Lisa Goldman was born in Vancouver, Canada - a city known for its rainy, temperate climate, beautiful natural vistas and polite, self-effacing residents. Since rain depresses her and she can take nature or leave it and likes blunt people, Lisa moved to Jerusalem shortly after graduating from high school in 1984. After a short stint at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, she moved to Toronto and from there to New York, where she earned a degree in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. Since 2000 she has been living in Tel Aviv - except for a six-month period in 2002, when she found refuge from Israel's unemployment crisis at an investment bank in Tokyo. Lisa blogs at On the Face.
Why do you blog? > I started blogging because I wanted to present a more nuanced, multi-dimensional picture of life in Israel. Now I'm hooked. It's incredibly cathartic to have a public forum in which to try out my thoughts, and I often find myself meta-blogging as I go about my daily life.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Meeting and becoming friends with all sorts of wonderful people whose existence I became aware of through blogging. I've also received some lovely letters from readers who live around the world - I'm thinking particularly of Judy K of London, whose caring, perceptive notes have lifted my spirits on several occasions.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > My high school history teacher, Mrs. Jean McLagan, is the first person that comes to mind. Her mantras were 'Think, girls, think!' (I attended an all-girls high school), and 'Remember, girls, in history nothing is inevitable'. Also: Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, Elias Canetti and Joseph Roth.
What are you reading at the moment? > Strangers in the House by Raja Shehadeh.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Raj Quartet by Paul Scott.
What is your favourite movie? > I don't have a single favourite movie, but there are a few that have resonated long after I watched them. One that comes to mind is Gillo Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers; I also love Vittorio De Sica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.
What is your favourite song? > The Beatles' 'Let it Be'.
Who is your favourite composer? > J.S. Bach - especially the Brandenburg Concertos.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > When I was a child, I believed that people who lived their lives according to the precepts of a religious faith were better than those who did not. I changed my mind in my early 20s.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Mahatma Gandhi said it best: 'Religions are different roads converging on the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads as long as we reach the same goal?'
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power' - Abraham Lincoln.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Complete separation of religion and state.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Ignorance, intolerance and poverty.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Live in the present, and don't let the expectations of others guide your choices.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No way - I would feel lonely.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cruelty.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To save a life.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I tend to be judgemental of people with badly behaved children.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Pollution, depletion of natural resources and intolerance.
What would you call your autobiography? > Trying to Look a Little Deeper.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Juliette Binoche.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A warm beach in a remote, tropical spot, a pile of good books and the undemanding company of someone I love.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, practising yoga, hanging out in cafés, cooking for friends, surfing the net, blogging (duh) and going to plays, movies and museums.
What is your most treasured possession? > The books I've collected over the years.
What talent would you most like to have? > The ability to dance.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To write a best-selling novel.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd buy a fabulous renovated Bauhaus apartment in Tel Aviv, start an independent online magazine that doesn't need to be profitable, travel abroad during the hottest and coldest months, and give lots of money to any good cause that strikes my fancy.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Jane Austen, S.Y. Agnon and Carl Jung.