Born to a Jewish family in Nazi Germany in 1939, her story beings with a dramatic escape to Japanese-controlled Shanghai, one of the few refuges still open. There, a variety of European Jews struggled to restart life in the Honkew district, establishing workshops and supporting a little school for their children. At the age of ten, Tova moved with her parents to Israel. After serving in the Israeli army, she went to work in England where she met and married a Canadian who entered the Foreign Service. After a series of postings in Ghana, Italy, Washington, Argentina, and Spain, and after raising three children, Tova returned to Canada to study at Carleton University.