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Meet Our Rabbis

Our rabbis keep what is meaningful from our Jewish inheritance while being open to new ways of expressing Jewish connections that reflect our values.

3 Ways our Rabbis Do Jewish Differently


1. They believe that to be Jewish is to be an heir to Jewish tradition, not a museum curator. To inherit this tradition means that it is ours to choose from, adapt, and use consistent with our own values and beliefs.m

2. Humanistic rabbis are guides and authorities without being authoritarian, presenting options for Jewish life and becoming a better person rather than commandments.

3. Our rabbis have always been happy to officiate intercultural marriages, co-officiate with other clergy, conduct wedding ceremonies anytime on Saturdays, and create personalized ceremonies for the wedding couple.


Rabbi Adam Chalom


Rabbi Adam Chalom (847-383-5184, 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. 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. 

Rabbi Chalom is Dean for the North American chapter of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaisim, the leadership and rabbinical training institution of the worldwide movement of Secular Humanistic Judaism. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis and is on the editorial board of the quarterly magazine Humanistic Judaism.

Rabbi Chalom and his wife A. J. were both raised as Humanistic Jews. 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. 

Rabbi Chalom is available to officiate at life cycle events for members and non-members. 

Rabbi Chalom’s Blog

“Shalom from Rabbi Chalom” contains his thoughts, from a Humanistic Jewish perspective, on the challenges that confront us today, such hate, violence, anti-semitism, Israel, book-banning, freedom, power/powerlessness, prayer, and grief.

It also contains written versions of his High Holiday sermons, and his views on weddings, funerals, mortality, and the after-life. 

Rabbi Chalom’s Podcasts

The podcasts include Rabbi Chalom’s High Holiday messages, adult education classes, book and movie reviews, Humanistic Judaism FAQs, Year in Review talks, and messages on important Jewish topics.

Rabbi Chalom’s YouTube

Classes and presentations by Rabbi Adam Chalom in his capacity as Dean of the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ).

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 which he eventually “converted” 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 interfaith marriages 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.

Wed, June 12 2024 6 Sivan 5784