Rabbi Hillel Goldberg
Intermountain Jewish News, Denver, CO
Apr 6, 2009
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, Ph.D., is executive editor of the Intermountain Jewish News, a 96-year-old award-winning weekly newspaper. He has associated interests in lomdus, scholarship, and community activism.
The Intermountain Jewish News has been in the Goldberg family for 66 years. It attempts to report the news with rigorous dispassion, while taking a traditional line editorially and supplying much information on Torah via personal profiles, columns and interviews. As recognized by the Simon Rockower Awards of the American Jewish Press Association, the Intermountain Jewish News is the most awarded Jewish newspaper in America.
In Denver, Rabbi Goldberg also publishes "Shabbat Shalom," and often interprets the Jewish community and Orthodox Judaism for college presidents and a wide variety of political figures. A long time activist from his students days at Berkeley and Yeshiva College, he writes frequently on human rights issues, especially genocide, and has organized rallies against genocide at the Colorado State Capitol.
Rabbi Goldberg is known as an expert on the Musar movement and his doctorate, taken at Brandeis University, was about the writings of Rabbi Israel Salanter. His books on Musar include a revision of his doctoral dissertation, "Israel Salanter: Text, Structure, Idea" (Ktav), as well as "The Fire Within" and "Illuminating the Generations" (Mesorah).
In the West, Rabbi Goldberg has been active in outreach in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he organized the construction of his first mikveh, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he founded an Orthodox synagogue within a Reform temple. He was a founder of and supervised the Mikveh of East Denver for 16 years.
He has lectured around the country as a scholar-in-residence on Musar, on Hilchot Mikva'ot, and on modern Jewish intellectual history. His book in that area, "Between Berlin and Slobodka: Jewish Transition Figures from Eastern Europe," includes material on Rabbis Israel Salanter, Joseph Z. Lipovitz, Isaac Hutner, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and Profs. Abraham J. Heschel and Harry A. Wolfson.
After seventeen years of effort, Rabbi Goldberg has just published Hallel Hakohen, a 494-page Hebrew elucidation of the Biur ha-Gra on Yoreh Deah 201, Hilchot Mikva'ot. It unravels and deciphers the elusive and comprehensive commentary of the legendary Vilna Gaon, using his own words, amplified by the sources he cites and implies, and by the reasoning he states and implies, into complete sentences. The work is being used in kollels specializing in Taharot around the world.
He is a long time associate editor of Tradition and contributing editor to Jewish Action. He was also a frequent contributor to the recently folded Jewish Observer, and has published in more than 50 other newspapers, journals and magazines.
He is very active in retaining and expanding halachic standards at BMH-BJ, a large Denver synagogue, now with a mechitza seven days a week, though still without a mechitza in its main Shabbos morning minyan.
His biggest blessing and privilege are his wife, children and grandchildren.