Monday, November 24, 2014 Kislev 2, 5775

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
By:
When I heard that Arthur Kurzweil, the longtime editorial director of Jason Aronson Books, which over the years has returned many classic Jewish works to print, was going to publish a book about Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the translator of the Talmud into English, I couldn't have been happier. Readers of this column know by now how highly I think of...
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About a month ago, I wrote the first of what will be a number of pieces about Dryad Press, a small, independent venture out of Takoma Park, Md., kept afloat pretty much singlehandedly by Merrill Leffler, himself a poet and critic whose work is worth getting to know. The first Dryad title I discussed was 1111 Days in My Life...
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Until recently, most people, when asked if they recognized the name Nora Ephron, might have come up with "When Harry Met Sally," "You've Got Mail" or even her novel Heartburn . It would have depended upon the age of the respondent whether they would have picked out the movies or recalled the book -- or just have drawn a blank...
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I remember that once I'd been exposed to the Holocaust as a preteen by reading Anne Frank's diary and seeing movies like "The Pawnbroker" with Rod Steiger, I would repeatedly ask my parents and other members of their generation exactly what they'd known about the situation in Europe. I was always curious about their lives, wanting to learn what it...
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I had long considered it a rule of thumb that great artists in whatever field of endeavor are generally excellent writers -- splendid diarists, say, or incisive letter-writers at the very least. There are so many creative types who fit the bill -- Vincent Van Gogh, for example, or Hector Berlioz. But I've recently met the example that undermines my...
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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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