Sunday, July 13, 2014 Tammuz 15, 5774

Robert Leiter

Former Senior Editor
Reinventing History
Ever since the investigative Web site, Smoking Gun, "outed" James Frey for embellishing his best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces, every pundit and critic in the country, it seems, has seen fit to weigh in on the subject. I didn't think there could be any more to say until I read Michiko Kakutani's critic's notebook piece in the Jan. 17...
Just about two months ago, The New York Times published one of the most fascinating - and nontraditional - obituaries it's run in years. The headline, which looked more like the type that would accompany a news story and not a death notice, read: "A Nazi Past, a Queens Home Life, an Overlooked Death." It seems that Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan,...
All the secrets of a tortured talent told at last
Henry Roth lived one of the most astonishing writer's lives of the 20th century, though, ironically, the most salient feature of the life was that not much writing was actually done during the bulk of it. As those conversant with literature know, Roth, his first time up at bat, wrote one of the great novels of the American Jewish experience...
Much to Atone For
A good deal of ink has already been spilled concerning the Jack Abramoff scandal - he's the once highly influential Republican lobbyist who also happens to be an Orthodox Jew - and doubtless lots more ink will be spilled in the future. But few pieces, in the mainstream press especially, have touched on what a terrible thing this influence peddler's...
The New York Times continues its long-term project of enshrining American Communists. Generally, the process takes place on the obituary pages these days as these former radicals reach their 80s and 90s, and begin dying off. Times reporters indulge in hagiography for several column inches, making these people sound like saints simply because they held fast to their ideals. The...


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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