News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Rabbi George Hirschfeld

When Baby, Rabbi’s Family Fled Hungary’s Repression

When Baby, Rabbi’s Family

Fled Hungary’s Repression

George Hirschfeld Joins Temple Beth El

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Rabbi George Hirschfeld’s path to Otsego County was hardly a direct one.

Rabbi Hirschfield

The new spiritual leader of Temple Beth El, which serves both Oneonta and Cooperstown, was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949, the same year the Soviet Union installed a Communist regime there.

Hirschfeld’s parents, who survived the Holocaust but lost nearly all of their family members in it, tried to leave for Israel, but they were caught at the border.  Hirschfeld’s father was put in jail for five months and his mother for two. Hirschfeld, an infant, was in the cell with her.

“I was a jailbird,” he joked.

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