Ben Zion Leuchter, Jewish journalist-activist dies at 74

As part of his duties, he wrote a daily column, "Keeping Up With the Times," that ran on the paper's front page, continuing a tradition launched by his father.

Last fall, Leuchter paid tribute to his father's columns in a book, "How a Small Town Editor Saw the World: The Story of Max Leuchter and the Vineland Times Journal." The book is available at

In 1978, he became the publisher of a group of weekly newspapers in western Massachusetts.

In addition to being dedicated to journalism, Leuchter spent much of his adult life serving the Jewish community.

In 1974, he was named the founding chairman of what is now known as CLAL — The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

From 1988 to 1992, he served as national president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, in the midst of two of the most dramatic emigrations of Jews in the 20th century: the Ethiopian Jewish immigration to Israel and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Soviet Union.

He also served for many years as a Jewish Telegraphic Agency vice president and as chair of JTA's editorial policy committee. The founding chairman of the Cumberland County Jewish Federation, he served on the first Young Leadership cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal and later as a UJA honorary national vice chairman. He also served on the boards of numerous other local and national Jewish organizations.

Well over a hundred local and national figures turned out for Leuchter's funeral in Vineland, including Miles Lerman, former chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, who gave a moving eulogy and said he had chosen to be at the funeral rather than at a White House ceremony to which he had been invited. A memorial service was also held in Miami on Sunday.

Leuchter is survived by his wife, Magda, and four daughters.