Rabbi HelfmanI am officially the ‘Assistant Rabbi’ here at Holy Blossom Temple.  I help coordinate and run programs for brand-new individuals (babies) up to our 20s and 30s group, and then again for parents of these individuals who come into the building for our Parent Education Programs.  This includes our family programs, teen programs, Holy Blossom on Campus, and more.  Come along, and there is a good chance you’ll see my family with my wife – Jemma – and our three kids – Toby, Mollie and Henriette.

I also have the pleasure of serving on the World Union of Progressive Judaism’s executive board, whose mission is to help expand the reach of Progressive Judaism around the world.  My particular interest in the WUPJ comes from my time working with Liberal Jewish Youth-נוער ציוני רפורמי for Liberal Judaism, a sister movement of the Union for Reform Judaism, in the United Kingdom and leading High Holy Day services in Europe.

My rabbinic thesis, “Towards an Explicit Integrated Jewish Curriculum for Union for Reform Judaism Summer Camps” was a great opportunity to learn educational theory, and to see how it is applied in one of the Reform movement’s most impactful settings.  My biggest personal learning from writing this thesis was on how we need to empower our teens to make their own Jewish decisions within a supportive Reform Jewish framework.

I am a proud graduate of Michigan State university, where I played trombone in the marching band for four years, and I still play for Cantor Maissner’s Neginah band on some Friday nights.

Looking forward to seeing you around!

Contact Rabbi Helfman

The Rabbi Helfman News Archive

April 27, 2017 - Israel at the Centre: Working on a World-Wide Progressive Jewish Siddur at Holy Blossom

After the creation of the State of Israel, just 69 years ago, Judaism was changed forever, and our prayer books and rituals have since evolved to reflect this change. Read more »

March 8, 2017 - An Upside-Down World

In a kingdom not so long ago, in a land not so far away, a ruler playing the part of a fool takes the crown... Read more »

January 9, 2017 - Intergenerational Shabbat

We hope that our children will find meaning and purpose in Judaism beyond continuity. Read more »