Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), has announced the appointment of Dr. Leah Hochman as the incoming director of the Jerome H. Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles as of July 1, 2010. Dr. Hochman is Assistant Professor of Jewish Thought at HUC-JIR/Los Angeles and succeeds Dr. Joshua Holo, who will become Dean of the LA campus. Dr. Hochman's areas of specialization include religion and literature, medieval and modern Jewish thought, modern and contemporary Judaisms, ethics and identity, German-Jewish studies, Judaism in the U.S and the Americas, and food and religion.
In announcing her appointment, Rabbi David Ellenson stated, "The scope of Dr. Leah Hochman's expertise will provide scholarly depth and breadth to her leadership of the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies. As its Director, she will oversee HUC-JIR's broad range of courses that engage the participation of over 600 undergraduate students at the University of Southern California each year. We look forward to her role in strengthening our unique relationship with USC."
Dr. Hochman did her undergraduate work at Pitzer College in Claremont and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in religion and literature from Boston University (BU), where she wrote her dissertation on Moses Mendelssohn’s theories of religion and language. She spent a year in Berlin as a post-doctoral fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum and has continued to return to Germany regularly to research and lead study abroad classes. Before coming to HUC-JIR/Los Angeles in 2008, she was Assistant Professor of Religion and Jewish Studies at the University of Florida and taught in the Great Books program at BU.
“Professor Hochman brings a set of skills uniquely suited to the directorship of the Louchheim School. A scholar of German-Jewish thought, Dr. Hochman also has wide experience in undergraduate teaching and programming. In addition, she is at home with the new media that is at the cutting edge of undergraduate education” said Dr. Holo.