Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom Review

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD—BIOGRAPHY

Elie Wiesel was a towering presence on the world stage—a Nobel laureate, activist, adviser to world leaders, and the author of more than forty books, including the Oprah’s Book Club selection Night. But when asked, Wiesel always said, “I am a teacher first.”

In fact, he taught at Boston University for nearly four decades, and with this book, Ariel Burger—devoted protégé, apprentice, and friend—takes us into the sacred space of Wiesel’s classroom. There, Wiesel challenged his students to explore moral complexity and to resist the dangerous lure of absolutes. In bringing together never-before-recounted moments between Wiesel and his students, Witness serves as a moral education in and of itself—a primer on educating against indifference, on the urgency of memory and individual responsibility, and on the role of literature, music, and art in making the world a more compassionate place.

Burger first met Wiesel at age fifteen; he became his student in his twenties, and his teaching assistant in his thirties. In this profoundly thought-provoking and inspiring book, Burger gives us a front-row seat to Wiesel’s remarkable exchanges in and out of the classroom, and chronicles the intimate conversations between these two men over the decades as Burger sought counsel on matters of intellect, spirituality, and faith, while navigating his own personal journey from boyhood to manhood, from student and assistant, to rabbi and, in time, teacher.

“Listening to a witness makes you a witness,” said Wiesel. Ariel Burger’s book is an invitation to every reader to become Wiesel’s student, and witness.

Title:Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Angela M

    “ If anything can, it is memory that will save humanity.” (Elie Wiesel) I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy of this book. It was before the horrific event last week at a Pittsburgh synagog...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    5 stars! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Ariel Burger was first a student, later a teaching assistant, and much later, a friend to Elie Wiesel, and he writes here of Wiesel’s time teaching at Boston University,...

  • Nat

    This book was exactly what I was seeking with Elie Wiesel’s memoirs: it summarises Wiesel's concise teachings on keeping history alive through morality and vulnerability. You're guaranteed to le...

  • Cheri

    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!”If it be your willThat I speak no moreAnd my voice be stillAs it was beforeI will speak no moreI shall abide untilI am spoken forIf it be your willIf it be your willThat a voice...

  • Jenny

    Egil Aarvik, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, once said "Eli Wiesel is a messenger to mankind. His message is one of peace, atonement, and human dignity. His belief that the forces fighting ...

  • Marialyce

    There are probably not that many people living in the modern world today who have not heard of Elie Wiesel, a survivor of Auschwitz, where he witnessed more cruelty, more hatred, more indifference, an...

  • Toni

    To give witness, typically, is to tell the truth. One tells what one saw, gives facts, details; what one witnessed.Ariel Burger, gives witness to what he learned from Elie Wiesel, in the classroom, in...

  • Bruce Katz

    Some of the most moving and thought-provoking passages I’ve read in a very long time. This is the kind of book that leads you to ponder your own life, the choices you’ve made, the things you’ve ...

  • Kelly Hager

    This book is one of the most profound things I have ever read, and that actually doesn't do it justice.When I was in college, my sociology professor said something along the lines of how we need to al...

  • Milly Cohen

    Este libro es más de lo que esperaba, las enseñanzas de Elie Wiesel contadas por su alumno, asistente y amigo. Una combinación de memorias de ambas vidas porque la del alumno se funde con la del ma...