Gila Manolson was born into an assimilated Jewish family in the northeastern United States. Considering herself an atheist, she expressed her idealism through social causes, including vegetarianism, feminism, and environmentalism. After graduating Yale University and traveling through Europe, she found herself in Jerusalem, where she discovered a “3000-year-old counterculture”—Torah Judaism. Intrigued by its teachings, she decided to stay and study, and never left. Today she is a practicing Orthodox Jew.
Gila has always been interested in the topic of male-female relationships. Unimpressed by how they were conducted in the secular world, she made it her goal to understand the traditional Jewish approach, which she later adopted in dating her husband. Today she is happily married to Avraham and the mother of seven.
Shortly after marrying, Gila embarked upon a teaching and speaking career, which developed into a writing career. The result was a first-of-its-kind book in the Jewish world, which became a bestseller: The Magic Touch: A Jewish Approach to Relationships, a frank discussion of the controversial practice of refraining from all physical contact before marriage.
Gila subsequently published Outside/Inside: A Fresh Approach to Tzniut (modesty, better translated as internality), a spiritual look at self-definition, and Head to Heart: What to Know before Dating and Marriage, a series of essays on topics relevant to marriage preparation. Her newest release for the Jewish world is Choosing to Love: Building a Deep Relationship with Another Person—and with Yourself, a broader and deeper exposition of love, touch, and tzniut. Her books have been translated into Hebrew, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Italian.
Gila is now a popular international lecturer. In addition to speaking widely in Israel, she has given talks in schools, on campuses, and for organizations in 32 major North American cities, as well as outlying communities. Her lecture tours have also taken her to Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Russia, Argentina, Chile, and the Netherlands. She was featured in the Aish HaTorah film Inspired.
Believing that her messages are universal, Gila has recently embarked upon a new project: reaching out beyond the Jewish world. With this in mind, she has written Hands Off! This May Be Love for a general, spiritually-oriented audience.
As an author, Gila’s greatest gratification is being told, as she has by countless people, “Your book changed my life.”