I appreciate the thoughtfulness in Mamie Kanfer Stewart’s reflections but one line gave me pause: “ We can say ‘thank you’ to fellow travelers who have chosen to raise their children as Jews…” Stewart’s suggestion reminds me of stories I have heard of rabbis who have an aliya and/or misheberach on the High Holidays for non-Jewish
About Rabbi Richard Hirsh
is the Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and teaches future rabbis at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He was the editor of the journal The Reconstructionist from 1996-2006. He has previously served congregations in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Toronto, was the 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 Reconstructionist High Holiday prayerbook. He is also the author of the books The Journey of Mourning and Welcoming Children in the Reconstructionist Guide to Jewish Practice series. His articles have 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 has contributed commentary on the weekly Torah portion for the Jewish Exponent and the New Jersey Jewish News.