Holly Mandelkern is a poet, lecturer, lyricist, music producer, and educator with a special interest in Holocaust studies. Holly grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in European history and from Florida State University with a masters degree in library science. She traveled to Poland and Israel in 1991 to study Jewish resistance during the Holocaust with prominent Holocaust scholars and survivors.
Inspired by survivor and Holocaust education pioneer, Vladka Meed, Holly taught teachers and students about Jewish resistance for over twenty years. Beneath White Stars combines this history with her passion for poetry and music to tell these stories of resistance in a new way.
Holly has published poetry in journals of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Florida State Poets Association, the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Association of Florida, and Yeshiva University. In October 2015 she completed the three year Twelve Chairs Advanced Poetry Course. Holly is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Burnett Swann Award, and she currently speaks at many community, cultural, educational, and religious events.