Former YU Professor Dr. Joanne Jacobson Discusses Her New Book With Honors Students

On Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein Honors Program at Yeshiva College and Crisis & Hope: YU Voices co-hosted a conversation between Dr. Joanne Jacobson, professor emerita of English, former associate dean for academic affairs and former director of the Honors Program, and playwright and poet Barbara Blatner, lecturer in the Yeshiva College Department of English, about Dr. Jacobson’s Every Last Breath.

Subtitled A Memoir of Two Illnesses, the book recounts the stories of two life-threatening maladies, her mother’s and her own, discussions of mortality and the exploration of the family dynamics at the heart of the entwined narratives.

Dr. Jacobson read selections and discussed the writing process before taking part in a question-and-answer session with the well-attended audience. “Prof. Jacobson’s reading and discussion was deeply moving,” said David Tanner ’22YC. “It highlighted the fragility of life but also its beauty.”

Dr. Eliezer Schnall, director of the Honors Program, remarked that discussion of the interdisciplinary themes found in Every Last Breath are “at home in the Honors Luncheon speaker series.” Dr. Ronnie Perelis, a co-founder of Crisis & Hope, among his many roles at the University, noted that “nuanced, thoughtful and eye-opening dialogue is at the heart of the Crisis and Hope: YU Voices project,” said Dr. Perelis. “It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Schnall and the YC Honors Program in hosting this event.”