International Speaker and Screenwriter

Chicago native Karen Kaplan continues to write about her life altering experiences that lead people into new ways of thinking about life, death, and healing.

Descendants of Rajgród: Learning to Forgive

Get it on Amazon today!

CONJOINED: A Holocaust Haunting…One Man, Two Hearts, and Me

Get it on Amazon today!

About Karen

Karen Kaplan was born and raised in West Rogers Park, a Jewish neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. After publishing her first memoir, Descendants of Rajgròd: Learning To Forgive, Karen has been engaging audiences worldwide. She continues to share her compelling life story and the message of forgiveness. After receiving a B.A. from the University of Illinois in Nutrition and Medical Dietetics Karen trained at The Claret Center of Hyde Park, IL as a spiritual director. Articles, excerpts, and news stories of Karen’s first book have been featured on WGN-TV Chicago morning news, on Bialystok TV news, German, and local cable and radio shows, The New Yorker, The Bronx Times, The Chicago Jewish News, Chicago JUF News, The Skokie Review, Deerfield Review, the Highland Park Highlander, and Highland Park Landmark.

Karen’s second book, CONJOINED: A Holocaust Haunting…One Man, Two Hearts, And me, was published August 2021. She has developed a feature-length screenplay based on this story that won The Hemingway Award at the Los Angeles Live Film Festival in November 2021. Karen also took part in a speaking panel at Film Fest L.A. LIVE Cinemas at Regal Los Angeles Live Film Festival with actress Shari Belafonte (“The Morning Show”), model/actress Eugenia Kuzmina (“Bad Moms”), an Emmy-winning producer, actress Kira Reed Lorsch (“NYPD Blue”), Kathy Kolla, Film Directer and Brazilian filmmaker Bettina Hanna.

While she continues to speak and share stories from her latest book, Karen is determined to bring her story to the big screen.


Mar 06 2022

COMING MARCH 10,17,24 and 31

 JOIN me on THE SPIRIT TALK SHOW, Thursdays at 3 p.m. Central Time.

Is there really life after death? How does mediumship works? Can we really connect with the etheral world? My guest hosts will answer all your questions. Stay tuned for more details.


Feb 22 2022

BOOK CLUB EVENT ON ZOOM 7 p.m. 2/22/22

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Jan 21 2022

PARACULTURES: Interviewed by Christine Skolnik…Mystical Realism and Memoir

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Nov 30 2021

INTERVIEW with Jeanne Rawdin at Epic Storytelling

What people are saying...

February 10, 2023

Fascinating and thought provoking book!
                          Nancy B. Gunder

February 10, 2023

I’m very glad that I read “Conjoined”. Going from cover to cover in just a few days, I never realized the difficulty of putting a Jewish family’s history of Eastern European descent back together after the Holocaust. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that’s minus a picture on the box to follow. This true story exposes the psychological injury done when a survivor of this terrible genocide keeps it all secret in a scary dark place. Karen brings it into the light.
I just finished reading your book over the weekend. The reading experience was very emotional. Your writing style pulled me into the story and I found myself sharing your happiness and grief. I laughed at the beginning of the book….. Later I felt sadness and empathy for your family. You shared such a beautiful story of empathy and understanding.
Writing this book must have felt very vulnerable. I appreciate how you were able to find compassion and forgiveness, and I hope that writing Conjoined gave you some peace.
Your book caused me to reflect on my own life and my belief that there are no coincidences.
Betty –  Illinois

March 12, 2022

“I read Karen’s memoir and found it fascinating.  Karen, you are now my newest superhero for your fearless search for the truth!  Thank you for getting me out of my retirement slump!

-Ruth R. Illinois


February 22,2022
I finished your book today and found it “moving”, like no other book I have ever read, I read it in 8 sessions, and each time I had to put the book down and “visualize” the scenes I just read, being a photographer it is very easy to visualize books I read.
Most times my heart was very sad for you and I kept hoping that something was going to turn positive in the next chapter. If I say it was a “difficult” read it was, but it was such a beautiful story as I reached the end, a journey you took even though so so difficult at times, it made a better person of you by creating a “path” of forgiveness.
                                                                                                                                                                       –   B.S.   Scottsdale, AZ


                                “CONJOINED offers readers a Holocaust saga, an understanding of how the past shapes a person’s personality, and the existence and power of the everlasting human soul.”

-Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling Podcast, Former Chicago Tribune columnist, “Love Essentially”

“My husband and I are obsessed with your book, CONJOINED. Just bought 10 copies to give to my firends and family. It’s an incredible read.”

S.H.  Scottsdale, AZ

“Asking her readers to leave their doubts behind, Karen Kaplan shares her journey of discovery finding answers to Holocaust mysteries in her past and present.”

– Rabbi Len Zukrow, Rabbo Emeritus, Temple Beth El, Munster, Indiana

CONJOINED: A Holocaust Haunting... is a thrilling and entertaining adveture-a movie waiting to be made.”

-STEVE ZACHARIAS,  Emmy Award winer, Screenwriter and Filmaker

“This was an amazing book. I read it non-stop from start to finish. This was last year, but I find myself still thinking about it, and that’s rare for me, so I figured it was worth my writing this review.”


“It’s a very personal story, but it’s also as universal as could be. To me, the book is about how a horrible history, which seems so long-ago, not only permanently warped a young man but continued to cause acute pain to the man’s descendants, 60 and 70 years later. Reading about how the author figured everything out was absolutely fascinating. It was also inspiring. This is a story about history, family, being a detective in your own life, and the necessity and challenges of forgiveness.”