Internationally Known Religious Leader and Worcester Native To Discuss American Judaism

Renowned religious leader, Rabbi Eric Yoffie will return to his native Worcester to present a lecture on American Judaism at the College of the Holy Cross on Monday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library. His lecture, titled “Understanding American Jews: demographically complicated, religiously diverse, stronger than ever, and still at risk,” is free and open to the public.

As a worldwide influential writer and lecturer, Rabbi Yoffie speaks to both religious and general audiences on Israel and the Middle East, interfaith relations, social justice, religious and political leadership, American religious life and American Jewish life. He is president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism, representing 1.5 million Reform Jews in the United States and Canada, after completing a 16-year term as president. Currently, he writes regularly for The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, and is often quoted in the general and Jewish press.

Rabbi Yoffie has been a pioneer in interfaith relations and launched movement-wide dialogue programs with both Christians and Muslims. He was the first Jew to address the Church-wide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the first rabbi to address the students and faculty of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, and the first major Jewish leader to speak at the convention of the Islamic Society of North America.

Rabbi Yoffie was raised in Worcester, where his family belonged to Temple Emanuel Sinai. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and was ordained at Hebrew Union College in New York in 1974.

The lecture is sponsored by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at Holy Cross, as well as the Worcester Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, and Temple Emanuel Sinai.

Learn more and watch lectures online at

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture:

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope.  The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world.