About Menachem Wecker

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” appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2017 issue of Playboy magazine (preview here).

Menachem Wecker

Photo: Nachama Soloveichik

A former education reporter at U.S. News & World Report, he writes for Washington Post, Art NewspaperSmithsonian magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and others. For eight-and-a-half years, he co-wrote an arts column for the Jewish Press (2003-2012).

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: Playboy, the Atlantic, Columbia Journalism ReviewChronicle of Higher Education, Houston ChronicleAtlas Obscura, Religion News Service, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, First Things, Tablet, Arab American News, Mormon Times, and Canadian Art.

In June 2017, the Catholic Press Association awarded him second place in the category of “Best reporting of social justice issues: Dignity and rights of the workers” for his National Catholic Reporter article “Adjunct unions,” and an honorable mention in the category of “Best regular column: Culture, the arts, and leisure” for his NCR arts columns. The judges said of the former that the story “skillfully analyzes the unionization drive at Seattle University” and “takes a balanced approach.” In 2015, the Catholic Press Association had awarded him first place for his NCR art reviews in the “Best regular column: culture, the arts and leisure” category.

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.

He is a member of the National Press Club, the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA), and the Education Writers Association (EWA).