Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D.

On Our Own: American Jewish Liberalism and Antisemitism

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On Our Own: American Jewish Liberalism and Antisemitism

Like Éponine’s sad song “On My Own” in Les Mis, many American Jewish liberals are feeling the pain of unrequited love with numerous progressive allies in the wake of October 7. The failure of major women’s organizations to condemn the massive sexual violence on the Gaza border as well as the widespread sanitization of Hamas as a legitimate national liberation movement have been crushing for Jewish progressives. Even more fundamentally, questions about the place of Jews and Judaism in progressive curricula have become more urgent. Rabbi Sussman will explore these and other issues as well as the future of American Jewish liberalism in his Wisdom Without Walls talk.

Rabbi Sussman, Ph.D., has the distinction of being both a rabbi and a scholar.  A specialist in American Jewish History, Sussman is the author of a number of books in his field, including the seminal biography Isaac Leeser and the Making of American Judaism (1995). Along  with Jonathan D. Sarna and Paula S. Nadel,  he served as an editor of New Essays in American Jewish History (2010). A prolific writer, Sussman has published significant articles on a variety of topics including modern Jewish life and Jewish art.  Most recently, he published Portrait of an American Rabbi: In His Own Words (2023), a collection of his sermons and writings from the last twenty-one years.


In addition to his pulpit work, Sussman has taught at Princeton University, Binghamton (SUNY) University, and Hunter College, among others, and he has also served as Chair of the Board of Governors of Gratz College. A popular speaker, Sussman has been a scholar-in-residence, given hundreds of community lectures, and participated in the creation of a number of television documentaries.

Sussman currently serves as the Memoirs Section Editor of the Southern Jewish Historical Society’s Journal and is working on a book on Jews, law, and the American Revolution.

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