Sunday, November 23, 2014 Kislev 1, 5775

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
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Besa, a book of portraits of Muslims who saved Jews during World War II, is dedicated to the memory of Cornell Capa, which is highly appropriate in at least two senses. One is purely photographic. The crispness and depth of the black-and-white images rendered by photographer Norman H. Gershman that fill this book echo the quality and manner that pervaded...
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In her chatty introduction to With Strength and Splendor: Jewish Women as Agents of Change, published by the Women's League for Conservative Judaism, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) notes that this is a truly extraordinary time for women. Not only have doors opened and any number of barriers fallen, but women are truly in positions of power. She points out that...
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A decade ago, Carole S. Kessner published an eye-opening book called The "Other" New York Jewish Intellectuals . Her thesis was that while writers like Lionel Trilling, Irving Howe and Philip Rahv were known and respected in intellectual circles worldwide, there existed at the same time another group of New York-based Jewish writers, who were not so widely known but...
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Landmark of the Spirit by Annie Polland, which has been published by Yale University Press, tells the stirring story -- in words and pictures -- of how the Eldridge Street Synagogue on New York's Lower East Side was restored to its original pristine beauty after decades of decay. When it opened in September 1887, the synagogue was located at the...
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Johanna Reiss, born in rural Holland, was hidden during the Holocaust along with her older sister. A neighbor couple in their farming village took the girls in and watched over them for very nearly three years, right up until the war's end. These simple facts, complex in their resonance, gave Reiss the material she needed to eventually write her two...
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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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