The eldest son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Potok was raised in a strictly Orthodox household. He was educated at Yeshiva University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, received an M.A. in Hebrew literature, and was ordained a rabbi. He has edited various Jewish publications. He also has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. His first novel, THE CHOSEN, was published in 1967. Like most of his subsequent books, it explores the culture of Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Among other ventures, Potok assisted the violinist Isaac Stern in the writing of his biography. Chaim Potok and his wife, Adena, were married for 44 years; they had two daughters. He was in the middle of a new novel when he died of brain cancer at 73.
From the Publisher
In Potok's first novel, Danny Saunders must reconcile his rigidly repressive Hasidic heritage with his thirst for secular knowledge, and with his friendship with Reuven Malter, a liberal Jew. As always, Potok's primary concern is the way Jewish traditions often conflict with the values of contemporary society, and how a sensitive, thinking person copes with that.
The story of the friendship that develops between two Jewish boys in New York City.