Monday, September 22, 2014 Elul 27, 5774

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
By:
SPEAKING VOLUMES Lyricist Fred Ebb and composer John Kander were not only collaborators for more than 40 years -- longer than any songwriting partnership in Broadway history, notes their biographer James Leve -- but also fast and inseparable friends for those four productive decades. It seems that only something as sudden and definitive as Ebb's death in 2004 could have...
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SPEAKING VOLUMES Phil Camp, the central character of Bill Scheft's third novel, Everything Hurts , published by Simon & Schuster, is grappling with a number of significant dilemmas as the narrative opens. For one thing, everything does really hurt; his body is a hotbed of pain. It's localized in his leg -- he has a pronounced limp at those times...
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Peter Balakian is primarily a poet, with several acclaimed volumes to his credit. But beginning in the late 1990s, with the appearance of his prize-winning memoir, Black Dog of Fate , recently reissued by Basic Books in a updated edition, Balakian began delving into his family's Armenian past, and especially the fate of certain members at the hands of the...
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It wasn't surprising to discover that Sheryl Kane, author of Volunteer Vacations Across America , has daughters named Aviva and Elanit, and that her mother Ruth Wolfe, who's 86, recently received a lifetime achievement award for her more than 40 years of volunteer work. By saying this, I'm not suggesting that volunteering belongs only to Jews, but I am noting...
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I don't know how some writers pull it off. When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win by longtime comedy writer Carol Leifer, which was published by Villard, seems to me in form and even sometimes in subject matter -- though not, of course, on a sentence-by-sentence basis -- to resemble Nora Ephron's marvelously entertaining and highly successful collection...
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Profile

Robert Leiter served as senior editor of the Jewish Exponent before retiring in Dec. 2013. 

In his 30 years with the paper, he won many awards and held many positions, from full-time reporter to interim editor. For five years in the early 1980s, he was managing editor of Inside magazine, the Exponent's sister publication, and for seven years in the 2000s, he was the quarterly's editor in chief, while still working full time for the paper.

Since the mid-1980s, he reported from most of the major capitals of Europe for the Exponent, with an emphasis on the Eastern Bloc countries, during and after Communist rule. Throughout this period, he visited Poland, the two Germanies and the Soviet Union with greatest frequency, but also made visits to Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He has also reported from Catalonia, Alsace, Zurich and Venice, as well as from Costa Rica, Norway, India and the Middle East. A number of his journalism awards have been for his reporting from Europe.

He is a contributing editor to The American Poetry Review, which is based in Philadelphia, and in the 1980s, he served as Murray Friedman's assistant to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in Washington, D.C.

He has also been a freelance writer for 40 years and his book reviews, short stories, essays, interviews and profiles have appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, CommonwealDissent, The American Scholar, The Hudson Review, The New Leader, The Forward, Moment, Redbook, The Pennsylvania GazetteThe Philadelphia BulletinThe Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Partisan Review and many other mainstream local and national publications.

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