Alumni & Certified Leaders

Graduates of the IISHJ are working hard to create meaningful cultural Jewish experiences for individuals and communities across North America, and beyond. You can read about them here, on their own sites, or through their professional associations, the Association of Humanistic Rabbis and the Leadership Conference of Secular and Humanistic Jews.

Rabbis in Secular & Humanistic Judaism

Susan Averbach

Susan Averbach

Ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2014, Rabbi Averbach also holds a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Gratz College in Philadelphia. She is an artist, public speaker, and writer. Rabbi Averbach can be reached at averbac1@aol.com or 415-699-7039 and invites you to visit her website: http://rabbijubu.com.

Binyamin Biber

Binyamin Biber

Served as Rabbi of Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism in Washington D.C. Ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2001, Rabbi Biber also has a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and many years of experience as a teacher, counselor and community organizer.  Rabbi Biber is currently the Humanist Chaplain at American University can be reached at rav.bibi@gmail.com or (301) 437-7745

Adam Chalom

Adam Chalom

Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in Highland Park, Illinois, and Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ). Ordained by the IISHJ in 2001, Rabbi Chalom also holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan. He is the author of a three-volume, 50-session adult education curriculum, Introduction to Secular Humanistic Judaism.  Rabbi Chalom can be reached at dean@iishj.org or (847) 602-4500.

Greg Epstein

Greg Epstein

Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2005, Rabbi Epstein also holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Good Without God: What a Billion Non-Religious People Do Believe, and co-author of the forthcoming The Godless Congregation. Rabbi Epstein is also the Executive Director of the Humanist Hub, a center for Humanist life in Harvard Square. He can be reached through the Humanist Hub at info@harvardhumanist.org.

Eva Goldfinger

Eva Goldfinger

Rabbi at Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Toronto. Ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2005, Rabbi Goldfinger also holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College, Boston, and is a practicing psychotherapist. She is the author of Basic Ideas of Secular Humanistic Judaism and the director of the Canadian Division of the IISHJ.  Rabbi Goldfinger can be reached at evagoldfinger@rogers.com or (416) 494-7450.

Denise Handlarski

Denise Handlarski

Rabbi of the Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Toronto, Canada. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2013. Rabbi Handlarski holds a Masters of Jewish Studies and a Ph.D. in English literature from York University. She is the author of a weekly blog featuring a commentary on the weekly Torah readings. Rabbi Denise can be reached at rabbidenise@oraynu.org or (416) 854-0133.

Miriam Jerris

Miriam Jerris

Rabbi of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and the Associate Professor of Professional Development of the IISHJ. Ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2001, Rabbi Jerris also holds Master's Degrees in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan and in Humanistic and Clinical Psychology from the Center for Humanistic Studies, and a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from the Union Institute. Rabbi Jerris is the Owner-Director of the Wedding Connection, www.theweddingconnection.net and can be reached at info@theweddingconnection.net or (248) 543-7396.

Edward J. Klein

Edward J. Klein

By profession, Rabbi Klein has been a lawyer, a Certified Public Accountant, and a trained classical musician in the Amore Opera Company in Manhattan. In addition to rabbinic ordination from the IISHJ in 2014, he holds a Master's Degree in Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College/City University of New York. He is one of the founders of the Queens Community for Cultural Judaism and is the Rabbi of the QCCJ and the Long Island Havurah for Humanistic Judaism. Rabbi Klein may be reached at madrikh@peoplepc.com or (718)-380-5362.

Jodi Kornfeld

Jodi Kornfeld

Founder and Rabbi of Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community in Deerfield, Illinois. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2009, Rabbi Kornfeld holds an M.A. and a Doctoral Degree in Jewish Studies from Spertus College in Chicago. She also holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Rabbi Kornfeld can be reached at rabbijodi@gmail.com or (847) 945-6512.

Karen Levy

Karen Levy

Rabbi of Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Toronto. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2009, Rabbi Levy holds an MA in Jewish Studies from York University. She is also the editor of The Early Modern European Roots of Secular Humanistic Judaism.  Rabbi Levy can be reached at klevy@rogers.com or (905) 731-7066.

Sivan Maas

Sivan Maas

Dean for Israel of the IISHJ. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2003, Rabbi Maas directs "Tmura-IISHJ," training secular Rabbis in Israel. She also is a graduate of the Kerem Teacher Training Institute for Humanist Jewish Education and holds an MA from the Schechter College of Jerusalem of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rabbi Maas is also the director of "The Secular Library."  Rabbi Maas can be reached at rsivanmaas@gmail.com or in Israel at (052) 336-6541.

Judith Seid

Judith Seid

Founder and leader of Tri-Valley Cultural Jews in Northern California. Ordained by the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism in 2003, Rabbi Seid also holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Communal Studies from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and is the author of God-Optional Judaism: Alternatives for Cultural Jews Who Love Their History, Heritage and Community and We Rejoice in our Heritage: Home Rituals for Secular and Humanistic Jews,and the creative editor of Kumzits! A Festivity of Instant Jewish Songs. Rabbi Seid directs www.secularjewishweddings.com and can be reached at Rabbi@secularjewishweddings.com or (925) 485-1049.   


Certified Leaders /Madrikhim/Madrikhot/Vegvayzers

IISHJ does not endorse titles granted by other institutions. This list represents those currently certified by the IISHJ.

Educators, Spokespeople and Cantors / Musicians