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Calculated Risks is the inspirational story of one family's journey to the United States in the early twentieth century to escape persecution and seek a better life.

Meet Henry, a World War I prisoner of war; Martin, whose intuition and resourcefulness facilitated his family's escape from the clutches of the Nazis; Eva, who navigated a journey rife with fear, loss, and trauma in her quest for safety; and Edward, a dedicated family archivist and the son of immigrant parents, who diligently preserved their stories, legacies, and memories for generations to come.

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Most of us lead comfortable lives. However, bad things can happen and difficult situations can arise, sometimes unexpectedly.  What if we had to leave our home and our home country out of fear and search for a new life in an unknown country? How would we respond?

Ted Blum, the grandson of Central European Jewish immigrants, shares the transcendent power of ordinary people who faced extraordinary times. His family found the courage and quiet strength to overcome antisemitism, hate, and war to begin a new life in America. Their universal tale reveals how key decisions made at pivotal moments in history echo across generations, reverberating with powerful, simple truths that bind families and humanity together. 

Ted's grandparents had to flee oppression and build new lives in the United States. They took calculated risks, and in their cases, those risks paid off. They were able to create meaningful lives in a new country. The United States is a country built on the shoulders of refugees and immigrants who either sought survival or simply a better place to live, just like Ted's grandparents did. If it weren’t for them, Ted would not be the person he is today.

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Calculated Risks

We take risks every day, sometimes without even realizing it. If Ted’s grandparents had been afraid of taking chances and decided never to leave Hungary, after 1941 they may very well have been killed. In this case, their inclination to escape turned out to be the safest decision. Life works that way. We make decisions every day without knowing what the outcome will be, yet risk is the one common denominator all people face throughout their lives.  Even though the kind of risks most of us face  are not life threatening, they are still important risks that can alter and shape our lives in meaningful ways. 

Calculated Risks invites readers to explore the impact of those who came before and the risks they navigated as we shape our lives and make decisions that will reverberate for generations to come. What lessons can we learn from them? How can we honor them and the legacy they left for us?

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