Cornell Law Professor Named General Counsel of World Jewish Congress
Menachem Rosensaft, an Adjunct Professor of Law who teaches a course in World War II war crimes trials, was born in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen, the son of two survivors of Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. His grandparents and his five-and-a-half year old brother were murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. These facts, he says, "are the core of my being," and they have given shape to his career as a lawyer and activist. He's just been named General Counsel of the World Jewish Congress, an international organization representing Jewish communities in ninety-two countries. It's a position which combines his personal commitment with his legal skills.
Rosensaft's work, he feels, is inextricably linked to his identity. "The protection of the Jewish people, the prevention of any recurrence of genocide, the remembrance of the Holocaust, and the furthering of justice for all people, Jews and non-Jews alike, who are subjected to bigotry and persecution have formed my identity as an American, as a Jew, and as a lawyer," he says. "I am deeply grateful for this unique opportunity to merge my personal and professional priorities and to contribute meaningfully as the WJC's General Counsel."
Rosensaft, a former litigation partner at a national law firm, has held a wide range of professional and volunteer positions, including serving as general counsel of a major New York Stock Exchange financial services firm, founding the International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, holding office as National President of the Labor Zionist Alliance, and serving as President of the Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He has published widely in legal and popular publications.