Sue Neuman Hochberg, a distinguished philanthropist and officer of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) was elected Chair at its meeting in Jerusalem on November 14, 2017 and installed at its meeting in Cincinatti on October 21, 2018.
Rabbi David Ellenson, Ph.D., HUC-JIR Interim President, stated, “A beloved lay leader of our institution for nearly two decades, Sue Neuman Hochberg is devoted to our sacred mission of preparing leaders to ensure the Jewish future. Her commitment is rooted in her children’s rabbinical education at our Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York campuses and their vital roles as builders of Jewish communities and catalysts for Jewish education. Her dedication to sustaining our academic excellence and strengthening our leadership development capacity is a source of guidance and inspiration as we educate the rabbis, cantors, educators, nonprofit executives, and scholars for the Reform Movement and the global Jewish people.”
“It is an honor and joy to work together with the administration, faculty, students, and alumni of the College-Institute to strengthen Jewish life today and for the generations to come,” said Sue Neuman Hochberg. “Reform Judaism’s inclusivity, innovation, and modernity are key to securing the Jewish future. We are the source of the professional leaders who have the creativity to engage all those seeking Jewish spiritual and cultural meaning and the vision to work with others of all faiths and backgrounds to help build a better world.”
A member of the Board since 2009 who previously served as Secretary of the Board, she is the second woman to be its Chair in its 143-year history. Hochberg joined HUC-JIR’s Western Region Board of Overseers in 2000, and served as its Chair.
Hochberg is a leader in the Los Angeles philanthropic community. She has served on the Board of Directors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and their Executive Committee, is past President (1992-1994) of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary, and has held numerous positions with the Jewish Federation in Los Angeles.
In her professional life, Hochberg worked as Comptroller for Demographic Research Company, which created software programs for the direct mail industry. During that time, she served on the National Board of the Direct Mail Industry.
She is married to Larry Hochberg, the founder and developer of Sportmart stores, who also has a long history of involvement in the Jewish philanthropic world.
Sue Hochberg's daughter, Laurie Rice, and Laurie’s husband, Philip Rice, were ordained in 2001 at HUC-JIR in New York. They currently serve as co-Senior Rabbis of Congregation Micah in Nashville, Tennessee. Her son Bobby is in racing management.
Sue and Larry Hochberg divide their time between Chicago and Los Angeles, and are members of Congregation Micah in Nashville, Tennessee, and Temple Akiba, Culver City, California.