David Sarasohn (b. 1950)
David Sarasohn was born on August 17th, 1950, in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father worked as an internal revenue agent, and his mother was a schoolteacher. David has one sister who is 11 years his senior.
David’s father had a rheumatic fever as a child that resulted in rheumatic heart disease, which kept him very ill throughout David’s childhood. He died while David was a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. David’s grandfather, Casriel Sarasohn, was the founder and publisher of the first Yiddish daily newspaper in New York, called the Tagablot.
David attended public school and a conservative Hebrew school in his hometown of North Bergen as a child, but transferred to the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the tenth grade. After graduating from Trinity College with a major in history in 1971, he went to graduate school where he received a Ph.D. in history from UCLA. At UCLA, he met his future wife, Lisa, who also received a Ph.D. in history.
David and Lisa moved to Portland, Oregon in the mid-1970s so that David could teach at Reed College, which he did for three years, before becoming a writer for Oregon Magazine. Lisa worked as an Ancient Civilizations professor at Oregon State University. In 1983, David became the opinion editor of The Oregonian newspaper. He continued to write as well as edit, and penned many op-eds and columns from the 1970s-1990s for The Oregonian.
David and his wife are members of Congregation Beth Israel in Portland, where he has served two terms on the temple board. He continues to be active in the synagogue, and writes op-ed pieces in various publications regularly.