Writing for a Better World
I have been writing for 10 years. A political activist since my early teens, I strive through my writing to highlight social and political injustice, and to inspire action for change.
In a writing workshop, I once heard the phrase: Transformational Fiction. It never caught on, but I would like to fly its flag.
Born and bred in England, I grew up in the vibrancy of London where I learned about politics, social change and soccer.
After receiving a degree in Social Administration, I went to live in Israel to help create Kibbutz Lotan: a brave social experiment to build a environmental, egalitarian intentional community in the inspiring Arava desert, a part of the Afro-Syrian Rift.
In 2005, I moved with my family to Berkeley, California, where my wife, Ariela, is fulfilling a long-held ambition to become a psychologist. She is completing a PsyD at the Wright Institute in Berkeley.
I run a non-profit – San Francisco Hillel Jewish Student Center that strives to empower Jewish students to explore their relationship to Judaism. I am excited that I have the opportunity to excite students to add social justice awareness to their personal agenda, to help create a generation that cares and are willing to do something about it.
I have two sons: Pele (12) who endures with difficulty his father’s immersion into the world of writing and the time it takes away from them being together; and Asif (8) who tells better stories than his father. One of my greatest challenges is to find the balance between a challenging job, being an involved father, and being a writer.
· Other Aspects
My family and I arrived in the US as Hurricane Katrina raged through the Gulf Coast. Watching the ensuing scenario unfold was a difficult integration into our new home.
Helping recruit students to go and participate in the rebuilding of a community, both physically and socially, has been one of my most rewarding experiences since coming to America.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).