Saturday, December 27, 2014 Tevet 5, 5775

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
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In 2001, Peter A. Rafaeli, the honorary consul general of the Czech Republic in Philadelphia, received a call from the Czech consul general in New York, inviting him and his wife to Manhattan to see a video his office was set to screen. The caller knew that the Rafaelis were Holocaust survivors and believed that the subject of the documentary...
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Media Clippings In its current issue, Heeb magazine heads West to Hollywood for the first time ever and, from the looks of it, Tinseltown may never be the same. According to a press release sent out a few weeks before the mag hit the newsstands, the editors announced that they wanted to put the theory that Jews run Hollywood to...
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Media Clippings As I read the small item in the arts section of the April 30 New York Times , it felt as if my heart were being sliced into small pieces. New York University was proposing to demolish the near-mythic Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village as part of an expansion project. And, as reporter Felicia R. Lee noted, not...
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I am generally opposed on principle to books like Mazel Tov , which is subtitled Celebrities' Bar and Bat Mitzvah Memories . Its bare-bones premise, expressed by the title and its accompaniment, makes it seem like a pure product of the celebrity culture, which will simply pander to the gossipy, People -magazine-loving side of our personalities. These lowest-common-denominator kind of...
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About a month ago, while discussing Jerome Rothenberg's ambitious three-part poem called Tryptych , which touches on numerous and sundry Jewish themes, I asked what I think is still one of the central aesthetic questions of our time: Can art of any kind encompass the enormity of the Holocaust? Now that we're well into the new millennium, you would think...
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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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