Whether you are a long-time member or a newcomer curious about Jewish life in the Berkshires, we’re so glad you found us.
Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, a member of the Union for Reform Judaism, is a diverse community. Some of us are Berkshire natives, while the vast majority of our members have come from somewhere else. We are single and married, with and without children. We are gay and straight. We were born Jewish, we have chosen to become Jewish and we are non-Jews who are part of Jewish families. We celebrate the fresh insights of the young and the sage wisdom of those who are older. We embrace Judaism in many ways. For example, concurrent with our regular Shabbat service in the sanctuary on Saturday morning, the Berkshire Minyan, a member-led, egalitarian group unaffiliated with any branch of Judaism, worships in our library. Both congregations gather together at noon for a joint Kiddush.
Joyful and music-filled worship, thoughtful study of Torah and Jewish texts, a deep commitment to social justice and an ongoing exploration of God and spirituality form the core of our activities. We also are a center of Jewish living and experience, offering concerts, lectures, a film series, and even exercise classes.
At a special congregational meeting on January 20, 2015, Rabbi Neil P.G. Hirsch was as elected by an overwhelming margin to be Hevreh’s next Senior Rabbi. He joins Assistant Rabbi/School Director Jodie Gordon and Rabbi Emerita Deborah Zecher to complete our rabbinic staff.
Rabbi Hirsch brings us the benefit of his broad experience as the Assistant and then Associate Rabbi at Temple Shalom, a large congregation in Newton, Mass. A transplant from Houston Texas, Rabbi Hirsch came to Boston initially for college. He is a graduate of Tufts University, where he studied Art History and Classics.
Rabbi Hirsch currently serves as a member of the Commission on Social Action. He also serves on the faculty at the Eisner Camp, where he met his wife, Liz. Liz Hirsch will be ordained at HUC-JIR in New York this coming and May and will be working as a Director at Camp Eisner.
Rabbi Hirsch will join us officially on July 1, 2015, but Hevreh leadership will be in regular contact with him until that time so that he can “hit the ground running".