Leon Wieseltier, the former culture editor of The New Republic, canceled a planned speaking engagement at a New York Jewish Week event in the wake of accusations that he had sexually harassed female colleagues.
The harassment allegations, which came to light this week after female former employees at TNR began to correspond over email, include charges that he “sloppily kissed [colleagues] on the mouth,” according to The New York Times. Wieseltier apologized in a statement. The publisher of a new magazine Wieseltier was set to lead has since canceled the project, and Institution, where Wieseltier was a senior fellow, suspended him without pay.
Wieseltier was scheduled to speak on the Syrian refugee crisis at a Jewish Week-sponsored event on November 6, co-sponsored by American Friends of Tel Aviv University and Temple Emanu-El’s Streiker Center. Gary Rosenblatt, Jewish Week’s editor and publisher, said that Wieseltier chose to cancel the speech “out of respect for the event.”
Wieseltier’s sister, Thea Wieseltier, is Jewish Week’s director of strategic projects.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Wieseltier Cancels New York Jewish Week Event