Rabbi Richard Hirsch served as Executive Director of the World Union for Progressive Judaism from 1973 until 1999. Upon his retirement, he was elected Honorary Life President of the WUPJ.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Hirsch graduated from the University of Cincinnatti. He received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion in 1951. He served as a congregational rabbi in Chicago and then in Denver, before becoming Director of the Chicago Federation and Great Lakes Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
Rabbi Hirsch was the Founding Director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington DC, which he served from 1962-1973. In 1973 he moved to Israel to assume his position at the WUPJ. Rabbi Hirsch served as the Co-Chair of the FSU & Eastern Europe Committee. He has been a member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors since 1972. Now he serves as the President of the Zionist General Council.