Winner of the Rockower Award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism, this blog contains random musings of a journalist, father, husband, son, friend, poodle-owner, Red Sox fan and occasionally-ranting rabbi, taken from Shabbat-O-Grams, columns, speeches, letters, sermons and thin air. "On One Foot," the column, appears regularly in the New York Jewish Week, as well as a blog for the "Times of Israel."
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
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.