Meet the Siegel-Benders, our Jewish family life bloggers

When Robert Siegel and Karen Bender first told their 13-year-old son Jonah and 9-year-old daughter Maia that the whole family would be writing a community blog on Religion News Wilmington, the first question from the kids was: “Does it pay?”

Those children have a bright future in business! And they’ll get some exposure penning their thoughts for the public as they write about Jewish life in the South on Religion News Wilmington. Of course, their parents have already had plenty of experience.

Learn more about our Jewish family life bloggers here:

“Karen and Robert met at the Iowa Writers Workshop in 1990, moved to New York City together in 1992, and married in 1997. Their son Jonah was born in New York in 1999, and the family moved to Wilmington in 2002, where their daughter Maia was born in 2003. They are members of B’nai Israel Synagogue on Chestnut Street.

Karen E. Bender is the author of a novel, Like Normal People. Her short stories have appeared in “The New Yorker,” “Granta,” “Zoetrope,” “Best American Short Stories” and the “Pushcart Prize” series. She recently finished a new novel, Allegations, which explores a Jewish family and the inner workings of their temple in a small Southern town. She also teaches creative writing at UNCW.

Robert Anthony Siegel is a writer and professor in the Department of Creative Writing at UNCW. His novels are All the Money in the World and All Will be Revealed. His website is:

Jonah Benjamin Bender Siegel is 13. He was born in New York and loves to play paintball and tennis, and he loves his two cats, Dimple and Creamsicle. His previous work can be found at “Busted Halo”:

Maia Lilac Shalom Bender Siegel is 9 years old. She loves to draw, read and have sleepovers with her friends.

A hearty welcome to the Siegel-Bender family!


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