Upon the death of the National Farm School’s beloved founder Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf in 1923, there was a special meeting of the school’s board of directors at which Vice President Harry B. Hirsch was unanimously nominated to succeed Krauskopf as president.
Hirsch declined the nomination, insisting that the school’s leader should be someone who had time to devote exclusively to the job. With that, Hirsch took on the role of president in a temporary capacity while the leadership conducted a national search to fill such big shoes.
In his message to the assemblage at the 1924 Harvest Pilgrimage, Hirsch described the June Founder’s Day celebration at which the cornerstone was laid for the Krauskopf Memorial Library as a “tribute of our love and esteem for the sainted founder of this institution.” And he outlined his efforts to hold down the fort after Krauskopf’s passing, which included completion of Ulman Hall, expansion of the school’s farming operations and additional fund-raising.
Later in the address, Hirsch updated the Farm School community on the search for a new president, saying, “As one who loves this school and this cause like unto his own flesh and blood, I urge most strongly that just now when the work is ripe for a rich harvest, a man be selected, able and willing to dedicate himself solely to the school. I pledge to him the same loyalty and help that has so generously been given to me by my associates.”
The following year, Herbert D. Allman was appointed president and went on to lead the school for 14 years.
Hirsch passed away on July 16, 1944.