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About the Book

In the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie, a devoted protégé and friend of one of the world’s great thinkers takes us into the sacred space of the classroom, showing Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel not only as an extraordinary human being, but as a master teacher.

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What People are Saying about Ariel & Witness

Witness [is] a beautiful, deeply moving memoir by Ariel Burger…[which] asks many questions, such as: What does it mean to be a teacher? What does it mean to be a student? How can you lead a moral life? Witness makes a case for the power of teaching, and for words as perhaps the ultimate teachers of how to live.”

Chicago Tribune

“Current, former, and future educators will love the glimpses into Wiesel’s practices, such as the way he guided discussions on difficult but important topics—the tensions between faith and doubt, the relationship between rebellion and madness, and effective strategies for activism—and the personal attention he lavished on students . . . Burger’s love for Wiesel, both professional and personal, shines through, and the reader will walk away with renewed admiration for this remarkable scholar, writer, survivor, and teacher.”

Publishers Weekly

“Amid all the Wiesel wisdom, Burger interweaves bits of his own autobiography, including his childhood and an account of the years he spent in Israel before his doctoral studies. These strolls into memoir help establish Burger as a trustworthy and likable guide, a fellow learner who has invited us to sit next to him as we absorb hard-won knowledge about the shape of a good life from a sage.

An insightful and winsome love letter—and, for newcomers to Wiesel, a good introduction.”

Kirkus

“A student of Wiesel’s, Burger recounts how Wiesel lit his mind on fire. He later became Wiesel’s teaching assistant and colleague, and this book parts the curtain on Wiesel’s stimulating and lively classes, which challenged students . . . Readers will find their own preconceptions called into question, as though they were in class, too.”

Booklist

“Burger, a compassionate heart, fiery soul, and sharp religious mind in his own right, presents a personal side of Wiesel that we normally didn’t see. This is the humane Wiesel, the Wiesel who nurtured students and who shook the foundations to demand more decency in society…. We all know Wiesel the Activist who spent his life working for people suffering everywhere to protest injustice and oppression and to bear ‘witness,’ but there are other more personal dimensions to this story as well. Now we can see Wiesel the Soul. May we continue to be inspired by the life and teachings of Elie Wiesel. We owe Rabbi Dr. Ariel Burger our gratitude for this special opportunity.”

Jewish Journal

“Through Burger’s storytelling and unique perspective, we share in, and reap the benefits of, Wiesel’s wisdom in the heretofore largely unknown context of ethics teacher…. Burger reminds us that it is now our task to continue his work of listening, learning and healing—and teaching the next generation.”

MM&M

“This book is beautiful and brilliant. The substance of Elie Wiesel’s teaching will always be with us. Now, thanks to Ariel Burger—a writer of great spiritual and intellectual integrity—we have access to the way Wiesel taught generations of students, not only through his words but in the way he lived his life and held his relationships. Witness is a treasure, giving us clue after clue about how to transcend and transform the suffering of our own time, turning death into life.”

—PARKER J. PALMER, AUTHOR OF ON THE BRINK OF EVERYTHING, HEALING THE HEART OF DEMOCRACY, AND THE COURAGE TO TEACH

“Elie Wiesel became the conscience for a world that had lost its moorings. In Witness, we are invited to experience an extraordinary yet mostly unseen dimension of this great figure—Elie Wiesel as teacher. This profoundly personal account from one of his closest students brings a great and mythic being down to earth. Read this book and become a better person.”

—Rabbi Irving Greenberg, author of The Jewish Way, and member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust and The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership alongside Elie Wiesel

“A beautiful memoir about a master teacher. In Witness, Ariel Burger turns us all into Elie Wiesel’s students. Readers will enjoy this book so much, they might not even realize how much they’re learning from it. Bravo.”

—Dr. Ruth Westheimer, author of The Doctor Is In

Work with Ariel

I integrate the teachings of Elie Wiesel with design thinking, storytelling, ancient and contemporary wisdom and playful inquiry to foster communication, listening, curiosity and conflict resolution at a time when the world needs it most. Whether it is a lecture, interactive workshop or customized consulting, I create a safe and hospitable space to wrestle with complex questions, exchange ideas and create strategies for professional success and social change.