A Washington, D.C.-based reporter, Menachem Wecker largely covers culture and the arts, religion, and education. He has reported on everything from the sculpted sandals in Washington’s Einstein and Gandhi memorials, where museum taxidermy mounts come from, and why museum events designed to engage younger visitors may endanger their collections to non-conventional high holiday observances and a questionable claim about classics studies paving the way to medical school. His feature “Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection” appears in the Jan./Feb. 2017 issue of Playboy magazine (preview here).
A former education reporter at U.S. News & World Report, he writes for Washington Post, Art Newspaper, Smithsonian magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and others.
With Brandon Withrow, Wecker is co-author of Consider No Evil: Two Faith Traditions and the Problem of Academic Freedom in Religious Higher Education (Cascade Books, 2014). David Yonke, of Toledo City Paper, called it “fascinating, informative, and enlightening,” and in National Catholic Reporter, Raymond A. Schroth wrote that the book made him “turn over some rocks in my own academic memories of tenure denials and identity disputes on five Jesuit campuses.”
Wecker holds a master’s in art history from George Washington University. His more than 1,500 articles appear, in part, in: Playboy, Atlantic, Columbia Journalism Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, Houston Chronicle, Religion News Service, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, First Things, Tablet, Arab American News, Mormon Times, and Canadian Art.
In June 2015, the Catholic Press Association awarded him first place for his National Catholic Reporter art reviews in the category of “Best regular column: culture, the arts and leisure.” The judges said: “Nice entry in a challenging category with lots of good work. Enjoyed the diversity of topics and the very crisp, intelligent writing.”
He has two recently-published book chapters: one in Religion: Material Religion (1st edition, Macmillan, 2016), edited by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, and the other in Religion in Museums: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2017), edited by Gretchen Buggeln, Crispin Paine, and S. Brent Plate.