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BRUCE EINHORN


In 1855, David Einhorn, a German immigrant and one of the founders of Judaism’s reform movement, became rabbi of a congregation in Baltimore. There, in a Southern border state at the brink of the Civil War, he vigorously denounced slavery from his pulpit, until he had to flee from a mob in 1861.

Bruce Einhorn, who lives in Agoura Hills with his wife and two children, is proud of his descent from that famous fighter of injustice. And in many ways, he has dedicated his life to that same fight.

He is an imposing, extremely articulate man with a neatly trimmed beard and a bit of long hair curled at the nape of his neck. Raised in Brooklyn, Einhorn graduated from Columbia and then went on to NYU’s law school. His first job was as law clerk to a federal judge of the District Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., advising and preparing decisions of cases one step below the Supreme Court. He was then admitted to an honors program for distinguished law graduates sponsored by the Department of Justice. Their plan was to rotate the nation’s best young lawyers through a variety of important federal assignments. Einhorn’s first job was with the Nazi War Crimes Unit, prosecuting war criminals who had managed to hide their identities and infamy in this nation. Working with the War Crimes Unit so fascinated Einhorn that he chose to forego any other assignments. He stayed on with War Crimes from 1979-90, rising from prosecutor to Deputy Director. He related several important cases. The prosecution of Feodor Fedorenko, a Treblinka Death Camp guard, who was deported to the Soviet Union and executed. And the case against a German immigrant who became prominent in NASA’s development of the Army’s Pershing II missile and later the Saturn V moon rocket. This man, Arthur Rudolph, was director of operations of a factory built underneath the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp in Germany. There he employed slave labor to build Germany’s infamous V-2 rockets. Einhorn’s prosecution led to Rudolph being stripped of his citizenship and deported.

In 1990, President Bush appointed Bruce Einhorn a federal judge. He was assigned to the Immigration Court in Los Angeles and serves there to this day, presiding over the fates of non-citizen aliens. He is also a professor of International Human Rights Law at Pepperdine University and an executive of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

He became in involved with the ADL when they assisted his prosecutions in the War Crimes Unit by helping to find survivor witnesses. He feels that his primary agenda with the ADL is to “prevent the Balkanization of our society, the push toward greater separation of one ethnic or religious group from another.”

As Bruce Einhorn approaches middle age, he concedes that he has spent his life thus far doing good works. While he doesn’t intend to halt his long career of fighting injustice, a heritage from his abolitionist forbear, he does plan to become more involved in “self discovery” and in developing his imagination.

When not sitting on the federal bench, or promoting hate crimes legislation, or teaching human rights law, Bruce Einhorn is now busying himself writing screenplays. I don’t think he lacks material.