Memorial Garden to honor Nathaniel Hoffman | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Memorial Garden to honor Nathaniel Hoffman 

Torah Academy of Milwaukee will honor the memory of a former board president, Nathaniel Hoffman, with a new memorial garden to celebrate his life’s passions: Jewish education and nature.  

Hoffman’s two daughters attended Torah Academy of Milwaukee, and he served on their Board of Directors for more than 20 years. Hoffman cared deeply about Jewish education and paid attention to improving every aspect of Torah Academy of Milwaukee, according to Trudy Farber, administrator at Torah Academy of Milwaukee. That included making educational suggestions, reviewing big picture financials and insurance coverage, and supporting the quality of teachers, she said. 

A hiker and camper, Hoffman found solace in the natural world and had a passion for the outdoors, according to Farber. He would often bring his own hedge clippers to maintain the landscaping around the building, originally installed with the construction of the Torah Academy of Milwaukee building approximately 15 years ago.  

The plan is that his legacy will live on through a new memorial garden, inspired by Hoffman’s infectious enthusiasm for nature’s beauty. The effort will revitalize the school’s existing landscaping,. using as little pesticide and herbicide as possible. The garden will be composed of plants native to Wisconsin. 

The garden will also feature many bird feeders to honor Hoffman’s love of bird watching. He loved to travel the world for bird watching and could also be found admiring the birds right in his Wisconsin backyard. 

An old friend of Hoffman’s, landscape architect Aaron Shamberg, came up with the garden design and donated the funds to obtain the native plants that will be used in the garden. American Landscaping, a Milwaukee-based company, will conduct the professional install.  

Not only will the garden serve to honor Hoffman’s memory, but the hope is also that students at Torah Academy of Milwaukee will utilize the space for outdoor learning and activities.  

“Our girls, as is typical of Wisconsin kids, head outside as fast as they can when the weather is decent,” Farber said. A patio will also be created on the corner of Green Bay Ave and Green Tree Road with tables and chairs in the hopes that students will take their learning outside and admire the garden’s beauty.  

Construction on the garden will begin in May 2024, weather permitting. On June 2 at 2 p.m., community members are invited to inaugurate the Nathaniel Hoffman Legacy Garden. For more information about the event, and about dedication opportunities, call 414-352-6789 or email 

Rendering of what finished product may look like, courtesy of American Landscape/ Torah Academy of Milwaukee.