I was born on January 25, 1948 in New York City, and was raised in the small town of Putnam Valley, New York. My parents were Morris (an electrical engineer) and Sadie (a housewife, weaver and founder of The Putnam / Northern Westchester Women’s Resource Center). My younger brother, Robert, was a massage therapist and teacher primarily known for his work in equine sports therapy. A long-time motorcycle enthusiast, he taught classes in motorcycle safety for the United States Armed Forces until shortly before his death in April, 2016. A man of many talents and abilities, Robert was loved and respected by his family, colleagues and friends.
The Altman Family. Putnam Valley, circa 1954.
I studied political science at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and majored in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, from which I graduated in 1971. I love to travel and have traveled extensively throughout Latin America, as well as Europe, India, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand and North America. I went to Taiwan for the first time in 1996. I’ve returned to Taiwan many times since then, and have also visited Japan, Korea, Thailand and China.
After graduating from college, I wrote my first book, Eating for Life: A Book about Vegetarianism. Since that time I’ve written or co-authored over twenty other books on holistic health, diet, nature, palmistry and other metaphysical subjects, a number of which are described elsewhere on this website.
I have long been interested in teaching language, and decided to obtain a CELTA qualification (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from Cambridge University in 2003. Until my recent retirement, I taught ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) here in New York City. It was not an easy job, but a very rewarding one. I worked primarily with Russian speakers at the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst here in Brooklyn. I also taught classes in health literacy (“English for Your Health”) through the Queens Library Adult Learner Program from 2008-2013. I continue my association with JCHB as a substitute teacher, which allows me more time for writing and travel.
While in Colombia, I became interested in the art and science of palmistry, and have been reading hands since 1969. In addition to writing and lecturing, I do private consultations as well as read hands at parties and other group events.
I have lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York since 1978.