Gisela Dachs was born in 1963 in Kötzing in the Bavarian Forest district and grew up in Weiden in the Oberpfalz region. She studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1987 she worked as foreign editor at French daily newspaper »Libération«, before changing in 1990 to become politics editor for the »Zeit« in Hamburg, for whom she has been foreign correspondent in Israel since 1994. Furthermore, she worked for several years as a reporter at Zurich’s »Tagesanzeiger«.
In addition to her journalistic work, Dachs wrote the monograph »Getrennte Welten. Israelische und palästinensische Lebensgeschichten« (1998; tr. Separate Worlds. Israeli and Palestinian Life Stories), in which she portrayed eighteen people from different generations and origins thus creating a panorama of the realities of life in a region marked by permanent crisis. Commissioned by the German Federal Centre for Political Education, she wrote the book »Israel kurzgefasst« (tr. Israel in Brief), which was published in 2010. In it she presents a succinct and informative portrait of the country with all its historical, cultural and political aspects. She is also editor of the volume of essays and interviews »Deutsche, Israelis und Palästinenser. Ein schwieriges Verhältnis« (1999; tr. Germans, Israelis and Plestinians. A Difficult relationship) as well as the »Jüdischen Almanachs« (Jewish Almanac) issued by the Leo Baeck Institute, which was set up in Jerusalem in 1955. This anthology, which is published annually by publishing house Jüdischen Verlag (under the auspices of the Suhrkamp publishing house) is dedicated to a particular theme each time and in the past these have included, among others, »Orte und Räume« (2001; tr. Places and Rooms), »Vom Essen« (2002; tr. About Eating), »Kindheit« (2003; tr. Childhood), »Humor« (2004; tr. Humour), »Die Jeckes« (2005; tr. The Yekkes), »Frauen« (2006; tr. Languages), »Sprachen« (2007; tr. Languages), »Israel« (2008), »Identitäten« (2009; tr. Identities), »Liebe« (2010; tr. Love), »Sport« (2011) and »Proteste. Jüdische Rebellionen in Jerusalem, New York und andernorts« (2012; tr. Protests. Jewish Rebellions in Jerusalem, New York and Elsewhere). The articles are written by international authors who throw light on the title theme in a multifaceted and individual manner. The around 200-page Almanac from 2013 looks at the phenomenon of »Age« in a similarly diverse way – from the subjective feeling of getting old to higher life expectancy, cultural traditions, right up to the 65-year anniversary of the foundation of the State of Israel. The authors in the volume include, among others, publicist and educationalist Micha Brumlik, the television presenter, publisher and author Avirama Golan, the author Amir Gutfreund as well as Rabbi Andrew Steinmann and academic Matthias Morgenstern. The volume is illustrated with photos and portraits by well-known photographer Herlinde Koelbl.
Gisela Dachs lives in Tel Aviv.