Rabbi Hersh Galinsky
Yeshivat Hadarom and Gan Yavneh, Rechovot, Israel
Nov 8, 2006
Rabbi Galinsky was born in Colchester, Conn., and at the age of six moved to the Lower East side of NY. He completed his BA at Yeshiva University in 1955 and in 1962 he earned his Masters in Education from John Hopkins University. He received his semicha at RIETS in 1958 from Rav Soloveitchik. Rabbi Galinsky says that he chose to study his semicha at the time because his father wished it. He went into the rabbinate when he sensed his father’s imminent passing and promised to continue his life’s work for Am Yisrael and Toras Yisrael.
Rabbi Galinsky has been the Director General of the RCA Yeshivot in Israel since 1970. Prior to making aliyah, he served in pulpits in Providence, RI, Baltimore, MD and as a Rabbi of Brith Sholom Beth Israel Congregation in Charleston, SC. He was also the headmaster of the day school from 1963-1970.
During his time in America, Rabbi Galinsky was very actively involved in inter-communal affairs as a member of the Jewish community’s CRC – Community Relations Committee. With major racial stress in the aftermath of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, he spearheaded a new understanding between the Jewish and Black communities, opening the campus of the Hebrew Day School in the summer to the Black community as a Summer Day Camp. When marchers led by civil rights leaders struck the city’s hospitals and paralyzed the fragile framework of communal life, he provided the solution which settled the strike in a crucial 24 –hour period. Several years later, at a public farewell to the Gakinsky family on their aliyah, the Mayor presented the Seal of the City to Rabbi Galinsky as an expression of gratitude from the total community.
Some of Rabbi Galinsky’s pet causes is politics in the U.S and Israel and concerns for the poor. He ran for mayor in Gan Yavneh and served as the Deputy major for 7 years. He serves to this date on the Beth Din of the Mizrachi –Hapoel Hamizrachi in Israel.
When Rabbi Galinsky made aliya, he assumed the position as Prinicipal and later Rosh Yeshiva and Dean of the Gan Yavne Youth Village –Yeshiva Achuzat Yaakov. During his period at Gan Yavneh, the school had doubled its enrollment, established the junior high school, initiated both educational and vocational offerings, such as electronics, the Regional Center of Advanced Technology for the Ministry of education and the Hirsch school of Computer Study and others.
Today as Director-General, he leads a network providing educational services on several campuses to over 3000 students from Junior High school through Senior High Schools, Technical and Teachers College and Yeshivat Hesder.
Rabbi Galinsky says that his favorite aspect of the Rabbinate is education, working with all Jews, religious and non-religious, and pastoral counseling. He is proud of his achievements in education, building the chevra kadisha in Providence and removing the microphones in a Baltimore shul. Above all, he and his wife Sarah are proud in raising their 9 children, seeing them all married, and having blessed grand children. He says that his greatest challenge today is to maintain the RCA Yeshivot with all the terrible government cutback in Israel. The Rabbinate has been both a constant challenge and source of growth for him