Atlanta is chock full of interesting movers and shakers. Lean in to hear some off-the-cuff remarks as to what makes Rabbi Hirshy Minkowicz tick.
Minkowicz was born and raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. His first time on an airplane was at the age of 18, and he spent the next many years traveling to make up for lost time. In 1998 he finally settled down in Alpharetta, where he founded Chabad of North Fulton to serve the growing Jewish population in the northern suburbs. The Chabad now attracts hundreds of Jewish families from all walks of life to their wide array of community educational offerings, including what is believed the only Jewish camp in North Fulton, a vibrant adult education program, synagogue, day care, and a robust youth and teen program.
Take a roller coaster ride with Rabbi Hirshy.
Jaffe: Best advice my father gave me?
Minkowicz: Kuk un shveig, which in Yiddish means “look, yet remain silent.” It is my father’s way of teaching me that in communal work, there are times when it’s better not to react, especially in a moment of heightened emotions. This has helped me tremendously in my line of work, which includes interacting with many types of people.
Jaffe: The hardest thing about being a rabbi is …
Minkowicz: The constant worry that you might not be providing the people everything they need from you.
Jaffe: My kids say I’m too …
Minkowicz: Entrenched in my youth.
Jaffe: With which historical figure do you most identify?
Minkowicz: One of my most meaningful moments in the last 10 years was praying in the Baal Shem Tov’s synagogue in Ukraine in 2014. I identify with everything he stood for and hope we are carrying on his legacy, even in the smallest of ways.
Jaffe: One thing people don’t know about me is…
Minkowicz: I used to love roller coasters.
Jaffe: Compared to Brooklyn, North Fulton is …
Minkowicz: Materially, a paradise. Spiritually, a slowly transforming galut (exile).
Jaffe: I think I am part comedian because …
Minkowicz: People seem to remember the jokes more than any other parts of my speeches.
Jaffe: What are you reading?
Minkowicz:“Can’t Do It Yourself” by Mike Leven.
Jaffe: Outside of work, where does your talent lie?
Minkowicz: Entrepreneurialism, social connections.
Jaffe: My biggest pet peeve is …
Minkowicz: Lights and air conditioner left on in unused rooms.
Jaffe: My comfort foods are …
Minkowicz: Chicken Fire Poppers that my wife and kids have mastered.
Jaffe: How do you spend your day off?
Minkowicz: There are no days off in my world.