Haim Watzman is a Jerusalem-based writer and translator. His new book, Necessary Stories, is a collection of twenty-four of the best of the more than one hundred short stories he has written over the last nine years for his monthly column of that name in the biweekly magazine The Jerusalem Report. His two previous books are Company C: An American’s Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel, a memoir of his service as an infantry reservist in the Israel Defense Forces during the First Intifada, and A Crack in the Earth: A Journey Up Israel’s Rift Valley, a story of a trip through the Israeli portion of the Syrian-African Rift Valley—the Arava, Jordan Valley, and Lake Kinneret.
One of the leading translators of Hebrew works into English, he has worked with many of Israel’s leading authors and scholars, among them Shlomo Avineri, David Grossman, Hillel Cohen, Amos Oz, and Tom Segev. He edited the English-language version of Yuval Noah Harari’s worldwide bestseller, Sapiens. In the past he worked as a journalist, covering Israeli scholarship and science for, among others, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the British research journal Nature.
Haim was born in Cleveland in 1956, grew up in Washington, D.C., and earned a B.A. from Duke University. He moved to Israel in 1978. He is married to Ilana and father to four children. He is an active member of Kehilat Yedidya, in Jerusalem’s Baka neighborhood, which seeks to combine adherence to the halakhah and Jewish heritage with the values of democracy, equality, and social justice.