Northern Hills Synagogue-Congregation B'nai Avraham logo NHS-CBA building exterior

Sunday, March 11, 2018
10:15 am

The Sisterhood Book Discussion Group met on Sunday morning to discuss the recently published memoir by Michael Bassin, son of NHS members Jeff and Gayna Bassin.

Since Michael lives in Israel, he was not able to come, but Jeff and Gayna answered questions about his many adventures and experiences in foreign countries.

Photography by Karyn Lazear.

Gayna and Jeff Bassin (in center of photo)

The whole group.

"I AM NOT A SPY: An American Jew Goes Deep in the Arab World and Israeli Army" by Michael Bassin.

"I AM NOT A SPY" is a memoir by Michael Bassin, son of NHS members Jeff and Gayna. Click on the image above to go to Michael's website.

We have several books in the NHS Gift Shop! Our price is less than on, and a portion of sales will benefit NHS Sisterhood. A hilarious and hair-raising true adventure, it makes a great gift too!


Few American college students who study abroad receive constant accusations of being a spy. But that's what happens to Michael Bassin, enrolled for a semester exchange at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

When Michael, despite advice to the contrary, reveals his Jewish identity to his new classmates, students, faculty, and the secret police respond with shock and suspicion. In between visiting Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and northern India, Michael develops die-hard enemies and loyal allies on campus. He is thrown into the role of reluctant ambassador for the Jewish people, for America, and for Israel as he responds to the conspiracies and threats made against him.

Nevertheless, he finds his efforts to promote understanding are not in vain. As he develops genuine friendships, he sees the positive effects of face-to-face interaction with people who had never met a Jew before.

But Michael's fight for peace doesn't end with his university experience. He moves to Israel and joins the Israeli army as a combat Arabic translator, becoming the face and voice of his unit during both friendly and hostile interactions with Palestinians in the West Bank. While enforcing an occupation about which he feels conflicted, Michael once again finds that person to person relationships provide the best path to peace in the Middle East.


Click here to purchase a paperback or Kindle version from using our NHS link
(NHS will receive a percentage at no cost to you)

Click here to see Michael's interview on Channel 12's "Good Morning CIncinnati"

Click here to read reviews, excerpts and the foreword by David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel

Click here to read the review on the Times of Israel website

Click here to read the review on the Jerusalem Post website

Click here to read the review in the January 11, 2018 issue of the "American Israelite"

Click here to see Michael's interview on

Click here to read Michael's article published in the April 2018 issue of Hadassah Magazine

Click here to see Michael's interview on Israeli television

Visit Michael Bassin's website


Home  |  About Us  |  PrayingLearning  | Doing |  Giving | Calendar | Contact Us | Facebook logo

Copyright © 2021 by Northern Hills Synagogue. All rights reserved.
Please send comments or suggestions to the