Ruth Ebenstein is an American-Israeli writer, historian and health activist who loves to laugh a lot and heartily. She has published her writing on both sides of the Atlantic and won two first-place Simon Rockower awards, sponsored by the American Jewish Press Association, One was for an essay that ran in Tablet about her Israeli-Palestinian breast cancer support group's trip to Sarajevo to meet other survivors who support each other across religious and ethnic lines. Through the group, Ruth befriended Ibtisam Erekat, a devout Muslim Palestinian woman whom she now calls sister. She has written about this friendship for The Atlantic.
Ruth graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and completed an M.A. in German history magna cum laude from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A native of Southfield, Michigan, Ruth lives with her husband, three sons and two stepdaughters in Jerusalem. She is writing a memoir about her experience, tentatively titled, Ibtisam and I: An unexpected friendship across the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Ruth's story has been covered by the BBC, NPR, The Atlantic, & Alhurra TV. Her uplifting message: you can turn something bad into something good.