Bonnie Eissner

Bonnie Eissner

Dear Gotham,

I wouldn’t have had the chutzpah to write a feature article for the Forward about the Jewish legislator who sacrificed his political career to legalize abortion in New York State three years before Roe v. Wade without your remarkable teachers and community.

I started with you in 2021, logging on to Zoom each week for Feature Writing I with Lara Ewen. Her class was a light in the dark days of a lingering pandemic. She guided our lively discussions with grace and humor. She taught us to write powerful leads and kickers; to find and tell riveting, balanced, and untold stories; and to tease the truth out of the people we interviewed for them. Generous with her time, she responded immediately to emails. I thrived on her feedback to my homework assignments and booths. She both encouraged and set a high bar. She prepared us to be excellent writers and exacting editors.

After a break, I returned to Gotham for Memoir I with Joselin Linder, another writing hero of mine. A beautiful writer and gifted teacher, she taught me to turn the meaningful moments of my life into stories that other people might want to read. A careful reader, she gave insightful feedback on my booths and homework assignments. She also turned our class into a community. We learned to listen to and trust each other. Some of us had so much fun together that we continue to meet in our own writing group.

As I wrote my story for the Forward, Lara and Joselin were in my head. I heard their voices and remembered their lessons.

Thank you, Lara, Joselin, and Gotham for giving me the courage and the skills to tell the story of how a legislator’s wrenching choice to vote his conscience changed history.

With love,

Bonnie Eissner