Leonard Fein: A Tireless, Loving Critic

October 1, 2014
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Dr. Leonard Leibel Fein, z”l, (1943-2014) was anguished by the world God gave us. But instead of spending his time complaining to God, he did what he could to repair the world — and he did so much. He founded the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University, Moment Magazine, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy. He served eloquently as a Sh’ma contributing editor, penned hundreds of articles (1,500-plus can be found at the Berman Jewish Policy Archive website, bjpa.org), and wrote several books (my personal favorite: Where Are We? The Inner Life of America’s Jews). He was tribal and universal, academic and popular, Zionist and dovish, personal friend and public intellectual, and deeply pained and heartily resilient. We all mourn the loss of this Jewish social justice giant and grand mentor of our time and beyond.

— Steven M. Cohen is Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

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