Come hear BAS member and American journalist, author and speaker, Joe Berger talk about his recently published book, Elie Wiesel: Confronting the Silence. The first full-length biography of Elie Wiesel, it is an intimate look at the author of the seminal Holocaust memoir Night and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
As an orphaned survivor and witness to the horrors of Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) compelled the world to confront the Holocaust with his searing memoir Night. How did this soft-spoken man from a small Carpathian town become such an influential figure on the world stage? Drawing on Wiesel’s prodigious literary output and interviews with his family, friends, scholars, and critics, Joseph Berger seeks to answer this question.
Joseph Berger was a New York Times reporter, columnist, and editor for over 30 years, writing about education, religion, and the colorful kaleidoscope that is New York City as well as chronicling many of the events that have shaken Israel and the Middle East. For the previous 14 years he had been a reporter for the New York Post and Newsday. In 2011, he was honored with the Peter Kihss Award for a distinguished career given by the Society of Silurians, the city’s oldest press club. For three years in a row in the 1980s, he won the top award given by the Religion Newswriters Association for the year’s work.
He retired from The Times in December 2014 and his biography of Elie Wiesel will be published by Yale University Press in Spring 2023.
Berger was born in 1945 in the Ural Mountains region of Russia, where his parents had fled to escape the Nazis. He and his parents and brother Joshua spent four years in refugee camps in Germany and immigrated to New York in 1950 when Berger was five. He grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and the Grand Concourse area of the Bronx, where his sister Evelyn was born. Joe currently lives with his wife Brenda, a psychoanalyst, in Manhattan.