Born in Montreal in 1945, Brenda was educated at Adath Israel Hebrew Day School, Outremont High. She went on to earn a B.A. in English and French literature from McGill University in 1966, and an M.A. in English literature from the Universite de Montreal in 1969.
Brenda spent 1964-65 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It was the first year of an experimental program of junior year abroad for Canadian and American students. (The program still ongoing).
Brenda taught English and French literature at Concordia University in Montreal, University of Cincinnati, and Georgia State University in Atlanta, 1969-72, and was a full time journalist from 1973-92. She worked for CBC Radio, CBC Television, BCTV, was a contributing editor for MacLean’s magazine, and did quite a bit of freelance writing for the Winnipeg Free Press, Vancouver Sun, Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Homemaker’s, etc.
Brenda has written 2 books, one on teenage suicide, called Growing Up Dead, the other on the demise of marriage from the perspective of women, called Loving and Leaving. Both published by McClelland and Stewart.
In 1992 she changed careers altogether and became an innkeeper. She established the Manor Guest House in Vancouver, which she still owns.
For the past 2 years she has spent the better part of the winter in Israel.
Brenda is fluent in Hebrew, and passionate about Israel. She is divorced, with 2 children and 5 grandchildren.
As a professional journalist Brenda worked under her married name, Brenda Rabkin, however since leaving journalism she reverted to her maiden name, Brenda Yablon.