Louis A. Hirsch
Louis Allen Hirsch served one brief term as President of Keneseth Israel, from 1939 to 1941. During these years, the Keneseth Israel Board created a “Junior Congregation” for people in their 20’s and 30’s who could not afford full membership. Members of the Junior Congregation were allowed some, but not all, of the privileges of membership. As the general congregation continued to grow, another branch Sunday School was established at Church and Cadwalader Roads in Elkins Park in 1941. As synagogue activities expanded, the leadership determined that a second assistant rabbi was necessary. Hirsch oversaw the hiring of two new assistant rabbis – Rabbi Joseph Klein in 1940 and Rabbi Malcolm Stern.
Louis Hirsch was born on October 6, 1888 in Philadelphia. He worked as a uniform manufacturer, running a firm called Hirsch-Tyler Co. at 10th and Berk Streets. Hirsch was also the founder and first president of the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers. Throughout his life he was active in civic and charitable work. He was at various times director of the Federation of Jewish Charities and of the Allied Jewish Appeal. He was a former vice president and director of the Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture (the National Farm School) as well. In addition, he served as president of the Cheltenham Civil Service Commission, as a Cheltenham Township commissioner, as a member of the State Republican Finance Committee, and as a delegate to several presidential conventions. Hirsch was an active golf player and was a president of the Ashbourne and Philmont Country Clubs. He and his wife, Helene S. Hirsch, born Sundheim, had two children – Louis A. Jr., and Betty H. Schwabe – and four grandchildren. At the end of his life, Hirsch lived in the Touraine Apartments at 1520 Spruce Street in Philadelphia. He died on October 31, 1968 and is buried at Mount Sinai Cemetery.