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Alison Buckholtz

Writer; author of Standing By: The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War

Travels from Washington, DC

Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability or contact the speaker directly.



Environmental and Sustainability Issues, Middle Eastern and Foreign Affairs, Inside Israel and US Government, Academic Perspectives on Israel and Jewish History, JNF's Work in Israel, Anti-Terrorism and Security, Positively Israel, Media and Current Events


As an advocate for military families, she has appeared on NBC Nightly News, NPR, and in national news stories. Her L.A. Times op-ed, “An ‘It Gets Better’ for the troops,” was the inspiration for a national public service announcement campaign about military suicides. She has also written about why the mainstream Jewish community has a difficult time meeting the needs of Jewish service members in the U.S. military, and how to change this.

She received an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in English Literature (Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She also completed a year of undergraduate study at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1997-98 she lived in Jerusalem, Israel as a recipient of a Dorot Foundation postgraduate fellowship. She now lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, an active-duty Naval officer, and two children.

For their family’s service, she and her children have been recognized at the White House .

Download a prepared introduction for Alison Buckholtz

Short Introduction -

More than two million U.S. service members have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11. More and more of these veterans are writing about their wartime experience, but few Jewish families have shared the truth about what it’s like when a loved one leaves for battle. Standing By is Alison Buckholtz’s candid account of her family’s struggles during her husband’s eight-month deployment on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom and a subsequent year-long deployment to Iraq. With insight and humor she describes trying to keep life as normal as possible for the couple’s two young children while transitioning into the unfamiliar – and at times unwelcome –role of military wife. Along the way, she helped shape a small Jewish community in a remote corner of Washington State, which challenged her long-held assumptions about the military, motherhood, and even the nature of Judaism in America. A rare and intimate portrait of a family that represents America’s fast-growing population of service members and veterans, Standing By is a window into what matters for families everywhere.


$1000/speaking engagement in addition to travel and lodging.

Popular Speeches:

What's a Nice Jewish Family Like Yours Doing in a War Like This? An American Military Wife's Story of Service in a Post 9/11 World

Lessons from a Young Military Wife: A Jewish Family's Experience in the post 9/11 American Military

Making a Difference in the U.S. Military: Creating Jewish Communities on the Go

Supporting Jewish Troops in the U.S. Military: What American Jews Can Do


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