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
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 email@example.com or 415-699-7039 and invites you to visit her website at http://rabbijubu.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 437-7745
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 email@example.com or (847) 602-4500.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or (416) 494-7450.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 854-0133.
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 email@example.com or (248) 543-7396.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (718)-380-5362.
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 email@example.com or (847) 945-6512.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (905) 731-7066.
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 email@example.com or in Israel at (052) 336-6541.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Leaders /Madrikhim/Madrikhot/Vegvayzers
IISHJ does not endorse titles granted by other institutions. This list represents those currently certified by the IISHJ.
- Jerald Bain
Toronto, Ontario, Canada - (416) 482-6682
- Michelle Davis
Denver, CO - (720) 284-2231
- Roberta E. Feinstein
Richmond Heights, OH - (216) 481-0850
- Julie E. Gales
Ann Arbor MI - (734) 663-1329
- Dennis P. Geller
Beverly, MA - (617) 529-9483
- Deborah H. Godden
Charlottesville, VA - (434) 248-8288
- Rosalie Gottfried
Laguna Woods, CA - (949) 249-3755
- Hershl Hartman
Los Angeles, CA - (310) 473-4323
- Elaine Kamienny
Stoughton, MA - (781) 341-1810
- Karen Knecht
Orange County, CA - (714) 739-1366
- Barbara Kopitz
West Bloomfield, MI - (248) 661-9778
- Martin L. Kotch
Birmingham, MI/Sarasota FL - (248) 642-6645
- Susan Levine
Seattle, WA - (206) 914-0810
- Janis Levin-Gorelick
Waterford, MI - (248) 752-0666
- Harold Londer
Minneapolis-St Paul, MN - (763) 588-2214
- Sheila Malcolm
Boulder, CO - (303) 499-5933
- Laura Miller
London, England - 0 (208) 800-5120
- Betty Pelletz
Sarasota, FL - (941) 383-1149
- Michael J. Prival
- Mary Raskin
Portland, OR - (503) 490-2429
- Marilyn Rowens
Southfield, MI - (248) 727-2296
- BJ Saul
Boca Raton, FL - (561) 347-0618
- Jeffrey Schesnol
Phoenix, AZ - (336) 215-7762
- Sondra Schwartz
Jamaica Plain, MA - (617) 522-3888
- Rhea Clair Bolasny Seagull
West Orange, NJ - (973) 325-7247
- Jack B. Silver
Tempe, AZ - (480) 491-6484
- Barry A. Swan
Rochester, NY - (585) 461-5137
- Bobbie Varble
Solon, OH - (440) 498-4747
- Mark W. Weber
Solon, OH - (440) 519-0220
- Lisa Wright
Boutiliers Point, NS, Canada - (902) 820-2292
- Beverly L. Zarnow
Escondido, CA - (760) 480-6848