Staff Profile

Rabbi Richard Birnholz

Rabbi Emeritus
Phone: (813) 876-2377 ext. 205

Rabbi Birnholz graduated from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, New York, and was ordained in 1971. From 1971 to 1973, he was the Assistant Rabbi of Temple Israel in Memphis, Tennessee. From 1973 to 1986, he was Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation, Jackson, Mississippi, where he also served as a Visiting Professor in the Religion Department at Millsaps College.

Rabbi Birnholz has won numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to Reform Jewish life. In 1977, he won the Samuel Kaminker Memorial Curriculum Award for the outstanding informal education curriculum in the country. In 1983, he was Alumni-in-Residence at Hebrew Union College in New York. In 1989, he was a United Jewish Appeal National Rabbinic Award Winner. In 1991, the professional title of Reform Jewish Educator was conferred on him by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. In March of 1996, he was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion for serving the spiritual and intellectual needs of the Jewish community for 25 years. Rabbi Birnholz was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the Central Conference of American Rabbis from 1996-1998.

He has been published in numerous magazines and lectures extensively on “Jewish Assertiveness Training. ” He is currently listed in ‘Who’s Who in Religion.”