About the Speaker - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman For 49 years as a rabbi, 45 of them on the HUC-JIR faculty, Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman has pursued the spiritual renewal of North American Jewry through excellence in teaching, compassionate concern, honest inquiry, and expansiveness of thought. 

He has written or edited 45 books, and is best known for:

  • redefining Jewish liturgy to include ritual and worship; 
  • training generations of rabbis and cantors to produce a worship revolution;
  • emphasizing the transformative role of the arts and of “big ideas”;
  • co-founding Synagogue 2000 to transform synagogues as spiritual and moral centers for the 21st century; and
  • founding and directing the Tisch Fellowship Program to transform the synagogue future.

For all of this, he has received two honorary doctorates, two National Jewish Book Council awards, the Abraham Geiger Medal, and the Berakhah Award for lifetime achievement, given by the North American Academy of Liturgy, the academic address for Christian and Jewish Liturgists on this continent. 

His public speaking and consulting have instructed him in Jewish life generally, especially in the Reform Movement, his spiritual home. His next two books redefine the nature of Judaism in our time, offering a new “theology of conversation.” More important than knowledge, he says, is kindness, which he attempts to practice always. 

Larry is married to Gayle Hoover, and is the father of three grown children, including Dr. Joel Hoffman who writes and lectures, as his father has. 

He expresses gratitude beyond measure for his years at the College-Institute, and to God for life’s continued blessings.