Read more about our outstanding clergy, their interests and accomplishments by clicking the links to the right.

Rabbi Sidney M. Helbraun, D.D.

Senior_Staff_Rabbi_Helbraun_3aRabbi Sidney M. Helbraun, D.D.

Senior Rabbi (Since 1995)

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, and received his Doctor of Divinity in 2015. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute and currently serves as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis. He is past co-chair of the Rabbinic Action Committee of the Jewish Federation of Chicago, past President of the Chicago Region of the CCAR, and served on the Board of Directors of the CCAR. He is a past President of the Northbrook Clergy Association and has 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.”

Click here to read Rabbi Helbraun’s sermons given at this year’s High Holiday services.

Click here to see a list of Rabbi’s notable sermons from the last 20 years.  This list was compiled to celebrate his 20th anniversary at Temple Beth-El.

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

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

 Rabbi Emeritus
Visit Rabbi Weissberg’s website here

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.

To learn more about Rabbi Weissberg, visit his personal website (unaffiliated with TBE). 

Cantor Faryn H.K. Rudnick, ACC

NewCantor Faryn H.K. Rudnick, ACC


Cantor Faryn Rudnick began her cantorial career at Temple Beth-El in July, 2013.  Prior to joining the Beth-El community, Cantor Rudnick served as the student cantor at North Country Reform Temple, in Glen Cove, NY, from 2010 until her ordination in May, 2013.

Cantor Rudnick holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Miami University in Ohio, a Master’s of Fine Arts in Music Education from Montclair State University in NJ, and a Master’s of Sacred Music and Cantorial Ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in NYC.  Before beginning her cantorial studies, Cantor Rudnick was a tenured music educator in the Oakland Public School District in NJ.

Cantor Rudnick’s passion is to help make the Jewish community a more inclusive and accessible community. Cantor Rudnick was the 2015 co-recipient of the Federation’s Samuel A. Goldsmith Award for Young Jewish Professionals for her work in inclusion and advocacy for those with disabilities. She represents the American Conference of Cantors on the Jewish Disabilities Network. In May, 2015, Cantor Rudnick recorded several webinars for the Union for Reform Judaism’s inclusion webinar series. Cantor Rudnick also writes articles about inclusion and disability awareness for the ACC and URJ. Locally, Cantor Rudnick is a member of the Synagogue Federation Commission’s Inclusion Program Planning Committee. With Cantor Rudnick’s help, Temple Beth-El partnered with the Americans with Disabilities Act for their 25th anniversary and has been recognized by the URJ as an exemplar congregation for their work in inclusion. Cantor Rudnick did her senior thesis and recital research in hearing disabilities and the Jewish community.

Cantor Rudnick serves the cantorial community locally and nationally. She served as president of the Reform Cantors of Chicago from 2015-2016, and is a member of the ACC social action committee. She was the chairperson of the Hebrew Union College Day of Learning in 2015, and co-led a workshop on inclusion at the annual ACC convention in 2015.

Prior to moving to Chicago, Cantor Rudnick was very active, both on and off the HUC campus, directing and coordinating the annual Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music Composers’ Showcase, participating in many committees for the school, volunteering at the school’s soup kitchen, and performing as a guest cantorial soloist in many synagogues, including the Max Janowski Centennial Concert in Chicago in January of 2012. While at HUC, Cantor Rudnick was the recipient of many awards for both musical and academic achievements and campus involvement, including: The Yaakov and Malvina Lutwak Cantorial Memorial Prize, The Rabbi Malcolm Stern Memorial Prize, the Morgan and Margerie Miller Scholarship, the Edith Roberts Memorial Prize, and the Women of Reform Judaism Scholarship.

Cantor Rudnick enjoys baking, reading, running, and attending Zumba classes. She and her husband Jack were married in October, 2013, and enjoy volunteering together at the Uptown Café.


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