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Susan Pashman has numerous academic degrees: J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stony Brook University/SUNY, M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia, M.A. in Landscape History and Design from Inchbuld School of Design in London and Certificate in Landscape History and Design from Harvard. She also has extensive experience teaching and publishing academic articles and novels.
She was born into a family of avid atheists but had had a peek at Jewish observance when her Orthodox uncle showed her how to light Sabbath candles. That memory lingered into adulthood and her interest in Judaism rekindled when she moved from New York City to a mostly non-Jewish farming and fishing village in the east end of Long Island. Her early memories of Sabbath observance then led her into a quest for Jewish identity and at the age of 58, she studied Torah and celebrated a Bat Mitzvah.