Menachem Rosensaft

  • Lecturer in Law

Menachem Z. Rosensaft is general counsel of the World Jewish Congress and a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School.

He has long been a leader in Holocaust remembrance activities, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He was previously a member of the council for two terms, from 1994 to 2004, and served on its executive committee. In 2009, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the International Conference on Holocaust Era Restitution Issues in Prague.

In 1985, he organized and led a demonstration at the mass graves of the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in protest against visits that day by President Ronald Reagan, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Bergen-Belsen, and the German military cemetery at Bitburg. In 1987, he played a key role in convincing the government of Panama not to give sanctuary to Nazi war criminal Karl Linnas and in ensuring Linnas’ deportation from the U.S. to the Soviet Union. In 1988, Rosensaft was one of five American Jews who met in Stockholm with senior leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization, resulting in the PLO’s first public recognition of Israel.

He is the editor of Life Reborn, Jewish Displaced Persons 1945-1951, published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and co-author of “A Measure of Justice: The Early History of German-Jewish Reparations” (with Jodi Rosensaft), Fordham International Law Journal, 2001. He has contributed articles to numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post, the National Law Journal, the New York Law Journal, and The Jewish Week. He is the editor of God, Faith & Identity from the Ashes, Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2014.

Rosensaft clerked for the Honorable Whitman Knapp, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Rosensaft received his J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1979, a M.A. from the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University and a M.A. in modern European history from Columbia University.