"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER"
David Lee Preston: Philadelphia journalist, child of survivors
I spent four decades as a reporter, columnist, and editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and inquirer.com, and now at 65 I'm devoting myself to projects relating to my parents.
I've spoken widely about my parents, whose lives I chronicled in three cover stories in the Inquirer's Sunday magazine. My Mother's Day 1983 article, A Bird in the Wind, published five months after my mother's death, was the first English-language account of the 14-month survival of my mother and nine other Jews in the sewers beneath the city of Lviv, the story upon which the Polish director Agnieszka Holland's Oscar-nominated 2011 movie "In Darkness" was based.
My 1985 article Journey To My Father's Holocaust, in which I traveled with my father to Auschwitz and Buchenwald and other places of his past, was a finalist for the 1986 Pulitzer Prize in feature writing and won awards from the Overseas Press Club of America and the Associated Press Managing Editors. In 1986, at a dinner of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, hundreds of survivors gave me a standing ovation for a spoken letter to my late mother.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, my mother's hometown in Ukraine became accessible to the West, and in 1992 my wife and I were the first Jews in a generation to visit. Our presence in Turka-nad-Stryjem yielded 15 hours of film footage, a half-hour TV documentary produced and directed by Janine Jaquet, "Visiting the Past," and my Mother's Day 1995 article Speaking For the Ghosts: A story for my mother.
I've been a senior editor at CNN.com in Atlanta, and a reporter at the Kansas City Star and the Wilmington News-Journal. I reported throughout the Middle East for Universal Press Syndicate during the Iranian revolution in 1979. My articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. I hold bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In 2005, I taught journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China.
I live in Philadelphia with my wife, Ronda B. Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. Our 1992 wedding was attended by millions who read about it in the epilogue of James McBride's international bestseller The Color of Water.
A Holocaust saga: From the sewers to a garden, 4/19/12, CNN.com
After 'In Darkness': Halina Wind's uplifting message, 2/26/12, Los Angeles Times
Epilogue in "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother" by James McBride (1995)
Speaking for the ghosts, 5/14/95, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine
Yom Hashoah speaker: "From the Sewers to a Garden: My Mother's Righteous Gentiles"
Screening of "In Darkness"
Yom Hashoah speaker
Rededication of Garden of Righteous Gentiles, introduction of Eva Fogelman