Dr. John Jackson, a native of the state of Missouri, travels nationally and internationally as a wellness educator. He received his B.S. from UCLA, pursued graduate work in Israel, worked as an analytical chemist for a Silicon Valley biotech company, received his M.D. with distinction from George Washington University and finished an internal medicine residency at UCLA. He is board certified and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. After 20+ years of private practice, at the start of 2007, he shifted emphasis from disease management to natural healing and prevention. Avocations and abiding interests include jogging, family history and Biblical archaeology. He currently resides with his wife of 44 years in Santa Cruz, California.
Violinist Rebecca Jackson is artistic director of Music in May, an annual chamber music festival in Santa Cruz, CA that has featured notable musicians Jennifer Koh, Cho-Liang Lin, Martin Beaver, Michael Tree, Ron Leonard, and Shmuel Ashkenasi. Acting member of San Francisco Ballet, she is also founding member of Ensemble San Francisco. During her five seasons as acting member of Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, the company won 2019 Grammy for Best Opera Recording for (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Believing strongly in the power of music to heal and unite, she has performed in many marginalized communities across the U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Nepal, Costa Rica, and Lebanon. Combining her passion for music and service, she is co-founder of Sound Impact. Ms. Jackson received her B.M. from The Juilliard School and a masters from UC Santa Cruz.
Meeting Mr. Arben
Rebecca first met David Arben as an 18-year-old violin student in Puerto Rico, the summer of 1999, while attending Festival of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Americas. FOSJA was directed by Maestro Luis Biava and, as a faculty member, Mr. Arben coached violin sectionals. Hearing Arben perform the Schubert Cello Quintet made an indelible impression on Rebecca. Soon after, during her studies at Juilliard, she started making trips by train to visit Mr. Arben in Philadelphia. Unstinting with his time, he spent countless afternoons giving her invaluable lessons on violin and life. After moving back to California, during one of her subsequent return visits, she interviewed him for a master’s thesis. The content from their question and answer session in 2007 was the nidus of this biography. In 2008, Rebecca founded an annual chamber music festival, Music in May (MiM), in her hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Arben attended and was hosted by her parents, the entire Jackson family finally meeting Rebecca’s mentor. He attended MiM and lodged with his adopted California family almost every season until his passing in 2017.
Dr. Jackson, who once lived and worked in Israel, had long felt an interest in historical events leading to the rebirth of that nation. To learn more and document our subject’s life story, John used a small handheld Sony digital voice recorder to capture most all the transcriptions utilized in this work. Interviews took place face-to-face in California; during an extended stay with Mr. Arben at San Juan, Puerto Rico; his Philadelphia residence; Sarasota, Florida; as well as on recorded telephone conversations. An ideal pair of co-authors, the Judeophile father and his career violinist daughter collaborated to complete their first book. Thanksgiving, 2014 marked the day that Dr. and Ms. Jackson began in earnest their serious undertaking of writing this biography, with every intention of handing Mr. Arben the final version. Though he never saw the completed book now in your hands, he read preliminary drafts. In his voicemail left on June 19, 2015, David’s words gave strength that lasted after his passing and carried both co-authors to the finish line. He spoke warmly, “Thank you for depicting my life very beautifully and accurately.” David’s father had said, “One day the world will know my sons.” The Jacksons hope to be a part of helping fulfill his prophecy.