Schoen, Robert 1947(?)-
SCHOEN, Robert 1947(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1947, in Brooklyn, NY; married Sharon Chabon (an attorney). Education: Graduated from University of California, Berkeley, 1976; graduated from Boston University, Laney College, and California State University, Hayward. Religion: Jewish.
ADDRESSES: Home—Oakland, CA. Agent—c/o AEI Speakers Bureau, 214 Lincoln St., Suite 113, Boston, MA 02134. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Optometrist, musician, composer, and author. Albums include The Bob Schoen Songbook: A Song Is like a Child, Piedmont Pines Music, 1997, and The Lights of Hanukkah, Piedmont Pines Music, 1998.
What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism, Loyola Press (Chicago, IL), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Robert Schoen is a self-described musician, composer, and lyricist who has also practiced optometry since 1976. His first book, What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism, was published in 2004 and serves as a basic introduction to Judaism for Christians and other non-Jews. In an interview with Dan Pine in the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, Schoen described his motivation for writing the book: "I've noticed there is a certain naiveté the general population has about Jews. They don't understand Jews or what we stand for." He described his intended audience as the "churchgoer who believes in God and who respects Judaism because it laid the foundation for Christianity." Schoen told Robert Brust of the California State, Hayward Pioneer: "I wrote this book to satisfy curiosity, answer questions and offer a resource for inquisitive people. . . . I hope that my Christian friends, after reading this book, have a better understanding of Judaism and the Jewish belief system."
A reviewer for Publishers Weekly described What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism as a "masterful overview" that is "written in a breezy, conversational style and laced with humor." "What is truly remarkable about this compendium," the reviewer added, "is its thoroughness and lucidity" in touching on "practically all aspects of Judaism." In a review for the Jewish Press Online, Aharon ben Anshel remarked that "Schoen writes in a clear expository voice that informs without attempting to persuade." George Cohen, writing in Booklist commended What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism as "very informative."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2004, George Cohen, review of WhatI Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism, p. 1527.
Pioneer (California State, Hayward), May 20, 2004, Robert Brust, "New Book Promotes Christian/Jewish Understanding," p. 3.
Publishers Weekly, March 29, 2004, review of What IWish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism, p. 57.
Jewish News Weekly of Northern California Online,http://www.jewishsf.com/ (November 5, 2004), Dan Pine, "Oakland Optometrist Pens Jewish Primer for Non-Jews."
Jewish Press Online,http://www.thejewishpress.com/ (July 28, 2004), Aharon ben Anshel, review of What I Wish My Christian Friends Knew about Judaism.
Robert Schoen Home Page,http://www.robertschoen.com (November 27, 2004).*