Leonard Fein is a writer and teacher.
Among his books are "Where are We? The Inner Life of America's Jews," which was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection and "Israel: Politics and People," which was, for ten years, a required text in all Israeli universities. His more than 800 articles and essays have appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and journals, including The New York Times, The New Republic, Commentary, Commonweal, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Times. He writes a syndicated OpEd column for the Forward, and his most recent book, "Against the Dying of the Light: A Father's Journey Through Loss," was published this past February and can be found at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.
In the 1960s, Dr. Fein taught Political Science at MIT, where he also served as Deputy Director of the MIT/Harvard Joint Center for Urban Studies. In 1970 he joined the faculty of Brandeis University, where he was Professor of Politics and Social Policy and, for six years, the Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies.
In 1974, he founded Moment magazine, which became America's leading independent magazine of Jewish affairs, and which he served as editor and publisher until 1987. In 1985, Fein founded Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, now widely recognized as the American Jewish community's principal vehicle for participation in the campaign against world hunger. Most recently, in 1996, he founded the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy, a project mobilizing the American Jewish community to provide 100,000 volunteer tutors for the Read American program. The NJCL now has tutoring programs in 39 American cities.
Fein's lectures have taken him to more than 400 American communities, 60 college campuses, and more than a dozen foreign countries; he has been the keynote speaker at more than 100 national conventions. He has served as a consultant to a wide variety of organizations, including, among others, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the United Jewish Appeal, the New Israel Fund, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Reebok Foundation's Program in Human Rights. He has been a board member of some 40 organizations, domestic and international. He has been invited to testify before a number of Congressional committees, has been an advisor in four presidential campaigns and in numerous Congressional races across the country, and served for two years as Chair of the Policy Committee of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
From 1996 to the year 2000, Fein served as Director of the Commission on Social Action of the Reform Jewish movement.
In 1991, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Hebrew Union College; in 1994 the National Foundation for Jewish Culture honored him with its first award for achievement in Jewish scholarship; in 1999, the Jewish Council on Public Affairs honored him for his lifetime contributions to social justice. In June of 2000, he was honored by his alma mater, the University of Chicago, "for creative leadership in public service that has benefited society and reflected credit on the University."
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