An acclaimed author, lecturer, rabbi, and commentator on religion, society and pop culture, Brad Hirschfield offers a unique perspective on the American spiritual landscape and political and social trends to audiences nationwide.
Author of the powerful book, You Don't Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism (Harmony, Jan. 2008), he is the co-host of the popular weekly radio show, Hirschfield and Kula, on KXL in Portland, OR (one of the nation's top 25 markets), which offers a new way of approaching the issues dividing our country and world. Ranked two years in a row in the "Top 50 Rabbis in America" in Newsweek, he was the only rabbi featured on ABC's "Nightline UpClose," and is a frequent commentator on Tru-TV (formerly Court TV). His many media appearances include CNN, PBS, MTV, and NPR, and a regular spot on WWSB-TV (Florida ABC affiliate), as well as PBS-TV's "Frontline: Faith and Doubt ant Ground Zero" and "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly." His blog, Windows & Doors, appears on Beliefnet.com, the web's most trafficked religion and spirituality site, reaching over three million individual's a month. He also writes for the Washington Post/Newsweek—On Faith online column, and is often quoted in the press.
Hirschfield is the President of CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center. Recognized as one of the nation's leading Preachers and Teachers by Beliefnet.com, he conceived and hosts a landmark interfaith TV series entitled Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today, airing on Bridges TV (American Muslim TV Network). Entering its third season, the series reaches more than three million households. His new series, American Pilgrimage, bringing viewers into the homes and mosques of Muslim leaders across the country, will begin airing in July 2008.
A leader for pluralism and interfaith dialogue, he says that we must own the dark side of all our religious traditions or we risk the same kind of hatred that destroyed the Twin Towers. "Religion drove those planes into the buildings, but it can also provide the catalyst for building a better world."
A speaker at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and Colloquium in Morocco, and the 2004 Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, he was featured in the acclaimed film, Freaks Like Me, where he explores our fear of the "other." In 2007, under the auspices of the U.S. State Dept., he joined a mission to the Middle East to build global citizenship.
Hirschfield has addressed audiences at the Aspen Institute, the Washington National Cathedral, the Islamic Society of North America, and many leading universities and religious institutions. A Scholar-in-Residence for the JCCA, he is the editor of Remember for Life: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of Faith and Hope (The Jewish Publication Society, 2007). A contributor to Three Times Chai: 54 Rabbis Tell their Favorite Stories (Behrman House, 2007), and A Dream of Zion (Jewish Lights, Jan. 2008), Hirschfield is a co-author of Embracing Life & Facing Death: A Jewish Guide to Palliative Care (CLAL, 2003). An Orthodox rabbi, he received his M.A. and M. Phil from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his B.A. from the from the University of Chicago.
CLAL–The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership
Founded in 1974, CLAL—The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership is a leadership training institute, think tank and resource center. A leader in religious pluralism, CLAL links Jewish wisdom with innovative scholarship to deepen civic and spiritual participation in American life. CLAL's interdisciplinary programs explore religious and national identity. The CLAL faculty, with its reputation for excellence, representing rabbis and scholars from a wide range of streams and disciplines, provides cutting-edge teaching, lectures, courses, seminars, and consulting across the country. CLAL's internship and professional education connects modern experience with ancient texts and traditions. CLAL's publications and materials offer thought-provoking ideas, tools, and techniques to enhance individual, community, and institutional life. In all of CLAL's work, it strives to build vibrant Jewish life that is spiritually engaged in the intellectual and ethical challenges of the wider world. For more information, go to www.clal.org.
To view Rabbi Hirschfield in the acclaimed series, Building Bridges: Abrahamic Perspectives on the World Today, on Bridges TV—American Muslim TV, click here.