next few years and got confirmed. I went to Brandeis University and loved being surrounded by Jews. I am immensely proud that my three children became bar and bat mitzvahs. I love that Jewish culture encourages intellectual curiosity, charitable works, and family bonds.

Q: Have you been to any pandemic b’nai mitzvahs? How were they different from ones that you had gone to before COVID?

A: I haven’t been to any pandemic b’nai mitzvahs. I’ve only read about them. I did attend a pandemic wedding via Zoom. It wasn’t as good as being there.

Q: Why do you love to write in the humor genre?

A: I feel I have a natural talent for it. I’ve been making people laugh—on purpose—since I was a child. I hope I can make kids laugh, so they’ll realize how much fun reading can be.

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