Alumni

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 IISHJ 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 at http://rabbijubu.com.

Binyamin Biber

Binyamin Biber

Ordained by IISHJ in 2001, Rabbi Biber also holds a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan and has many years of experience as a teacher, counselor, and community organizer.  He previously served as Rabbi of Machar: The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism in Washington D.C.  Rabbi Biber is currently the humanist chaplain at American University, and 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, Ill., and dean for North America of IISHJ. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2001, Rabbi Chalom also holds a doctorate 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 book The Godless Congregation. Rabbi Epstein is also executive director of the Humanist Hub, a center for Humanist life in Harvard Square. He can be reached at info@harvardhumanist.org.

Eva Goldfinger

Eva Goldfinger

Rabbi at Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, Toronto. Ordained by IISHJ in 2005, Rabbi Goldfinger also holds a master's degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College in Boston, and is a practicing psychotherapist and counselor. 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 evagoldfinger007@gmail.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 also holds a master’s degree in Jewish Studies and a doctorate in English Literature from York University. She writes a weekly blog commentary on the weekly Torah readings. Rabbi Handlarski can be reached at rabbidenise@oraynu.org or (416) 854-0133.

Miriam Jerris

Miriam Jerris

Rabbi of the Society for Humanistic Judaism and associate professor of professional development of the IISHJ. Ordained by IISHJ in 2001, Rabbi Jerris also holds master's degrees in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, and Humanistic and Clinical Psychology from the Center for Humanistic Studies. She earned a doctorate 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 from Brooklyn College/City University of New York. He is one of the founders, and now a rabbi of the Queens Community for Cultural Judaism, as well as rabbi for the Long Island Havurah for Humanistic Judaism. Rabbi Klein can 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, Ill. Ordained by the IISHJ in 2009, Rabbi Kornfeld holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in Jewish Studies from Spertus College in Chicago. She also holds a juris doctorate 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 also holds a master’s degree in Jewish Studies from York University. She was 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, a program training secular rabbis in Israel. She is a graduate of the Kerem Teacher Training Institute for Humanist Jewish Education and holds a master’s degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Schechter College of Jerusalem. 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 rabbi of Tri-Valley Cultural Jews in Northern California. Ordained by IISHJ in 2003, Rabbi Seid also holds a master's degree in Jewish Communal Studies from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She 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. She is 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.

Joysa Winter

A writer, editor, and rabbi, Joysa Winter is a 5th-generation native of Colorado. Now living in Philadelphia, she earned rabbinic ordination by IISHJ in 2017, a master’s degree in Jewish Studies by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. She is the author of Living Jewish Values: Be Your Best Self by Behrman House, as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She was a proofreader for The Torah: A Women’s Commentary by URJ Press, and has edited over a dozen books for the medical profession. Rabbi Winter can be reached at joysa.winter@gmail.com.


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

  • Deborah Davis
  • Ettie Handelman
  • Marjorie Hilton
  • Sharon Kobrinsky
  • Leila Lustig
  • Dan Tobocman