Rabbi Marvin Hier - Founder & Dean

Founder & Dean
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Museum of Tolerance

In 1977, Rabbi Marvin Hier founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named in honor of famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. Under his leadership, the Center and its Museum of Tolerance have become one of the foremost Jewish human rights agencies in the world, with a constituency of more than 400,000 families and offices throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Israel and Argentina.

The Los Angeles Times Magazine wrote that Rabbi Hier had made the Wiesenthal Center, “the most visible Jewish organization in the world,” and he has twice been named Newsweek magazine’s “Most Influential Rabbi in America.”

Under his leadership, the Museum of Tolerance opened in February 1993 to worldwide acclaim. The Museum, which challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism and to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts, hosts over a half million visitors a year, including 110,000 students. The Center is now building a $250 million Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, located off Independence Park in the heart of Jerusalem, which is scheduled to open 2018.

Rabbi Hier is the only rabbi who is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and he is the recipient of two Academy Awards® for Genocide and The Long Way Home. The Center’s film division, Moriah Films has produced fifteen documentaries, which have been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world. Moriah is now in production on its sixteenth documentary – the life story of former Israeli President, Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Laureate, Shimon Peres, to be followed in 2018 by a film on the life story of Israel’s founding Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion.

Noted for his powerful oratory, his views on the issues of the day are regularly sought by the international media. He meets regularly with world leaders to discuss the Center’s agenda. In January 2017, he became the first orthodox rabbi in American history to give a prayer at a presidential inauguration. And in May 2017, he became the first non-Israeli to light a torch for Israel Independence Day and the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. He is also the recipient of two honorary degrees, one of them from Yeshiva University in 2004.