Seekers of Meaning 4/26/2024: Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses 2024 RE-Charging Reform Conference

On this week’s episode of the Seekers of Meaning TV Show and Podcast, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, senior rabbi of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York, discusses the upcoming second annual Re-Charging Reform conference, being held at the synagogue May 29-30.

The conference expects to consider these key topics:

  • Israel’s and world Jewry’s confidence in the importance of the Zionist enterprise and its most basic promise — to protect the lives, liberty and dignity of Jews;
  • Our liberal values and examine the partnerships we’ve spent decades building in pursuit of social justice;
  • Liturgy and spirituality, anchoring them to eloquent expressions of Jewish peoplehood and a yearning for Zion; and
  • Educational models that guide the next generation in valuing the significance of Israel and the Jewish people to our identity as Reform Jews.

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About the Guest

Shahar Azan Photo

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is the senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City. With a fiery voice, a listening heart and a brilliant mind, Rabbi Hirsch articulates a clear vision for the survival and success of American Judaism while tending compassionately to the needs of his growing congregation.

Internationally recognized for his leadership in Jewish affairs, Rabbi Hirsch is frequently cited in the media. In 2018, The Jerusalem Post named him among “The 50 Most Influential Jews of the Year.” City & State praised him as “the borough’s most influential voice” for Manhattan’s more than 300,000 Jews and The New York Observer named him among “New York’s Most Influential Religious Leaders.”

The son of Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch z’’l and Bella Hirsch z’’l, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch grew up in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area before moving to Israel for his high school years. From 1977 to 1980, he served as a tank commander in the Israel Defense Forces.

Rabbi Hirsch earned his LL.B Honors law degree from the London School of Economics and is a member of the New York State Bar. He received his ordination at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, where he was granted numerous awards for academic excellence.

Prior to his arrival at Stephen Wise, he served for 12 years as executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), the Israel arm of the North American Reform movement.

Rabbi Hirsch has served on numerous boards of national and international bodies, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, the World Zionist Organization, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. He is currently an officer of the New York Board of Rabbis, and a member of the Partnership of Faith, an interfaith body of New York religious leaders, and New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ Black-Jewish Clergy Roundtable.

An accomplished teacher and public speaker, Rabbi Hirsch is also the co-author of the acclaimed One People Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues that Divide Them.

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