Launch of To Serve with Love at Rabbi Harris community centre

Marlene Bethlehem recently self-published her memoir, To Serve with Love, with Staging Post. We were delighted to be part of her publishing journey and see this wonderful biography come to life on the page. To Serve with Love is a fascinating account of Marlene’s life, from her days playing Wimbledon to taking an active leadership role in the South African Jewish community.

She gives a vivid account of serving in that role during South Africa’s transition to democracy, including her many interactions with Nelson Mandela. As the South African Jewish Report put in their article, ‘But the book isn’t just about her time on the tennis court, it also explores her more than five decades of dedicated service to the South African Jewish community (Tali Feinberg, 2022).’

Marlene’s is a truly inspiring story and she continues to be a role model for many in her community today.

We asked Marlene a few questions about her experience self-publishing her book.

To Serve with Love launch pictures
Marlene celebrating the launch of her book.

Q: What inspired you to write your book?

A: The inspiration to write my memoirs came from a wish to document my stories from the earliest times of my life,  for the next generation to have on record, and to understand how my family as well as my husband’s family emigrated from Eastern Europe to South Africa.

 Q: What was your favourite part of publishing your book?

My favourite part was the extreme satisfaction on seeing the final product in print after three years of writing. It looks wonderful!

Q: What advice would you give an author planning to publish their first book?

I would advise any prospective first-time novice writer to approach Staging Post. From the very first conversation I had with their representative Aimèe Armstrong, I knew that this would be the correct printing house for a novice like me. Their availability and total attention to detail were an inspiration. I am more than thrilled with the final book, which is a treasure in my life.

Marlene is proof that you are never too old to make your dreams come true. She published her book at the age of 82!

Want to self-publish your memoir?

Contact Staging Post without delay, or explore our many blog posts on self-publishing.

You can email us at or call us on 011 628 3200/3210.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *