Jerusalem as a Second Language tells a necessary story that I’m surprised hasn’t been told for American readers before. With wit and complexity, Rochelle Distelheim takes on two cultures whose differences are daunting and she manages to represent both with convincing detail and, most importantly, with sympathy. Her book builds a bridge over a deep chasm that her characters walk across with dignity and just enough mordant humor to convince us they’re real.— Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire, Before and After, Tender Mercies, and Civil Wars
Meet Manya, who grudgingly trades Russia for Israel. Shimmering with wit and bittersweet insights, Rochelle Distelheim’s Jerusalem as a Second Language is an emotional travelogue that begs the question, how does a secular Jew find her place in the world?— Sally Koslow, author of Another Side of Paradise and the international bestseller, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx
Quick on the heels of her smart, charming, and deeply humane novel Sadie in Love (2018), Rochelle Distelheim’s Jerusalem as a Second Language introduces her devoted readers to a whole new cast of displaced characters. As secular Jews who have fled to Jerusalem from an increasingly corrupt and dangerous Russia, the Zalinikov family struggles against displacement, loneliness, and danger in a country that is as strange to them as it is compelling. Simultaneously tender and steely-eyed, often funny, and occasionally sorrowful, Distelheim’s elegant prose plucks at the heart of what it means to be a family at odds with their new country, and with each other.— Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine


Jerusalem As A Second Language by Rochelle Distelheim is a very informative and entertaining novel. Author, Rochelle Distelheim put so much effort into this novel, it is very impressive.
This has its moments of humor while being poetic and absorbing. I had trouble setting this down, which is interesting because this is a genre I don’t normally reach for.
I learned quite a bit about a culture I didn’t know much about. This is a very necessary story and I think it was worth reading. I would definitely recommend checking it out.— Jessica Belmont – Goodreads
A lovely story of a woman who has recently moved with her family from Russia to Jerusalem. Culture shock, learning to adjust to the orthodox ways of her fellow citizens, trying to get her daughter married so that she doesn’t have to serve in the army, a little infatuation with her boss and her husband’s overly attachment to new ways of living.
I loved the writing and storytelling. Manya, the protagonist, is likeable.
I recommend this book to those who love to read books of the genre literary fiction.— Rekha – Goodreads
What a Wonderful Book! It is sad that I have finished my wonderful, beautiful, deceased friend, Rochelle’s book. I have thought of you during the reading of every magnificently written paragraph! I knew everyone in this story intimately because of her outstanding descriptions of every single scene. I love you Rochelle. You will live forever in the minds of the readers and those who knew you.— Arlene Handler