Media coverage of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has included feature articles and highlights in the many local, national and international news outlets. Below is some select coverage that highlight the synagogue.
Cleveland Jewish News: Rabbi [Richard] Hirsch recalled as giant in Reform movement
Aug 20, 2021
Remembering his father, our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch told the Cleveland Jewish News: “He founded the two great… ideological institutions of the second half of the 20th century of Reform Judaism… the Religious Action Center, which set into motion the future of the Reform movement’s social justice agenda, and one of the key decisions of the 20th century of the Reform movement was his decision to move the international headquarters of the Reform movement to Jerusalem.”
Times of Israel: ‘Israel is Broadway; the Diaspora is Off-Broadway’ – Rabbi Richard Hirsch z’’l
Aug 18, 2021
“I loved Dick. He was one of my most important Zionist mentors. I love his son, Rabbi Ammi Hirsch of the Stephen S. Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan. Dick loved that Ammi and I are dear friends and whenever I spoke with Dick not only did he remind me how much he appreciated Ammi’s and my friendship, but that we Reform rabbis have a sacred and solemn duty to the Jewish people to teach and motivate our communities to understand that Progressive Zionism is the social justice movement of the Jewish people,” writes Rabbi John L. Rosove, memorializing Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch z”l in the Times of Israel.
RNS: A great leader dies — and with him, a whole generation
Aug 17, 2021
The death of Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch z”l “marks the end of an era in Reform Judaism — an era in which great leaders shaped the intellectual, moral, and political fabric of our movement,” writes Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin in Religion News Service. “How powerful — that his son Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch has inherited his voice, and has made it his own.”
JTA: Rabbi Richard Hirsch, who eulogized Martin Luther King Jr. and helped guide the Reform movement to Zionism, dies at 95
Aug 17, 2021
Rabbi Richard G. Hirsch z”l died Monday. “He became the leading advocate for Reform Zionism… he helped found ARZA, the Reform movement’s Zionist affiliate (his son Ammiel, also a rabbi, led ARZA from 1992 to 2004).”
Makor Rishon (Hebrew): ‘There is fear among the Reform rabbis. They are afraid to speak for Israel.’
Jul 27, 2021
After nearly 100 Reform and Conservative rabbinical and cantorial students signed a letter accusing Israel of apartheid, our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch told Makor Rishon: “The Reform movement must see itself as a Zionist movement that supports Israel, and the education it provides and all its policies must reflect these values.”
The Forward: Morrie Arnovich, not Jacob Steinmetz, was baseball’s first Orthodox player
Jul 26, 2021
When the media overlooked the first Orthodox Jewish baseball player, Morrie Arnovich, our Cantor Dan Singer set the record straight about one of his hometown heroes and shared some of Superior, Wisconsin’s rich history in an article he wrote for The Forward.
NY Jewish Week: Doris Brickner, Activist and Founder of Jewish Organizations, Dies at 99
Jul 7, 2021
Doris Brickner, who was the wife of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue’s late Rabbi Emeritus Balfour Brickner z”l, died June 29, a month shy of her 100 birthday.
The Jerusalem Post: Will the Kotel Deal Repair the Divide?
Jun 22, 2021
In an op-ed about Israel’s efforts to repair the relationship with diaspora Jewry, Rabbi David Eliezrie mentioned our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch’s recent piece about the tension between universalism and Jewish peoplehood that’s been present in the Reform movement since its inception.
The Jerusalem Post: Over 300 US rabbis from multiple denominations come together for Israel
May 28, 2021
Over 300 American rabbis from multiple denominations — including our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch — signed a letter decrying the anti-Israel sentiments currently being voiced in some Jewish communities across the U.S. “Parts of the Jewish community that are cool on Israel, that are distancing [themselves] from Israel, that are non- Zionist and anti-Zionist are becoming more vocal,” said Rabbi Hirsch. “If they are successful, it will harm Israel, but, mostly, it will harm the future of American Jewry.”
The Jerusalem Post: The fracturing of liberal Judaism over Jewish particularism
May 27, 2021
“The growing inclination among liberal Jews to deemphasize Jewish distinctiveness is the gravest threat to the future of liberal Judaism,” writes our Rabbi Hirsch in The Jerusalem Post. “Are we anchored in Jewish particularism or are we Kantian universalists who pray in Hebrew? Audacious honesty requires that we press Reform Jews: Are you committed to the Jewish nation – and what does that mean to you?”