Leading Reform Rabbi Pleads with Reform Movement

Major Reform rabbi laments his own movement’s betrayal of Judaism and Israel

On May 31, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, one of the most prestigious Reform synagogues in America, made a remarkable speech.

Pleading with his own movement to return to its Biblical obligations to Judaism, the Jewish people, and the Jewish state, Rabbi Hirsch did not mince words.

“I fear that we are losing the soul of the Reform movement,” he said. In light of the Reform movement’s catastrophic embrace of socialist universalism, Hirsch warned, “…the rifts that emerged between the anti-peoplehood, anti-Zionist Reform Jews of the first half of the 20th century, and the Zionists who were committed to Jewish particularism, will reopen with devastating consequences for 21st-century Reform synagogues.”

The Jewish Leadership Project is working to address precisely these issues and promote brave voices like Hirsch’s.

Last year, we cooperated with White Rose Magazine on its Spring 2022 issue, which was devoted to the failure of Jewish leadership, including Reform rabbis. On this topic, Reform rabbi Cary Kozberg published the touching piece, “The Reform Movement Left Me.”

Rabbi Kozberg’s essay is re-published in our new book Betrayal: The Failure of American Jewish Leadership, which is available on Amazon.

Watch and applaud Rabbi Hirsch’s courageous speech here.

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch
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