Media coverage of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue has included feature articles and highlights in the New York Times, the New York Observer, the Times of Israel, and many others. Here are a few select articles that highlight the synagogue. Press inquiries may be directed to Simone Silverbush at or 212-877-4050, ext. 267.
Al-Monitor: Can Netanyahu Scratch Americans from Jewish Roster?
January 17, 2018
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch responds to friction between progressive American Jews and the Israeli government.
Jewish News Service: Reform Movement Retreating From Opposition to Trump’s Jerusalem Decision
January 1, 2018
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is credited for challenging the URJ’s opposition to the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Religion News Service: Was Trump Right About Jerusalem?
December 19, 2017
A column by Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin highlights an op-ed by Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch that urges leaders of the Reform movement to clarify their response to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
JTA: My Reform Colleagues Were Wrong On Jerusalem
December 18, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch urges leaders of the Reform movement to clarify their response to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Maariv: A Desperate Struggle: Benjamin Netanyahu Prepares for the Last Battle for his Political Life
December 17, 2017
A popular Israeli newspaper showcases Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch and his perspective on religious pluralism in Israel. (In Hebrew)
New York Times: Today in New York
December 5, 2017
The New York Times’ “Today in New York” series highlights a story in the West Side Rag about our rabbis and their productive dialogue with an Upper West Side bookstore about the children’s book P is for Palestine.
JTA: How a Kids’ Book on Palestine Ensnared This Manhattan Store in a Political Crossfire
December 4, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch talks to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency about the synagogue’s stance towards a local bookstore that supported a controversial children's book.
West Side Rag: Rabbis and Bookstore Owner Break Bread After Split Over Palestine Book
December 3, 2017
An article highlights the productive dialogue between our rabbis and Book Culture’s co-owners about the word “intifada” and the children’s book, P Is for Palestine — and showcases the bookstore’s statement against terrorism and the BDS Movement.
77 WABC Radio: Religion on the Line
November 12, 2017
Rabbi Hirsch discusses faith, gun violence, and our synagogue history with Rabbi Joseph Potasnik and Deacon Kevin McCormack. (His segment in the 11/12/17 program begins at 37:12.)
ReformJudaism.org: Look What Happened When We Welcomed Israelis into Our Congregation
October 13, 2017
Rabbi Diana Fersko highlights the meaningful cultural exchange made possible by the synagogue’s Chofshi B’Manhattan Israeli outreach program.
YNET: Why Does Israel Turn its Back On American Jewry?
October 10, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch elaborates on the theme of his Yom Kippur sermon in a popular Israeli news outlet. (In Hebrew)
New York Jewish Week: Reform Jews at Crossroads on Israel
October 4, 2017
In an op-ed, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch urges American Reform Jews to fund and support a stronger progressive movement in Israel.
E-Jewish Philanthropy: Insights from The Greenhouse
October 4, 2017
Rebecca Schumer, chief innovation officer of The Greenhouse, shares insights about the launch of the synagogue’s new teen-led platform for social innovation.
New York Jewish Week: Rabbis to Tiptoe Around Trump
September 13, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch comments on his decision to address the Trump presidency in his Rosh Hashanah sermon.
New York Jewish Week: New 'Portal’ on Jewish Learning
August 23, 2017
Our Religious School’s Portals program, which brings our experienced teachers to families’ homes for one-on-one learning, is featured.
New York Daily News: Why We Cannot Close Our Doors to Refugees
June 28, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch draws on the synagogue’s recent refugee relief mission to Greece and Germany and responds to President Trump’s travel ban.
Maariv: Netanyahu Proves He Does Not Care About American Jews
June 28, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is quoted in an article in a popular Israeli newspaper about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to halt a project that would have allowed men and women to pray together at the Western Wall. (In Hebrew)
ReformJudaism.org Blog: 5 Guidelines for Talking to Young Children About the Refugee Crisis
June 28, 2017
Lori Schneider, director of our Early Childhood Center, shares takeaways.
The Forward: Inside the Lives of Middle Eastern Refugees
June 21, 2017
Stephen Wise member Roberta Schuhalter Karp reflects on the synagogue’s refugee relief mission to Greece and Germany.
The New York Jewish Week: A Passion for Teaching, from Shul to Prison School
May 25, 2017
Kayla Kirshenbaum, assistant director of education at our Religious School, is named among the Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36.”
The Times of Israel: This Passover, Let Us Step Into the Shoes of the Refugee
April 6, 2017
“This year in particular, in the aftermath of a deadly chemical attack in Syria, Passover offers a call to action to all Americans to defend human dignity and uphold our common humanity,” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch wrote in the Times of Israel.
NY1 New Yorker of the Week: Norman Roth
March 18, 2017
NY1 Spectrum News features Norman Roth as “New Yorker of the Week.”
Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Not Just Prayers
March 10, 2017
“Judaism is a faith that believes in action, in making the world a better place through policy,” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch said in an article that highlights the synagogue’s recent social action work.
YNET: Ambassador Nominee Apologizes, As Rabbis Call for Fair Hearing
February 15, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch responds to President Trump’s controversial pick to serve as US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
The Forward: How I’m Turning Tu B’Shevat Into A Subversive Political Act
February 7, 2017
“Tu B’Shevat is not fun only anymore,” Rabbi Diana Fersko wrote in this column.“With the election of a climate-change-denier-in-chief, it’s a chance to assert our values and even our politics.”
The Times of Israel: Making America Great
January 26, 2017
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch reflects on the real meaning of national greatness.
City & State New York: Manhattan Borough 50
October 3, 2016
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is praised as “the borough’s most influential voice” for Manhattan’s more than 300,000 Jews.
E-Jewish Philanthropy: Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: Better Jewish Education
August 26, 2016
“To be effective, Jewish education must diversify,” Rabbi Diana Fersko writes in this column. “We must offer selection, choice, adaptability, and as much customization as possible.”
Huffington Post: What Hillary and Bernie Taught Me About Passover
April 20, 2016
Rabbi Diana Fersko draws a parallel between the gender politics of the election season and women’s seders.
New York Times: Bernie Sanders’s Criticism of Israel
April 19, 2016
“Don’t attack Israel, and Israel will not attack you,” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch wrote in a letter published in the New York Times.
New York Times: Purim! The Musical
March 18, 2017
The New York Times features member Norman Roth and his legacy of Purim spiels at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.
Huffington Post 5 Surprising Ways Queen Elsa is A Lot Like Queen Esther
March 10, 2016
Rabbi Diana Fersko finds surprising similarities between two beloved queens.