Communities of Meaning

Communities of Meaning: 

Conversations on Modern Jewish Life Inspired by Rabbi Larry Hoffman 


Coming January 2024


Larry Hoffman has had a singular impact on contemporary Jewish life in North America. He has taught us that Judaism is an unending conversation and as a tribute, 36 leading thinkers have engaged him in dialogue about the big questions in American Jewish life. The resulting book invites us into that conversation and challenges us to think creatively about the ideas and institutions that will shape Jewish life in the twenty-first century.  

This book takes stock of the century of transformation in American Jewish communal life and celebrates the diversity of expressions and ideas that define modern Judaism. It is thus a fitting guide for Jewish communal leaders engaged in organizational transformation and for observers of American religious life more generally. 



Lisa J. Grushcow is the senior rabbi of Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, the sole Reform synagogue in Montreal and Quebec.

Joseph A. Skloot is the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Intellectual History and Associate Director of the Tisch Fellowship Program at Hebrew Union College.



Cantor Jill Abramson is the director of the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC.

Rabbi Carole Balin is a writer and teacher, and chair of the board of the Jewish Women’s Archive and professor emerita of history at Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Tony Bayfield was the head of Reform Judaism in Britain and is also Professor Emeritus of Jewish Theology and Thought at Leo Baeck College.

Rabbi Joshua I. Beraha is an associate rabbi at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Angela Warnick Buchdahl serves as the senior rabbi of Central Synagogue in New York City.

Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson is the senior rabbi of Congregation Emanu-El in New York City.

Rabbi Arnold Eisen is Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Jewish Thought at the Jewish Theological Seminary. 

Rabbi David H. Ellenson is Chancellor Emeritus of Hebrew Union College.

Rabbi Jodie M. Gordon is a rabbi at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  

Cantor Sarah Grabiner is the assistant director of the Year in Israel programme at HUC Jerusalem.

Rabbi Hilly Haber is the director of social justice organizing and education at Central Synagogue in New York City.

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman is a teacher, translator, and author in New York.

Rabbi Delphine Horveilleur is France’s third female rabbi, and leads a progressive congregation in Paris

Rabbi Daniel A. Judson is the Dean of Hebrew College in Newton, MA.

Rabbi Elliot Kukla is an author, visual artist, and activist currently living in Oakland, California.  

Rabbi Noa Rachael Kushner founded The Kitchen, a hands-on international resource that serves thousands of modern families in San Francisco and around the world.

Rabbi Emily Langowitz is the Jewish engagement manager at the URJ and lives in Phoenix.

Prof. Gordon W. Lathrop is the Schieren Professor of Liturgy Emeritus at the United Lutheran Seminary (USA) and a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Liz A. Lerman is a choreographer, writer, educator, and recipient of MacArthur “Genius Grant” and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is currently a professor at Arizona State University.

Rabbi Dalia Marx is professor at HUC in Jerusalem and teaches in various academic institutions in Israel and Europe. She is the tenth generation of her family in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Daniel Medwin is the co-director of innovation and growth at URG 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy. He lives in Georgia.

Rabbi Shira I. Milgrom is the rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, New York.

Rabbi Sonja K. Pilz is the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman, Montana.

Prof. Andrew Rehfeld is the president of Hebrew Union College in New York.

Rabbi Daniel Reiser is the rabbi of Temple Beth Shalom in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

Rabbi Nicole Kauffman Roberts is Senior Rabbi of North Shore Temple Emanuel in Sydney, Australia.

Prof. Jonathan D. Sarna teaches American Jewish History at Brandeis University and is also Chief Historian of the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History. 

Yolanda Savage-Narva is the assistant vice president of Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the URJ.

Rabbi Yael Splansky is the rabbi at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto.

Rabbi Rachel Steiner is the senior rabbi at Barnert Temple in New Jersey.

Rabbi David E. Stern is Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, Texas.

Rabbi Gordon Tucker is Vice Chancellor for Religious Life and Engagement at The Jewish Theological Seminary and a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. 

Dr. Richard S. Vosko is an award-winning liturgical design consultant for Christian and Jewish congregations throughout North America.  

Professor Janet R. Walton is a musician, author, teacher, ritual leader, and professor emerita of worship and the arts at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman is president and CEO of Reconstructing Judaism.  

Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig teaches at HUC in New York City and is the first Jewish President of the Academy of Homiletics.

Rabbi Daniel Zemel is the senior rabbi at Temple Micah in Washington, D.C.


Communities of Meaning will be available on Amazon, Bookshop, and other local booksellers in early 2024.

It will also be available for bulk purchase directly from Behrman House. 

More information coming soon.