Donna Rosenthal was inspired to write The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land after a CNN producer commented: “Our viewers are confused. We have footage of Arabs who look like Jews, Jews who look like Arabs. We have black Jews, bearded sixteenth-century Jews and sexy girls in tight jeans. Who are these people, anyway?” The resulting book has been described as “a panorama of Israeli diversity” by the Los Angeles Times and as “an in-depth and accurate portrait of the diversity of Israeli society today” by Haaretz.
Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The Atlantic Monthly and many other publications. Her Passport Israel: Guide to Israeli Business and Customs won the Society of American Travel Writers award. She has been a news producer at Israel TV, a reporter for Israel Radio and The Jerusalem Post and a lecturer at the Hebrew University. Rosenthal also was a reporter for Veronica TV of the Netherlands.
Rosenthal has reported from Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. She was the first journalist to travel to remote mountain villages in Ethiopia to introduce Israeli radio audiences to Jews praying in mud-hut synagogues for the opportunity to go to Israel. A winner of two Lowell Thomas Journalism Awards for best investigative reporting and best adventure travel writing, she has visited over 60 countries.
She holds a BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and an MS in international relations from the London School of Economics. She has also taught journalism at four universities.