Rabbi Peter Hyman receives world’s highest Scouting award
By ALAN SMASON, Exclusive to the CCJN
Rabbi Peter Hyman, a highly-regarded American Jewish Scouting leader, was announced as the sole recipient for the Bronze Wolf Award, the highest Scouting award in the world and the only award given by the World Scout Committee on Tuesday, March 30. It acknowledges the significant work of an individual to the World Scout movement.
Rabbi Hyman became the 377th individual to who have received this award since it was first established in 1935. The founder of the Scouting movement, Lord Robert Smyth Baden-Powell, was the first recipient, but the award is only given out sporadically. Hyman is the first rabbi to have been so honored and is but one of a handful of Jewish recipients worldwide.
The rabbi was selected to receive the award for his previous work encouraging interfaith dialog as the first chairman of the Messengers of Peace sponsored by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Incredibly, he was invited as the first rabbi to visit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he spoke at the invitation of King Abdullah on Scouting’s values before a group of worldwide Scouting sponsors.
He served as the Head Chaplain at three World Jamborees in Thailand, Japan and the most recent one held in 2019 at the Brechtel Family Summit Reserve in West Virginia, jointly sponsored by the United States, Canada and Mexico. An exclusive story on the rabbi ran in the CCJN at that time.
Rabbi Hyman, a former National Chairman and longtime National Chaplain for the National Jewish Committee on Scouting associated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been named a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He has also served as the Head Chaplain for four previous National Jamborees.
Contacted by the CCJN to speak on this award and his family connection to Scouting, he said he was both “speechless and stunned.”
He said his career began before he was even a Cub Scout. “My father was a Scoutmaster (and) I was at Boy Scout camp way before I was old enough to be a Scout because he used to take me with him,” he explained. The family connection continued after his own Scouting career ended. “I take great pride in the fact that both of my boys are Eagle Scouts,” the rabbi boasted.
Rabbi Hyman said he is grateful for what Scouting has allowed him to do and for the ability to share its values with others around the world, regardless of race, creed or religion. “It’s allowed me in many ways to give back to this foundational movement,” he said. “It speaks to the value, the vision, the mission and the power of Scouting.”
Presently, he is the spiritual leader of Temple B’nai Israel in Easton, Maryland. Previously he served as the rabbi at synagogues in Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Rabbi Hyman graduated from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and was ordained a rabbi in 1980. He has received the three highest Scouting awards on a local, regional and national basis, the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo Awards. Additionally, he was one of the first two recipients of the Duty to God Award initially presented by the BSA in 2016.
Rabbi Hyman is the first Jewish recipient of the Bronze Wolf Award since Alain Siberstein of France, the executive secretary of the International Forum of Jewish Scouts, who received his award in 2016. .