Rabbi Hoffman examines why prayer is an art form and how it can transform and transport us.
Dr. Lawrence A. Hoffman was ordained as a rabbi in 1969, received his Ph.D. in 1973, and has taught since then at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, in New York. From 1984 to 1987, he directed its School of Sacred Music as well. In 2003, he was named the first Barbara and Stephen Friedman Professor of Liturgy, Worship and Ritual. He teaches classes in liturgy, ritual, spirituality, theology and synagogue leadership. For almost forty years, he has combined research, teaching, and a passion for the spiritual renewal of North American Judaism.
Rabbi Hoffman has written or edited over forty books, including My People’s Prayer Book (Jewish Lights Publishing), a ten-volume edition of the Siddur with modern commentaries, which was named a National Jewish Book Award winner for 2007. His Rethinking Synagogues: A New Vocabulary for Congregational Life (Jewish Lights Publishing) and his Art of Public Prayer (Skylight Paths) are widely used by churches and synagogues as guides to organizational visioning and liturgical renewal. In 2011, he received a second National Jewish Book Award for co-authoring Sacred Strategies: Transforming Synagogues from Functional to Visionary (Alban Institute).