By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

I picked up the morning’s New York Times. Scanned front-page headlines:

“Mideast Violence Rages,” “Justices Take Case Testing Roe v. Wade,” “Cuomo’s Book Deal Payday Grows to $5 Million.” Not a word about the climate crisis. All not well.

I retreated to the back deck. Filled…


By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

The Fire Next Time — Photo by author

We’re all familiar with William Henry Gates III. He is an American business titan, pioneering software creator, investor, author, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Microsoft Corporation and revolutionized the personal computer industry with the invention of Microsoft Windows. He co-founded, with Melinda Gates, the non-profit Gates Foundation — the world’s…


“to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility”

By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

At 6:01 p.m., after the Capitol Police had finally cleared the U.S. Capitol of hundreds of armed insurrectionists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Proud Boy fascists, extremist militia gangs and fellow-rioters donning MAGA hats, shouldering Confederate battle flags, and sporting outerwear emblazoned with the words Camp Auschwitz and…


The Hope and Tragedy of the “Two-State” Deal of the Century

By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

“The Jews bring to the land the social dynamism and scientific method of the West; the Arabs confront them with individualism and intuitive understanding of life. Here then, in this close association, through the natural emulation of each other, can be evolved a synthesis of the two civilizations, preserving, at…


By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Stadtarchiv Aachen

The word pogrom in Russian and Yiddish means “devastation.”

It derives from a Russian word that means to destroy, to wreak havoc, to demolish violently.

Historically, it is mostly associated with violent outbursts against Jews that began in the 1880s and continued in sporadic waves over the five decades that…


Robert Leonard Berkowitz

This past November 11th I gave a lecture at one of the largest Jewish Federations in the nation. The occasion was the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the three-day “Night of Broken Glass” rampage against Jews in Germany and Austria that began on November 9th, 1938.

Kristallnacht was the worst pogrom…


Torched Synagogue in Siegen, Germany during Kristallnacht — National Archives, courtesy of USHMM Photo Archives

By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

Delivered November 11, 2018 at a jointly-sponsored event by the Jewish Historical Society and Holocaust Council of New Jersey

Had I been living in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh on my way to the Tree of Life Synagogue two Sabbaths ago and were my mother…


By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

Neighbor is not a geographic term. It is a moral concept. It means our collective responsibility for the preservation of man’s dignity and integrity — Rabbi Joachim Prinz

The murder of eleven innocent worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue - the deadliest attack ever on…


By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

Delivered September 11, 2018, the second day of the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah.

In the above letter written from Nazi-occupied Poland in February 1940, the author’s cousin, Ignacy Rotlein, a brilliant chemical engineer, makes an urgent request for care packages and transit visas for…


By Robert Leonard Berkowitz

Copyright © 2017 all rights reserved

In a letter from the outskirts of the Warsaw Ghetto my cousin Ignacy, a brilliant chemical engineer, made an urgent request for care packages and transit visas for himself, his young wife Janina and his parents. …

Robert Leonard Berkowitz

Robert was raised in Newark and nearby West Orange, New Jersey. He now lives in Guilford, Connecticut.

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