2024 Ordination & Conference Registration

Join the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism for a special day of learning to celebrate the ordination of new Secular Humanistic Rabbis and the graduation of new Leaders and Life Cycle Officiants!

This wonderful Shabbat of programs will be held at the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Metro Detroit, in conjunction with the annual board meeting of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. If you’d like to attend in person, there are multiple hotel options 1.3 miles from CHJ, a 30 minute walk on level sidewalks for those so inclined. Or you are welcome to watch the events remotely – see below for details.


Friday, May 3 at 7pm EDT – Program Graduation and Rabbinic Ordination Shabbat

Congratulations to the graduates and ordainees from our Officiant, Leader, and Rabbinic Programs! 

Remote viewing: visit the CHJ YouTube Channel  and click on the link for the live stream you will find there.


Saturday, May 4 starting at 9am EDT – Arguing Jewishly: Dispute, Debate, Dialogue

 9:00am-9:50am – Secular Humanistic Torah Study. Featuring Rabbi Jeffrey Falick (CHJ-Detroit) and Rabbi Sivan Maas (Tmura-IISHJ). Their discussion will focus on the Torah portion “Achrei Mot” (Leviticus 16:1–18:30).


10:00am-10:50am – Arguing Jewishly I: From Kvetch (complaint) to Community. Featuring Rabbi Adam Chalom (IISHJ/Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation), Rabbi Susan Averbach, Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld (Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community), Rabbi Denise Handlarski (Secular Synagogue).

Over the centuries, Jewish civilization found ways to domesticate disputes, accepting multiple interpretations and diverging opinions. To be sure, there were heretics and schisms, but the joke “two Jews, three opinions” is rooted in real experience and core values. How can this tradition of debate provide models we can use to deal with differences today?


11:00am-11:50am – Arguing Jewishly II: The Power of Words. Featuring Rabbi Adam Chalom, Rabbi Denise Handlarski, Rabbi Sivan Maas.

Jewish culture has often emphasized the power of words, from Genesis creation accomplished by “let there be,” to replacing animal sacrifice with fixed recitation, to the idolization (and even idolatry) of a book of books. Today, we argue ever more fiercely over the meaning of words: “free speech” “Zionishm” “justice” “antisemitism” “democracy” are just some of the battlefields. Can our Jewish past teach our present how to constructively disagree?


Remote viewingclick here or on the button below to register for the Zoom Webinar where you will be able to see and hear the learning sessions, though your screen will not be seen. 

Rabbi Adam Chalom
Dean – North America, IISHJ

Rabbi Adam Chalom is the Dean for North America of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and Rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation in suburban Chicago.

Rabbi Denise Handlarski
Rabbi, SecularSynagogue.com

Rabbi Denise Handlarski is the founder and rabbi of SecularSynagogue.com, an online congregation. She is also Professor of Education at Trent University in Peterboro, Ontario, Canada.


Rabbi Sivan Maas
Dean, Tmura-IISHJ

Rabbi Sivan Maas was the first Israeli Humanistic rabbi ordained by the IISHJ. She is Dean of Tmura-IISHJ in Jerusalem.


Rabbi Jodi Kornfeld
Rabbi, Beth Chaverim Humanistic Jewish Community


Rabbi Jeffrey Falick
Rabbi, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Metro Detroit

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick is Rabbi of the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Metropolitan Detroit.


Rabbi Susan Averbach

Rabbi Susan Averbach was ordained by the IISHJ in 2014 and serves the San Francisco Bay Area.