Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is the senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York City, where he has led a dramatic revival in Jewish life. Since his arrival in 2004 the synagogue has grown rapidly and has tripled its membership. He has introduced dramatic changes in worship, ritual, and education, attracting a new generation of Jews from throughout the New York region.
Rabbi Hirsch is recognized internationally for his leadership in Jewish affairs and 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.” 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.
An accomplished teacher and public speaker, Rabbi Hirsch is also the coauthor of the acclaimed One People Two Worlds: A Reform Rabbi and an Orthodox Rabbi Explore the Issues that Divide Them.
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 is a member of the Partnership of Faith, an interfaith body of New York religious leaders.
Rabbi Hirsch 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. He also received an LL.B Honors (law degree) from the London School of Economics. He is a member of the New York State Bar.
From 1977 to 1980, Rabbi Hirsch served as a tank commander in the Israel Defense Forces.
Rabbi Hirsch can be reached at (212) 877-4050, ext. 226, or by emailing his assistant, Isabel Benebgui, at .