His newest novel, "The Iron Tracks," will be published in February by Schocken Books.

Appelfeld lives in Jerusalem.

Max Apple

Max Apple is a professor of English at Rice University, currently on leave and living in San Francisco. He is the author of the award-winning works "The Oranging of America" and "Free Agents" as well as other stories and film scripts. His novel "Roommates: My Grandfather's Story" was recently released as a major motion picture from Disney Studios starring Peter Falk as Rocky.

Apple has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and his stories and articles have appeared in Esquire, the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly and American Review.

Na'im Araydi

A Druze poet and novelist, Na'im Araydi uses Hebrew as his primary language of expression. Born in the village of Mghar in the Galilee, he acquired his Ph.D. in Hebrew literature from Bar-Ilan University.

Currently, he is a lecturer in the department of education at Haifa University, specializing in the methodology of teaching literature.

Araydi has published numerous books of poetry and prose in both Hebrew and Arabic, and his works have been translated into 20 languages. He received the Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Literature in 1986 and an honorary Ph.D. from the World Academy for Arts and Culture (United States).

Nitza Ben-Dov

Nitza Ben-Dov was born in Tel Aviv in 1950. She has published three books of nonfiction, one of which has been translated into English, "Agnon's Art of Indirection," as well as more than 35 articles. Ben-Dov received the Prime Minister's Prize for Hebrew Literature in 1995. Her major research fields are modern Hebrew literature, biblical narrative, sociology and theater.

Ben-Dov received her Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley, where she also taught for two years. She has taught at the University of Michigan, as well as serving for three years as assistant professor at Princeton University. Since 1993, she has been a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of Haifa.

Chana Bloch

Chana Bloch is a poet, translator, scholar, and literary critic. She has published two books of poems, "The Secrets of the Tribe" and "The Past Keeps Changing"; a critical study of George Herbert, "Spelling the Word: George Herbert and the Bible"; and translations of two Israeli poets: "A Dress of Fire" and "The Window" by Dahlia Ravikovitch (in collaboration with Ariel Bloch), and the "Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai" (in collaboration with Stephen Mitchell). She also translated the biblical Song of Songs (with Ariel Bloch) and the Yiddish writings of I.B. Singer, Jacob Glatstein and Abraham Sutzkever.

Bloch is the W.M. Keck professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Mills College, where she teaches courses in poetry, Shakespeare and the Bible.

Menachem Brinker

Critic and scholar Menachem Brinker was born in Jerusalem in 1935. He teaches Hebrew literature and general philosophy at the Hebrew University and at the University of Chicago.

He has published five books as well as numerous articles.

Henryk Broder

Journalist Henryk M. Broder was born in 1946 in Katowice, Poland. He moved with his parents to Germany in 1958, went to school in Cologne and currently lives in Berlin and Jerusalem. Broder produced and directed several documentary films, "The Jewish Cultural Association in Nazi-Germany 1933-1941," "Yiddish Culture and Language in Israel," and "Life and Death of Joseph Wulf." He is also the author of three books, which have not yet been translated into English.

Broder has worked as a reporter for most of the major dailies and weeklies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is now reporter-at-large for the German magazine Der Spiegel.

Orly Castel-Bloom

Orly Castel-Bloom was born in Tel Aviv in 1960 and has published three novels, three collections of short stories and one children's book in Hebrew. Her books have been translated into Dutch, English, French, German, Swedish and will be published in Chinese.

In 1990 she received the Tel Aviv Prize for Literature, and her book "Dolly City" has been included in the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.

Joseph Epstein

Joseph Epstein is an editor, scholar, social critic and novelist. He has written 12 books and edited three works, including "The Norton Book of Personal Essays" in 1997.

He has taught courses in advanced prose writing, the reading and writing of fiction, the sociology of literature, autobiography, literature and politics, Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Willa Cather. He has been the editor of The American Scholar since 1975.

He has published roughly 400 articles in journals including The New Yorker, Harper's, TLS, The New Republic and The New York Review of Books. He is currently a trustee of The Hudson Institute, a social science think tank based in Washington and Indianapolis.

Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi

Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written broadly in the areas of comparative Jewish literature. Following her study of the literary reflections of the Holocaust, "By Words Alone," she wrote on the poetry of Paul Celan and Dan Pagis, the prose of S.Y. Agnon and Aharon Appelfeld, and theoretical questions of representation at the limits of human experience.

Her book on exile and homecoming in the modern Jewish imagination, "Booking Passage," will be published in 1998 by University of California Press.

Gabi Gleichmann

Born in Budapest in 1954, Gabi Gleichmann came to Sweden at the age of 10. After studies in philosophy and literature at the University of Stockholm, he became a freelance literary critic at Expressen, Scandinavia's major daily paper. Between 1984 and 1985 he was editor-in-chief of the Jewish Chronicle in Stockholm, and between 1990 and 1996 he was the literary editor of the art pages of Expressen. From 1990 to 1994 he served as president of the Swedish PEN club.

Gleichmann's essays, commentaries and articles are regularly translated into a number of languages and published in leading newspapers in Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France and Italy.

In 1994 he published "The Collective Adventure," a series of essays about Europe.

Rebecca Goldstein

Rebecca Goldstein is the author of "Mazel," "The Mind-Body Problem," "The Dark Sister," "Strange Attractors" and "The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind." She was the recipient of a 1991 Whiting Writers' Award. A former philosophy professor, she currently teaches creative writing at Columbia University and lives in Highland Park, N.J. "Mazel" was awarded the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award.

She is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant.

Allegra Goodman

Prose writer Allegra Goodman is the author of "The Family Markowitz" and the collection "Total Immersion." She has been described by the Los Angeles Times as an "altogether original talent" and New York Newsday has called her writing "hilarious."

"The Family Markowitz" was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Goodman's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and in Commentary, in "Prize Stories 1995: the O. Henry Awards" and other anthologies. "Katerskill Falls," her new novel, will be published in the fall by Dial Press.

She received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Stanford University. Goodman lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and two children.

Hillel Halkin

Hillel Halkin immigrated to Israel from the United States in 1970 after attending Columbia University. Primarily a translator and journalist, Halkin in 1977 published "Letters to An American Jewish Friend: A Zionist Polemic," which won a National Jewish Book Award. His second book, a documentary novel called "The Liar," is currently being serialized in the Forward and is due to be published by Doubleday.

Halkin's essays and book reviews are frequently published in Commentary, The New Republic and the Jerusalem Report. He served as the Israeli correspondent to the Forward from 1993 to 1996, and is now a contributing editor.

He has translated more than 50 books from Hebrew and Yiddish, including contemporary authors Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Shalev Meir and Shulamith Hareven; modern Hebrew classics by Joseph Chaim Brenner, Mordecai Feierberg and S.Y. Agnon; and classical Yiddish works by Sholem Aleichem and Mendele Mocher Seforim. A new translation of the medieval Spanish Hebrew poet Shmuel Hanagid will be published by Geffen Publishers in 1998.

Halkin lives in the town of Zichron Ya'akov in the Carmel mountains, south of Haifa.

Yehudit Hendel

One of Israel's foremost women writers, Hendel came to Israel from Warsaw as a child in 1930 and grew up in Haifa. Her first novel, "The Street of Steps," was dramatized and staged by the Habima National Theatre. Her second novel, "The Yard of Momo, the Great," which has been reissued as "The Last Hamsin," was televised.

In addition to three novels, Hendel has published three books of short stories and one work of nonfiction. "The Street of Steps" was translated into English and "Small Change" is coming out in Chinese.

A recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, the Newman Prize and the 1966 Bialik Prize, Hendel now resides in Tel Aviv.

John Hollander

John Hollander is the A. Bartlett Giamatti professor of English at Yale and a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His many honors include the Bollinger Prize in Poetry (with Anthony Hecht in 1993) and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Since 1958, he has published 12 volumes of poetry. In addition, he has published six volumes of criticism: "Gazer's Spirit," "Melodious Guile," "Rhyme's Reason," "The Figure of Echo," "Vision and Resonance" and "The Unturning of the Sky." His most recent collection of poetry, "Tesserae and Other Poems," was published in 1993. Columbia Press will publish his new book, "The Work of Poetry," in the fall.

Hollander's poetry has been set to music by Milton Babbitt, Elliot Carter, Alexander Goehr, George Perle and Hugo Weisgall, among others.

Dan Jacobson

Born and educated in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jacobson was a teacher and journalist before the publication of his first novel, "The Trap," in 1955. He was a full-time writer until 1976, when he accepted a position in the English department at University College, London. In 1995, he became professor emeritus.

He has written 11 novels, two collections of short stories, a collection of essays, two volumes of criticism and three books of travel-autobiography. His latest book, "Heshel's Kingdom," will be published in January.

Jacobson has received numerous prizes and honors including the W. Somerset Maugham Award for a first collection of essays, "Time of Arrival"; the H. H. Wingate Award for his novel, "The Confessions of Josef Baisz"; and the J. R. Ackerley Prize for autobiography, for "Time and Time Again."

Dan Jacobson lives in London with his wife.

Irena Klepfisz

Irena Klepfisz is a poet, essayist and Yiddish translator and an activist in the lesbian-feminist and Jewish communities. The author of "A Few Words in the Mother Tongue" (poetry) and "Dreams of an Insomniac" (essays), she co-edited "The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology." Her extensive research on women and Yiddish includes "Feminism, Yidishkayt, and the Politics of Memory" in the book "Bridge," and "Queens of Contradiction: A Feminist Introduction," which serves as the introduction to "Found Treasures: Stories by Yiddish Women Writers."

In 1995 she served as coordinator of the ground-breaking conference "Di Froyen: Women and Yiddish" and was co-editor of its proceedings. Over the past few years, she has been visiting professor of Jewish women's studies at the University of California, Wake Forest University and Michigan State University.

Klepfisz teaches courses on Jewish women at Barnard College and creative writing at Centre College in Kentucky.

George Konrad

Born in 1933 in Hungary, Konrad survived the Nazi invasion of his country as well as later political upheavals. He studied literature at the University of Budapest and worked as a social worker, editor, librarian and sociologist, publishing a number of essays on both literature and sociology, before turning to fiction.

Konrad's first novel, "The Case Worker," was translated into many languages and brought him worldwide recognition. Konrad's other works include "The City Builders," "The Intellectuals on the Road to Class Power" (written with Ivan Szelenyi), "The Loser," "Anti-Politics" and his most recent semi-autobiographical novel, "A Feast in the Garden."

In 1990, Konrad was elected president of International PEN, the first Central European to hold this position. He lives in Budapest.

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny is a professor of literature at San Francisco State University, but is better known to the community as the host and producer of KQED-FM's "Forum," a live public affairs program.

The mission of the program is to broadcast balanced discussions of local, state, national, and world issues as well as in-depth interviews with leading people in politics, science and the arts. It airs 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday on 88.5 FM. "Forum's" listeners are invited to participate by telephone during each show. KQED-FM, the San Francisco affiliate of National Public Radio, has the second largest public radio audience in the United States.

Krasny has 15 years experience as a radio show host. In 1997, the readers of San Francisco Weekly voted Krasny their favorite radio personality. The New York Times columnist William Safire describes Krasny as "a guy who wrings you out and leaves you satisfied."

In 1997, "Forum" completed a 12-part series of conversations on race, class and diversity and launched a 10-part series on the California environment. Consumer crusader Ralph Nader calls "Forum" "an oasis of sanity in radio." Recent guests on "Forum" include Salman Rushdie, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter.

Tony Kushner

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner's plays include "Angels in America," "A Bright Room Called Day," "A Dybbuk: Or Between Two Worlds," and his adaptation of Corneille's "The Illusion." His work has been produced at the Mark Taper Forum, the New York Shakespeare Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, Hartford Stage Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Los Angeles Theatre Center, as well as at other theaters around the United States and abroad.

Kushner is the recipient of a 1990 Whiting Foundation Writers Award and play writing and directing fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kushner was born in Manhattan in 1956 and grew up in Lake Charles, La. He lives in New York City.

Gila Lustiger

Gila Lustiger was born in 1963 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. At the age of 18, she immigrated to Israel and studied German and comparative literature. After working as an editor in Tel Aviv, she moved to Paris in 1986.

Lustiger translated into German the Israeli poets T. Carmi and Asher Reich and the French poet Jules Supervielle. Her first novel published in Germany, "Die Bestandsaufnahme," won the Book of the Month Award of the Darmstadt German Academy in 1995. In 1997, her novel "Aus Einer Schonen Welt" was nominated for Germany's Bachmann Prize.

Lustiger resides in Paris with her husband, Emmanuel Moses.

Norman Manea

Born in Bukovina in 1936, Manea is a survivor of the concentration camps who worked in Romania as an engineer until 1974, when he devoted himself full-time to writing. He left Romania in 1986 and now teaches at Bard College in New York.

He has published the works "October," "Eight O'Clock," "On Clowns: The Dictator and the Artist" and "Compulsory Happiness." In April 1993, Manea was awarded a National Jewish Book Award for "On Clowns." He has won numerous awards and prizes including Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundation fellowships.

Manea's fiction and essays have been translated into many languages. The author's writing is preoccupied with the trauma of the Holocaust, with daily life in a totalitarian state, and with exile. His work has been compared to that of Bruno Schulz and Robert Musil, and he has been described by some critics as a literary descendant of Kafka.

Sami Michael

Michael is one of Israel's leading novelists. Born in Iraq in 1926, he became involved in underground leftist activity during World War II, eventually escaping arrest by the Iraqi regime by fleeing to Iran. He made his way to Israel in 1949. He began to write at an early age, first in Arabic and later in Hebrew.

Michael has published eight novels, including "Refuge," "A Handful of Fog" and "Trumpet in the Wadi." His best-selling 1993 novel, "Victoria," an expansive family saga set in Baghdad, has been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Greek, Dutch and Arabic. Critic Gershon Shaked wrote about him, "Sami Michael is one of the most powerful naturalists in modern Hebrew literature…one of the very few who understands the mentality of the fighting parties in the Middle East."

Michael lives in Haifa.

Alan Mintz

Having received his Ph.D. in 1975 from Columbia University in English and comparative literature, Mintz has since devoted himself to Hebrew and Yiddish literature. He studied at Harvard University, YIVO and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem prior to teaching at Columbia and University of Maryland.

In 1992, he assumed his present position as the Joseph H. and Belle R. Braun professor of modern Hebrew literature at Brandeis University.

Mintz is the founder and co-editor (with David G. Roskies) of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, the premier English-language publication devoted to Jewish literary studies. He regularly reviews Israeli literature and writes on Jewish culture for Commentary, The New Republic and other journals.

Mintz's major scholarly works include "Hurban: Responses to Catastrophe in Hebrew Literature" and "Banished from their Father's Table: Loss of Faith and Hebrew Autobiography."

His current work is on a study of Hebrew literature and the Hebrew culture movement that flourished in America between the two world wars.

Emmanuel Moses

Moses was born in 1959 in Casablanca, Morocco. After Moses spent his childhood in Paris, his family immigrated to Israel in 1969. He graduated with degrees in history and in 1986 moved to Paris, where he is active as a writer, poet and editor.

Moses has translated the Israeli poets Yehuda Amichai, Israel Pincas and David Vogel, as well as the German poet Peter Huchel, and has edited an anthology of contemporary Israeli poetry.

Grace Paley

Grace Paley was born in the Bronx in 1922. She attended public schools in New York and studied at Hunter College and New York University. Paley's stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and other publications. Her highly acclaimed collections of stories include: "The Little Disturbances of Man" (1959), "Enormous Changes at the Last Minute" (1974), and "Later the Same Day" (1985). She is also the author of two books of poetry and one collection of poems and prose pieces, "Long Walks and Intimate Talks."

Actively involved in the antiwar and feminist movements, Paley has taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, Dartmouth College and City College of New York. Included among her awards and honors are the 1994 Jewish Cultural Achievement Award in Literary Arts from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, the 1993 Vermont Award for Excellence in the Arts, the 1992 REA Award for Short Stories and the 1989 Edith Wharton Award. In 1989, she was also honored by then-New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who named her the first official New York State Writer.

Paley now divides her time between New York City and Thetford Hill, Vt.

Victor Perera

Born in Guatemala City to Jerusalem-born Sephardic parents, Perera immigrated with his family to New York when he was 12. He received his B.A. in literature from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in writing from the University of Michigan. He has worked as an editor at The New Republic and has been a freelance journalist.

Perera's first novel, "The Conversion," was published in 1970. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Perera published three books, the autobiographical "Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood," "The Last Lords of Palenque" (co-authored with Robert Bruce) and "Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy." In 1995, "The Cross and the Pear Tree: A Sephardic Journey" was published.

Perera is one of the founding editors of a new intercultural magazine, IVRI. He lives in Berkeley.

Janis Plotkin

Janis Plotkin is a founder and director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.