Richard Hirsh

Assistant Rabbi, M’kor Shalom

Rabbi Richard Hirsh currently serves as assistant rabbi of M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ. He previously served as Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association for sixteen years, and was on the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Rabbi Hirsh was the editor of the journal The Reconstructionist from 1996-2006. (Back issues are online here.) Rabbi Hirsh previously served congregations in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Toronto. He served as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Board of Rabbis and Jewish Chaplaincy Service (1988-1993) and was on the staff of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council (1987- 1988).

Rabbi Hirsh received his BA in Jewish Studies from Hofstra University (1975), his MA in religion with a specialization in the New Testament from Temple University (1981), and was graduated as a rabbi from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (1981). Rabbi Hirsh was the chair of the “Reconstructionist Commission on the Role of the Rabbi” and the author of its report, The Rabbi-Congregation Relationship: A Vision for the 21st Century. His commentaries are featured in A Night of Questions, the Reconstructionist Haggadah, and the Kol HaNeshamah prayerbook series. He is also the author of the chapters “The Journey of Mourning,” “Welcoming Children,” “Conversion” and “Jewish Divorce” in the book A Reconstructionist Guide to Jewish Practice III: Lifecycle. His articles appeared regularly in the magazines The Reconstructionist and Reconstructionism Today, as well as in many other Jewish and general publications. For over a dozen years he contributed commentary on the weekly Torah portion for the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the New Jersey Jewish News.

Rabbi Hirsh was co-chair of the Clergy Task Force on Domestic Violence of Jewish Women International from 2011-2013; is on the Board of the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia; and is on the editorial board of the magazine Sh’ma.

Shabbat Naḥamu

The summer cycle of scriptural readings revolves around two sets of text. The first is the weekly cycle of readings which progresses through the final

Read More »

Shabbat Hazon

This week’s Torah portion is Devarim, the opening section of the last book of the Torah known in English as Deuteronomy. This Shabbat, however, is

Read More »

Land

Parashat Behar is primarily concerned with rules and regulations pertaining to the land of Israel. We read the description of the laws governing the sabbatical

Read More »

The Nazirite

Jewish tradition teaches that the Torah yields 613 commandments, which are incumbent on the Jewish people. One would think that this daunting total would be

Read More »

The Reconstructionist Network