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About Carl Harris Shuman

I was named to honor the memory of Chaim Szumowicz, of Zembrov, Poland, and Moshe Yom Tov Paul, of Anyksciai, Lithuania. 

 

This is what they looked like:

Carl Shuman as a child on a beach

Me, at the beach, as a child

My Hebrew name is Chaim Yom Tov.

Carl Shuman's great grandfather Moshe Yom Tov

My great-grandfather,

Moshe Yom Tov Paul, of Anyksciai, Lithuania

Moshe Yom Tov was a rabbi, which may explain why I like to tell stories and explore midrashim based on biblical texts. 

Carl Shuman's great grandfather Chaim Szumowicz

My other great-grandfather,

Chaim Szumowicz, of Zembrov, Poland

Chaim crossed the Atlantic Ocean many times, which may explain why I like to travel. And why I like ships.

Carl Shuman headshot
Carl Shuman as a child in Holland

My dad, my sister, Heidi, and me, in Madurodam, Holland

When I was eight, we moved to the Netherlands for a year so that my father could teach Dutch people how to be child psychiatrists.

If you look at the building behind me, you will see that it is quite small.  The Dutch are some of the tallest people on the planet.  It must be very difficult for them to fit into their houses. This may explain why they need so many psychiatrists.   

Except for our year in Holland, we lived on Ventnor Avenue in Atlantic City until I was eleven and a half. That’s right. I lived in the yellow space on the Monopoly board. There were very few children in my neighborhood, so I used to ride my bike around the block for hours, singing show tunes at the top of my lungs.

I also used to sing myself to sleep. Now I help lead services in synagogue. Unfortunately, they will not let me lead services while riding a bike – or while I am asleep.

Carl Shuman singing on a bikd as a child

Me, on my bike, as a child, singing show tunes

English teachers and friends

From Atlantic City, we moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where I began to write stories and poems in high school.

 

I was fortunate to have wonderful English teachers who inspired me to pursue writing and who have been my lifelong friends and mentors. 

Two of my beloved English teachers, and me

Me, playing a baby, on stage

I also acted in high school musicals and plays. 

Carl Shuman as King in High School Play
Carl Shuman in high school play
Carl Shuman playing a baby on stage

See?  I told you.  I have been trapped in a grown up body for a very long time. 

After high school, I went to college and law school, became a lawyer, and got married.

My wife, Beth, and I have three children whose names all begin with the letter “S.”

 

Only one of our two grandchildren think I am funny.

Painted portrait of Aunt Rosie Paul
Carl Shuman painting of children and instruments
Painted portrait of Carl's uncle
Painted portrait of Carl's uncle

When I am not writing or lawyering, I am painting:

Original wood and glass art by Carl Shuman 1
Original art trellis by Carl Shuman
Original wood and glass bowl by Carl Shuman 1

Or creating weird art projects...

Or gardening...

Carl Shuman's garden bridge
Home garden roses
Home garden lilies
Garden flowers
home garden iris

Among the many living (and dead) things in our garden, we have two paw paws and a fig tree. I’m not sure what to do with the paw paw fruit yet but I have discovered a passion for making fig jam.

 

I also like to bake challah for Shabbat. 

And, my wife tells me that I make a pretty good salmon croquette.

Challah and shabbat candlesticks

My favorite children’s author? 

Robert Munsch.

 

My favorite book? 

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Carl Shuman humorous portrait

Favorites

My favorite quote? 

It’s from My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:  

 

After all these years I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

 

Welcome to my world . . .