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Rabbi Sidney M. Helbraun, D.D.

Senior Rabbi
(847) 205-9982, ext. 204

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For over two decades Rabbi Sidney Helbraun has provided his vision to Temple Beth-El, creating a community where opportunities for study, worship and action continue to grow. He is proud that TBE members participate in a wide range of activities and are active leaders in the Chicagoland Jewish community.

Rabbi Helbraun is accessible and engaged in the life of his congregation. He is a caring and compassionate man, who reaches out in times of sickness and health, sorrow and joy. He is a gifted teacher and speaker, who finds fulfillment in bringing the values of Judaism to life, and an active leader, who takes on responsibilities within the Chicagoland Rabbinic community, as well as in Northbrook.

Rabbi Helbraun’s love for Israel has played a central role in his rabbinate, exemplified by Beth-El’s involvement and investment in Israel, through trips, programs, classes, and support.

Rabbi Helbraun was ordained from Hebrew Union College in 1990, came to and received his Doctor of Divinity in 2015. After 5 years as Assistant/Associate Rabbi in Providence, Rhode Island, he came to Temple Beth-El in Northbrook in 1995. Currently, he serves as a Trustee on the Parliament of World’s Religions and is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is a Past President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, served as co-chair of the Rabbinic Action Committee of the Jewish Federation of Chicago, former Board Member of JUF, past President of the Chicago Region of the CCAR, and served on the Board of Directors of the CCAR, and served on the National Council of AIPAC. He is married to Rabbi Deborah Gardner Helbraun and has two children, Rebecca and Jonah.

Rabbi Helbraun shares some reflections: 

“The survival of the Jewish people for 4,000 years is more than a sign of endurance; it is a testament to our faith in God, to the values of our tradition, and to the blessings we bring to the world by living righteous lives. As a rabbi, I strive to instill these ideals in our people’s hearts through joyful worship, the study of texts, an embrace of tradition, and acts of loving kindness.

We are uniquely blessed to live in an age of freedom and prosperity, in a world with a State of Israel. We have a debt of obligation to our ancestors, our children, and our brothers and sisters in Israel and across the world, to ensure that the treasures that were bequeathed to us will be protected, cherished and passed on to the generations to come.”

Cantor Adam Kahan, ACC

(847) 205-9982, ext. 206

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In 2007, the Chicago Tribune contained an article about a new style of Jewish worship service, called Friday Night Live. The article, written by staff reporter Deborah Horan began: “The sounds are an eclectic mix: part Simon and Garfunkel, part Shlomo Artzi, the Israeli folk singer. But when the cantor croons the soft lyrics and strums an acoustic guitar, the subject isn’t Cecilia or social commentary on the Middle East. The cantor sings about God, in Hebrew and English, and as his voice rises to praise God, the congregation sings, sways and taps their feet to the beat.” 

Okay, the truth is the article didn’t say cantor — it said Adam Kahan — because in ’07 our Cantor had not yet entered into HUC-JIR’s Cantorial program, which he completed in the Spring of 2018. The result of his studies? As you know, today he combines his uncompromising musical skills with a more fully developed Jewish neshama (soul). His love for contemporary Jewish music entwines with his yearning to chant classical nusach. Cantor Kahan is a man who was always able to help people feel God’s presence, and is now able to lift them up to even greater heights with the strings of his guitar, the depth of his Jewish knowledge and the love of his heart and soul.

Yet, more than cantor, Adam Kahan is a loving, caring, giving man, who strives to lift up those in his life and help them reach their potential. He is a gifted clergy partner and friend, who shares his soul on the bimah, and wherever else you encounter him. He is a loving husband, caring father, devoted son, and a man who knows how to brew a great cup of coffee.

We look forward to sharing Shabbat and Festivals, celebrating times of gladness and being consoled in times of trial, with Cantor Kahan as our shaliyach tzibur.

Rabbi Victor H. Weissberg, D.H.L., D.D

Rabbi Emeritus
(847) 205-9982, ext. 202

Rabbi Victor H. Weissberg’s distinguished career continues as Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth-El, after having served as the temple’s Senior Rabbi from 1954 to 1995.  Prior to arriving at Temple Beth-El, he was the Assistant Rabbi and Educational Director of Temple Isaiah Israel of Chicago.

Rabbi Weissberg graduated from The University of Chicago in 1948 and was ordained at Hebrew Union College in 1953.  He earned the Bachelor of Hebrew Literature Degree in 1950, the Master of Hebrew Literature in 1954, and a Doctorate in Hebrew Letters in 1970.  He was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity in 1978.  He also completed his studies for the Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Cincinnati in 1951.

Rabbi Weissberg is a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.  He is founder and president of the Rabbinic Counseling Service of Chicago, founder and chairman of the To Protect Our Heritage Political Action Committee devoted to strengthening the Israel American Alliance, founder and former director of the Young Leadership Division of Bonds for Israel, founder and former chairman of the Rabbinic Fellowship of West Rogers Park and the Council of Ministers and Rabbis of Hyde Park.

Rabbi Weissberg served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  He is married to the former Tamar Libovsky of Tel Aviv and has three children. He has contributed articles and essays to numerous periodicals, and is the author of Jewish Life in 17th Century Turkey, Jerusalem in the End of Days, and The Psalms and Psychotherapy.


Rabbi Weissberg tells Rabbi Doug about his history :



Part 2

Tue, June 18 2024 12 Sivan 5784