From her obituary in The New York Times: Rachel Eytan Fishman, a novelist and professor of Israeli and Yiddish literature at Hofstra University, died of a stroke at age 55. Mrs. Fishman was born in Palestine. She spent part of her childhood in orphanages and on a kibbutz. She taught school for four years, working closely with the children of new immigrants.
In 1962, Mrs. Fishman wrote ''The Fifth Heaven,'' a novel based on her childhood. It became a best seller in Israel and earned her the Brenner Prize, the highest literary prize in Israel. The book is now included in high school curriculums in Israel.
In 1968, she married Jerry Fishman, a chemist for the Rockefeller Institute, and moved to New York. Two years later, she became an adjunct professor at Hofstra University.