June 30, 2020 - Rabbinic Reflection: Rabbi Jordan Helfman
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I am officially the ‘Associate 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 four kids – Toby, Mollie, Henriette, and Dov.
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!