About Me

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

As Temple Beth El’s spiritual leader since 1992, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman has focused his efforts on creating an oasis of warmth, love and mutual respect, befitting the role of a modern congregation in an increasingly complex world.  At the same time, he strives to challenge congregants — and himself — to reach ever higher in setting spiritual and ethical objectives, and to delve more deeply into the rich vein of Jewish inspiration and wisdom available to us.  He has been a champion of inclusiveness and innovation in synagogue life, implementing programs like Synaplex and Shabbat Unplugged while embracing people of all backgrounds and faiths.

During his time at Temple Beth El, Rabbi Hammerman has been president of the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut and the Stamford Board of Rabbis, a chaplain for the Stamford Police, and a member of the pastoral advisory committee of Stamford Health Systems.  He also has served on the Rabbinic Leadership Council, a select group of rabbis chosen by Chancellor Arnold Eisen of the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and he has been a member of the faculty of CLAL, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.  In addition, he has been heavily involved in many Jewish think tanks, including JESNA’s Jewish Education 3.0 project, STAR-Tech and Synaplex.

His articles have appeared widely (see many of them on his blog, at http://joshuahammerman.blogspot.com/), and his column, “On One Foot,” has appeared regularly in The New York Jewish Week since 1995. He also is a regular blogger for the Times of Israel and writes frequently for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and the Religion News Service (RNS).  

Among his many published personal essays are several written for the New York Times Magazine and Washington Post.  He has been featured as About.com's Conservative representative in its "Ask the Rabbi" series and as "The Jewish Ethicist," fielding questions on the New York Jewish Week's website.

Rabbi Hammerman was a winner of the Simon Rockower award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism, for his columns on the Bernard Madoff case, which appeared first on his blog and then were discussed widely in the media.  In 2018, he is a finalist for a 2018 Religious News Service award for commentary in religion reporting.

He is the author of thelordismyshepherd.com: Seeking God in Cyberspace and contributor to the children’s book, I Have Some Questions About God, and the collections Text Messages: A Torah Commentary for Teens, and Peace in Our Cities: Rabbis Against Gun Violence.

His latest book, Mensch Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi, will be published by HCI books in early 2019. 

Rabbi Hammerman was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1983 after receiving a master’s degree in journalism from N.Y.U. and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University, where he twice won the university’s prestigious Bishop McVickar Prize in Religious Studies.  He came to Temple Beth El as its assistant rabbi in 1987.  In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from JTS for his years of service to the Jewish people.

Rabbi Hammerman is an avid fan of the Red Sox, Patriots and all things Boston; he also loves a good, Israeli hummus. He is an active alum of Brown University, often conducting alumni interviews of prospective students.  He lives in Stamford with his wife, Dr. Mara Hammerman, a psychologist.  They have two grown children, Ethan and Daniel, along with Chloe, a standard poodle.

Contact Rabbi Hammerman:
(203) 322-6901 x 307