Leah Hochman, Ph.D.

Director, Louchheim School of Judaic Studies; Associate Professor of Jewish Thought

Contact Information

school/program: Louchheim School for Judaic Studies, Rabbinical School (US), School of Education, Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management
academic field: Contemporary Jewish Studies, History, Jewish Language and Literature, Philosophy/Theology
campus: Los Angeles

Dr. Leah Hochman directs the Louchheim School for Judaic studies at the University of Southern California and serves as associate professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Los Angeles.

Raised in the Seattle area, she earned her undergraduate degree at Pitzer College and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in religion and literature from Boston University. Her dissertation explores Moses Mendelssohn’s theories of religion and language. Dr. Hochman spent a year in Berlin as a post-doctoral fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum and, pre-pandemic, returned to Germany regularly to research and lead 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 Boston University. 

At HUC-JIR, she teaches classes in medieval and modern philosophy, American Judaism, modern history, and food ethics. At USC, she teaches classes on contemporary Jewish literature, Jewish identity, and the academic study of Judaism.

She is the author of The Ugliness of Moses Mendelssohn: Aesthetics, Religion and Morality in the Eighteenth Century (Routledge, 2014) and the editor of Tastes of Faith: Jewish Eating in the United States (Purdue University Press, 2017). 

Making the Jews Ugly & Beautiful: Jewish Faces and Modern Europe

Picturing God: Graphic Novels and the Divine

Pow! Ka-Blam! Hai-Ja! Comics, Graphic Novels and Jewish Superheroes for the 21st Century

American Anti-Semitism: From Gentleman’s Agreement to the Alt-Right

Scripture and Script: The Afterlife of the Bible in TV, Movies and Music

Ethics, Ethical Matrices, and Making (Jewish) Decisions

What Modern Jews Think (and Thought): Changing and Challenging Judaism

Add Women and Stir: Feminism, Women, Men and Judaism

Telling Our Stories: Jewish Auto/Biographies

Let’s Eat Already! Judaism and Food

Eating Jewish in America: Taking Out Chinese and Eating Kosher In

Maxwell House, Manischewitz, and Moses: The American Haggadah

Jewish Sports: Who’s First on Whose All Star List?

Televising Judaism: The Changing Face of American Jewish Icons

Jews in Germany? German-Jews and their/our Judaism

Modern Jewish Thought

Medieval Jewish Thought

Jewish Historical Experience

History and Evolution of the American Jewish Community

Tilling, Tending, Eating: Ethics, Food, and Judaism

Identity and Gender in Global Jewish Literature

M.A. and Ph.D., Boston University

B.A., Pitzer College

NEH Summer Fellow (Boston College; Edinburgh, Scotland)

Skirball Fellow (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Oxford University)

Dubnow-Einstein Fellow (Leipzig/Potsdam)

DAAD Annual Grant Recipient (Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum/University of Potsdam)

Leo Baeck Institute/DAAD Fellow (NYC)