Diane Gensler is the author of “Forgive Us Our Trespasses: A Memoir of a Jewish Teacher in a Catholic School.”
Gensler, of Owings Mills, has been interested in writing for as long as she can remember. She has always been an avid reader, so writing was a natural extension of that. In addition, she is an English teacher by trade.
Tell us about your new book: What inspired it, what do you love about it, and can you share an anecdote or lesson from the book?
My book is titled “Forgive Us Our Trespasses: A Memoir of a Jewish Teacher in a Catholic School” (Apprentice House Press). I wrote about my experiences teaching in a local Catholic school. Originally, I was writing only to document this period in my life for myself and my family, but it evolved into a book. I hope that readers find the book somewhat inspirational. One of my favorite scenes has nothing to do with religion. It is where a parent interrupts my class in a most unorthodox manner (pun intended) looking for his child. It’s actually pretty funny, at least in my opinion.
What are your own favorite reads or authors?
I am involved in multiple book clubs, so I read a lot. Usually though, I’m not the one picking the book, which is fine because it’s hard to choose. The clubs usually decide to read books that are current and popular. (I hope my book will eventually fall into that category!) Recently, I’ve read Where the “Crawdads Sing,” “American Dirt” and “The Girl You Left Behind.” I also read the Baltimore Sun and a few magazines, so we put a lot of recycling at the curb.
What does Baltimore’s Jewish community mean to you?
I was born and raised in Baltimore, and my grandparents and great-grandparents immigrated here. This will always be home. This is my community. This is where we are raising our children. We are deeply entrenched in our Jewish community, and we are blessed that we have so many friends here. We participate in local Jewish (and non-Jewish) groups and organizations. We are members of Beth Israel Congregation. In addition, I’ve also been reading the Baltimore Jewish Times for as long as I can remember.