Episode 154 – Rabbi Marvin Hier

The incomparable Rabbi Marvin Hier continues his fight against antisemitism
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Jun. 05, 2023

Rabbi Marvin Hier is one of the most famous and influential religious leaders in the world.

Almost half a century ago, he founded Los Angeles’ iconic Simon Wiesenthal Center with the mission to confront antisemitism and combat hate across the world.

Later, he founded the Museum of Tolerance in order to educate people on the atrocities of the Holocaust so that nothing like it would happen again.

With the rise in antisemitism and hate in America, Hier feels now more than ever the need to spread his message of acceptance.

“It’s very important for the religions of the world to unify, not to believe the same way,” he said. “But what we have to do is treat each other with respect and kindness.”

In the latest episode of “LA Stories” with Giselle Fernandez, Hier shares stories from the early days of creating the center.

After putting an ad in the paper about the building, he got a call from one of his idols: Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra helped Hier raise enough money to build the Simon Wiesenthal Center and then continued to open doors for him, especially in the entertainment world.

Hier met with presidents, world leaders, six of the Popes — and even produced two Oscar-winning documentaries, making him the only rabbi to win an Academy Award.

Hier said everything he’s done has been to eradicate hate from the world.

“All of us have parents, we have grandparents, we come from somewhere,” he said. “All of them are counting on us, that we continue to live on a planet based on dignity, respect and humankind. If we do that, we’ll be around for a long time on the planet Earth.”

Now, Hier is preparing to step down from his post as CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He said he’s proud of the work he’s done and plans to continue his fight against antisemitism as founder and Dean Emeritus.

“I’m grateful to God,” he said. “He gave me the opportunity to do this, and I’m sure that we have to continue it by bringing in younger generations that will continue the work.”

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