Words in Progress.


Keren Blankfeld is a freelance journalist currently at work on a book for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, Reuters, The New York Daily News, The Jerusalem PostThe Toronto Star, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Scientific American. Her New York Times feature “Lovers in Auschwitz” received The Silurians Press Club Merit Award for Feature Writing.

Keren is an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at New York University’s Graduate School and has taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She formerly served as a deputy editor and staff writer at Forbes Magazine. She’s been a guest on CNN, BBC World News and E! Entertainment.

Keren was previously a creative executive at New Regency Productions, where she worked with screenwriters to develop material for movies and TV shows. She earned a B.A. in International Relations and English from Tufts University and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

The grandchild of four Holocaust survivors and Eastern European refugees, Keren was born in Brazil and immigrated to Houston, TX at age 12. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

15 Responses to “Bio”

  1. jjbarnes16

    Hi Keren,

    I just read your piece about Mr. Wisnia and Ms. Spitzer in the New York Times, and I thought I’d reach out to say how deeply it touched me. It was a hauntingly beautiful story, and you told it so compassionately. It was an extraordinary read. Thank you for writing it,


  2. Naomi Weiss

    Ms. Blankfeld,

    Your story “Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited” in The New York Times, Sunday, December 8, grabbed hold of me from the first line to the last. I smiled, I held my breath, I cried several times. I especially admired how effectively you plotted their story. I too am a writer but instead of going to Columbia School of Journalism, I went to the Library School and when I was a graduate student there weren’t MFA’s in writing, so I am fully aware of the work that went into telling this detailed and complex story so seamlessly. I appreciate that the Times ran it and just wanted to let you know as a lone reader over my breakfast table in the suburbs of Maryland, you brought me into Mr. Wisnia’s and Helen Spitzer’s lives. Perhaps being from the Bronx, my husband from Brooklyn, helped because I know there are others in New York who have stories of living through the camps. Thank you for this one.

  3. Sandy

    Just read Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. Very touching story. Small point, please don’t use Pole when describing someone. The correct term is Polish. Thank you.

  4. Christina Smith

    Crying my eyes out at the marvelous story that is humanity after reading your piece in the New York Times about the couple from Auschwitz. It’s amazing that these stories even happen and a blessing that people have writers like yourself to share the tales. How wonderful the piece was. I just read it out loud to my husband – and I never read aloud. Thank you.

  5. George

    Hello Keren,
    Your excellent article about Mr. Wisnia and Ms. Spitzer was very touching. Neo-nazi and neo-fascist groups are now on the rise. Trump’s disregard of human rights, his courting fascism, his overt racist, is incessant lying, his endorsement of brutal tactics and his disregard for the constitution are reminiscent of Germany’s leader in 1930. We should be hearing more from those who were witness to the holocaust and their relatives telling us about how Trump is like Hitler. At this time, the media (including social media) should be reminding voters in our country of the horrors Trump is leading our country towards.

  6. Maurine Glasser

    Your story was amazing and written with such sensitivity. Much to my amazement reading your article, I realized that Mr Wisnia’s son, Rabbi Eric Wisnia was the Assistant Rabbi at my Temple in Sylvania, Oh about 43 years ago. That made the article even more personal. What beautiful story to pass on to future generations which is a very important responsibility for older generation to do. Thank you very much.

    Maurine. Dec 10, 2019

  7. Kathryn Timpany

    Karen, we just read your story about the Auschwitz lovers. We are both bawling. You are one of the most gifted writers I have encountered. This story could have been told so blandly but you gave it heart and soul. Thank you!

  8. pamidimr

    Hello Karen:

    Awesome report on Holocaust survivors Dr. Tichuaer and others.

    FYI, Dr. Tichuaer years ago had offered me a post-doc position at the NYU Medical Center after my PhD.

    M. R. Pamidi, Ph. D.
    San Jose, CA

  9. Ilan Fisher

    Hi Keren,
    Your article about David and Helen was truly touching and moving.
    I wrote down some of my thoughts and reactions and sent you an email yesterday that i would very much appreciate if you took a look at.


  10. Eric Martin

    Wow, Keren! I just read the “Lovers of Auschwitz” story and could not set it down even for a sip of coffee! Very well thought out, written and reported. Out of death, carnage and the absolute worst examples of humankind comes this incredible light. Wonderful way to enter the Holidays with so much to be thankful for. Thank you! Huge fan!

  11. M. R. PAMIDI, Ph. D.

    Hello Karen:

    Belated kudos for a beautiful article!

    Separately, Dr. Erwin Tichauer mentioned in your article years ago had offered me a post-doc position in Biomechanics at NYU following my completing Ph.D. from West Virginia University. However, I took up a job in the nuclear industry.


    M. R. Pamidi, Ph. D.

  12. Paul Sheridan

    Your article, “The Secret History of America’s Only WWII Refugee Camp” (NY Times, 9/11/2020) was brilliant and necessary. Thank you.

  13. Matthew Gordon

    Dear Karen,

    Thank you for your remarkable and life-affirming story, The Lovers at Auschwitz. I have just finished listening to it on the Daily podcast and am overwhelmed with a feeling for the beauty and redemption of life. Your power as a storyteller recounting the lives of Mr. Wisnia and Ms. Spitzer transported me there – through the cruelty, tensions, hopes, heartbreaks and joys of this 72 year journey. I am so thankful to you for inspiring me and countless others to embrace the work of love and community in the world that is in sore need of it now. I will also explore my father’s Jewish family history which I have avoided doing all my life thanks to you and your writing.

    Sending you and your family the very best for the holidays and new year,

    Matthew Gordon

  14. Jerry Zaks

    I was very moved by your story.
    My mother survived Auschwitz so it had particular resonance for me.
    Is there any way to reach you?


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