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BETWEEN THE LINES

I never met my husband's biologic parents

I never met my husband’s biologic parents. They were executed twelve years before I met their son. But Ethel & Julius are a profound part of my family; their murder was a critical part of my political education.

I’ve worked alongside Robby as he sued the government under the Freedom of Information laws and as he fought to reopen his parents’ case. When he started the Rosenberg Fund for Children in 1990, I joined the RFC Board. It is now sixty years after Ethel and Julius were executed at Sing Sing. In September, Robby will retire as the RFC’s executive director, our older daughter Jenn will take over leadership of the organization, and I will resign from the Board.

But before these big changes, there’s one more thing, one more event, one more remembrance. On June 16th in New York City, Carry it Forward: Celebrate the Children of Resistance will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the execution and the legacy of resistance that Ethel and Julius left their sons, and all of us. I wrote the script for this program.

I’m primarily a novelist, but this isn’t fiction. Carry it Forward integrates the frightening past of McCarthyism and our family’s loss with current assaults on civil liberties in the name of freedom. It joins the struggles of targeted progressive activists today with our fears and dreams for the future. It fuses Ethel and Julius’ words with those of the activists who are part of the Rosenberg Fund for Children family, our beloved community of supporters and beneficiaries. Over the past 23 years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many of these individuals, either in person or through their writing. The challenge of creating the script for this program was to bring these people alive on stage for the audience, through reading and poems and dramatic vignettes.

Please consider joining us on Sunday, June 16 at Manhattan's Town Hall to commemorate the past, nurture the present, and dream together for the future at Carry it Forward.  Read More 
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