Born in Prague in 1947, Helen grew up in New York City. She attended Hunter College High School, CCNY and graduated from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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She became an instant
published journalist while a 20-year-old college student caught in the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia. Her account was published in the Jerusalem Post where she worked while an undergraduate studying musicology and literature.

In 1971, she graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and began to freelance for diverse publications including the
Soho Weekly News, the New York Times, Washington Post and MORE: A Journalism Review, whose editors talked her into posing for a spoof on a typical advertisement of the time for Cosmopolitan magazine.

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Helen went on to specialize in long-form journalism about classical musicians and venues, including Marlboro, Aspen and Tanglewood, interviewing Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz, James Galway, Yo Yo Ma and master violin teacher Dorothy Delay. Her profiles of these artists appear in the collection Music Talks. She also wrote the only biography of theater producer Joseph Papp. But she is best known for the non-fiction trilogy Children of the Holocaust; Where She Came From; and The Long Half-Lives of Love and Trauma. She reports for her local online newspaper, the Lexington Observer and reviews for The Arts Fuse in Massachusetts.