About Menachem Wecker

A Washington, D.C.-based reporter, Menachem Wecker covers culture and the arts, religion, education, and health and medicine.

He has interviewed Mel Brooks about herring, researched the sculpted sandals in Einstein and Gandhi memorials, investigated the origins of museum taxidermy mounts (think a two-headed snapping turtle in a mayonnaise jar), and reported on ways that events designed to engage younger visitors may endanger museums’ collections. And he now knows much more than he ever thought he would about Zoroastrian dating.

His Playboy feature told of “Infiltrating the CIA’s Secret Art Collection” (Jan./Feb. 2017), and a second story explored whether “Game of Thrones” battle scenes are realistic.

Menachem Wecker

Photo: Nachama Soloveichik

A former education reporter at U.S. News & World Report, he writes for Washington Post, Art NewspaperNational 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 Sept. 2017, he was part of a team for the Atlantic that won second prize in the Renner Award for Excellence in Enterprise Religion Reporting from the Religion News Association. Three months prior, 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 News Association (RNA), and the Education Writers Association (EWA).