Emil Gustav Hirsch
(May 22, 1852 – January 7,
1923) was a major Reform movement
rabbi in the United States.
born in Luxembourg, a son of the rabbi and philosopher Samuel Hirsch.
He later married the
daughter of Rabbi David
For forty-two years (1880-1922), Hirsch served as the rabbi of
Chicago Sinai Congregation, one of the oldest synagogues in the
midwest. At this post, he became well-known for an emphasis on
social justice. From Chicago Sinai's pulpit, he delivered rousing
sermons on the social ills of the day and many Chicagoans, Jew and
gentile alike, were in attendance.
professor of rabbinical literature and philosophy at the University of
Chicago in 1892, Hirsch also served on the Chicago Public Library board from
1885 to 1897.
He was an influential exponent of advanced thought and Reform Judaism
. He edited Der
(Milwaukee) (1880–82) and the Reform
(1891–1923). He also edited the Department of the
Bible of the Jewish
Hirsch is the namesake of the Emil G. Hirsch Metropolitan High
School of Communications (Hirsch Metro), located in the South Shore
neighborhood of Chicago. In keeping with his interest in education,
Hirsch advised a wealthy congregant, Julius Rosenwald
of Sears, Roebuck & Co.
, to use part of his
wealth to help build public schools which black students could
attend in the segregated south. The school building program was one
of the largest programs, but not the only, administered by the