Contact Rabbi Joshua Hammerman:
(203) 322-6901 x 307 - office telephone
Substack column: On One Foot: A Rabbi's Journal - A Mensch's Guide to Life
Joshua Hammerman, a celebrated rabbi and award-winning journalist, author and blogger, has served Temple Beth El in Stamford, Connecticut, for over three decades.
As Temple Beth El’s spiritual leader, he 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.
Rabbi Hammerman 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.
His most recent book, Embracing Auschwitz: Forging a Vibrant, Life-Affirming Judaism that Takes the Holocaust Seriously, has been hailed as “ by far the most original book on (the Holocaust) that has come along in a great many years.” See the press release from the Religion News Service. Author Peter Beinart calls it, “A powerful meditation on what Judaism could be in this time,” and Senator Richard Blumenthal adds, “With immense insight and unstinting honesty, this work looks hard at the Holocaust’s enduring meaning for Jewish identity and the world.” And Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg, the dean of post-Holocaust theologians, calls it "an important book and should be read by every Jew who cares about Judaism."
See other reviews and endorsements, along with a discussion guide, and an excerpt in the NY Jewish Week.
His prior book, Mensch-Marks: Life Lessons of a Human Rabbi - Wisdom for Untethered Times, was published by HCI books in 2019. See the discussion guide and an overview of the book. Among the glowing reviews and endorsements, Daniel Gordis, author of ISRAEL: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn wrote, “In this age, when leadership and morality often seem to have nothing in common, Rabbi Joshua Hammerman offers us a window into a deeply-lived life. From a genuine mensch, we learn what it is to live a life measured by moral growth and devotion to people and causes beyond us. Reading Mensch•Marks is bound to leave us all determined to live better lives and be better people.”
Rabbi Hammerman won, in 2019, first prize for excellence in commentary from the Religion News Association. He was also winner of the Simon Rockower award, the highest honor in Jewish journalism, for his 2008 columns on the Bernard Madoff case, which appeared first on his blog and then were discussed widely in the media. In 2018, he received an additional award from the Religion News Association for excellence in commentary, for articles written for the Washington Post, New York Jewish Week, and JTA.