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Our Rabbis

“Although I was raised in a Conservative synagogue, Rabbi Chalom has made me think about Judaism, maybe for the first time.”

 — Rick B., Highland Park   

“What makes Rabbi Chalom a special educator is his ability to connect with many different age groups. He respects differing perspectives and viewpoints and has a disarming sense of humor which becomes apparent during his talks as well as classes.”

 — Sheila S., Buffalo Grove

“The rabbi’s bright and articulate presence keeps me coming.”

 — Focus Group Respondent, 2016

“There’s something really lucky about having a brilliant rabbi. I like to say to people, “Our Rabbi went to Yale. He’s smart. He’s encouraging the kids to think in a way that makes us lucky to have him in our lives.””

— Terry K., Highland Park


Rabbi Adam Chalom

Rabbi Adam Chalom is a dynamic and illuminating speaker, a clear and inspiring teacher, a warm and welcoming presence at Kol Hadash, and a leading voice in the movement of Humanistic Judaism. Rabbi Chalom has served as the rabbi of Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation since 2004.

Rabbi Chalom earned a B.A. cum laude in Judaic Studies from Yale University; a Master’s Degree in Hebrew and Jewish Cultural Studies at the University of Michigan; his rabbinic ordination from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ), and his PhD at the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining Kol Hadash, Rabbi Chalom served as co-Rabbi of the Birmingham Temple  in suburban Detroit Michigan, the founding congregation of Humanistic Judaism. He is Dean for North America of the IISHJ, the leadership and rabbinical training institution of the worldwide movement of Secular Humanistic Judaism; serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis; and is on the editorial board of the quarterly journal Humanistic Judaism.

Rabbi Chalom and his wife A. J. were both raised as a Humanistic Jews at the Birmingham Temple. Together, they expect Humanistic Judaism and Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation to grow as more people connect with its powerful message of personal dignity, integrity, self-reliance and mutual support.

To learn more about Rabbi Chalom’s views on Humanistic Judaism, visit his blog, podcast, YouTube channel, publications and speaking engagements, and Shofar columns.

Life Cycle Events

Rabbi Chalom is available to officiate at weddings, baby-namings, and funerals/memorial services for members and non-members.  Contact Rabbi Chalom at 847-383-5184,

Rabbi Daniel Friedman

Rabbi Emeritus Daniel Friedman was the rabbi at Congregation Beth Or in Deerfield, Illinois, for 35 years until his retirement in 2000.  When Rabbi Friedman arrived at Beth Or, it was a Reform temple, and he led the "conversion" of the congregation to Humanistic Judaism, making it the first humanistic Jewish congregation in Illinois.  He was a founding member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, and for many years he wrote articles for its journal on the nature of Jewish identity and the philosophy of Humanistic Judaism.

As one of the only rabbis in Chicago who would perform intermarriages in the 1970s and 1980s, Rabbi Friedman helped thousands of families stay connected with the Jewish people; over his rabbinic career, he performed over 3,500 wedding ceremonies.

Rabbi Friedman earned his B.A. degree at Brandeis University in 1957 and his Masters of Hebrew Letters and  rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1962. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Friedman’s book, Jews Without Judaism:  Conversations With an Unconventional Rabbi, was published in 2002.

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Mon, May 17 2021 6 Sivan 5781