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Biblical Archaeology Review 48:1, Spring 2022

Milestone: Suzanne F. Singer (1935–2022)

By Susan LadenRobert Sugar

Even though it has been more than two decades since Suzanne (Sue) Singer left her daily role as Managing Editor of BAR, her influence on the magazine still reverberates in every issue. Her death on January 2 at the age of 86 marked a significant loss for the magazine but also an opportunity to remember her critical role in its founding and success.

Although Sue had attended the Bronx High School of Science, Swarthmore College, and Columbia University, earning degrees in chemistry and teaching, she found her real voice at the fledgling Biblical Archaeology Review and at Moment, a magazine focused on modern Jewish life. Her experiences during her four-year stay in Jerusalem in the 1970s, where she, her husband Max, and their young children explored Israel’s ancient history and culture, prepared her to write enthusiastically about biblical archaeology.

She was involved with BAR from the start. BAR’s founder and late editor, Hershel Shanks, initially asked her to be his Jerusalem Correspondent and then Managing Editor, after she and Max returned to Washington, D.C., in 1977. Hershel recognized how vital Sue was in growing his quixotic journal into the professional operation it became. He often described her as his “indispensable right arm.”

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