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Tribute to Donald Rothberg (1932-2012)

Donald Rothberg, a member of Temple Micah since the mid-1990s, never really retired after a distinguished, 40-year career reporting, managing and editing congressional and diplomatic coverage in the Washington Bureau of the Associated Press. Don, who died on September 21 at the age of 79, returned to the AP Washington Bureau to help during crises such as the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and more routinely to guide the election coverage every two years

Less known to his journalism colleagues, however, was that Don often lent his professional talent to the pages of the Temple Micah Vine. Don and his wife Lynn, who survives, enrolled in and completed Meryl Weiner's first B'nai Torah class.

Although Don could be relentless in pursuing a story, he also had difficulty saying "no" when asked to write for the Vine. He wrote clear, terse news articles and member profiles and also assisted with editing.

Jodi Enda recalls working with Don when she served as editor: "Don was professional, smart, kind and funny. We shared a passion for politics and journalism," she said. "He was a terrific writer and reporter who always knew just the right way to approach a story. When he wrote for the Vine and, later, when he agreed to help edit it, he made my job so much easier. I couldn't have asked for a better partner."

Don also was the first Micah member Sid Booth enlisted to serve on a panel of readers for Ben Rigberg, a blind scholar and Micah member who was an avid reader. Ben, an engaging and lively raconteur, also used his readers while writing a book on the Jewish wars of resistance against the Romans. Ben, 90 years old when the project began, performed his own research, but he soon drew upon Don's editing skill in completing his manuscript. The readers met with Ben until his death at age 95.

Don is survived by his wife Lynn, their daughter Jennifer Rothberg Tanzi, grandsons Connor and Landon, son-in-law Brian Tanzi, all of Clarksburg, MD, and Don's sister Charlotte Kaufman of Boston.

[From November-December 2012 Vine]

by Ed Grossman last modified 11-09-2012 12:45 AM — expired
Contributors: [from November-December 2012 Vine]

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