Gloria Deutsch ... a sharp eye for typos and grammatical errors
After 25 years of contributions to ESRAmagazine: wielding a proofreader’s red pencil, serving on the magazine committee and writing an unending stream of articles with wit, good humor and intelligence, Gloria Deutsch has now retired from the editorial committee of the magazine (though not from writing in general).
That is not, she hastens to add, because she is any less devoted to ESRA than she ever was. She is leaving the committee because she and her husband, Prof. Alex Deutsch, have moved from Kfar Saba to Netanya, making the trip to Herzliya where the magazine is based, impractical, particularly when she broke her knee and couldn’t drive. Also, she admits, “I’m a little old- fashioned. I loved using a red pencil to make corrections, literally, but the ‘track changes’ function on the computer doesn’t have the same attraction.”
Since the late 1980s, Gloria has gone through mountains of typescript, correcting errors. She is proud of the fact that she has a sharp eye for typos and grammatical mistakes, such as “expatriot” for “expatriate.”
“I loved the work, and felt very pleased with myself when I found mistakes,” she says. “I read virtually the whole magazine for 25 years. My big thing was taking out exclamation marks. Some people have the idea that if they sprinkle exclamation marks about, it makes the copy more emphatic. I have an allergy to them.”
One major effort was going through a hundred magazines to write a review for the 100th issue. “I ploughed through them and found similarities and recurring themes.”
Looking back, Gloria says “I think it’s a very good magazine. My work also gave me an appreciation of people’s talent and interest. I totally admire all the people who do volunteering. There are some amazing people who give of themselves and are so dedicated.”
Though Gloria is very well known as a veteran Jerusalem Post writer, journalism was not her first career. Born in Liverpool, Gloria studied English at university, loved it, but found, as many English graduates do, that it didn’t lead to a career. She became a librarian, working first in the Liverpool public libraries and later in the university library.
Then the Liverpool Jewish Gazette asked her to write a monthly woman’s column, and from there she became a frequent contributor to the Jewish Chronicle. She continued writing for the JC when the family came to Israel in 1973 – “there’s so much material here.”
Her career with The Jerusalem Post began when Alex, a surgeon then working at Laniado hospital, discovered a group of evangelical Christians called Branhamites, who were working in menial jobs at the hospital while they waited for the Second Coming. He noticed their similarity in some ways to the Santz Haredim.
“This was my first piece. You can’t fail with a story like that. Eventually, I was writing a lot of big features and other things as well, such as celebrity interviews with showbiz stars like Matti Caspi, Ofra Haza, Dudu Topaz, Dudu Fisher – everyone you can think of.”
About 15 years ago, Gloria was asked to write a column about beautiful homes, and she is still doing it, adding the personal element about the people who live in the homes to make it more interesting. She also writes restaurant reviews and other features.
In her free time, she swims, goes to the gym, enjoys her children, grandchildren and the family dog, entertains and is a master of creating miniature room tableaus, complete in every detail.
We hope that ESRAmagazine hasn’t seen the last of Gloria! (And I hope that in this case, I can be forgiven the exclamation mark.)