Rabbi Jacob Herber joined HNT as Senior Rabbi in August 2020, and loves being a pulpit rabbi. He began his rabbinate as the Assistant and then Senior Rabbi of Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia. Rabbi Herber was then blessed to serve as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s only USCJ affiliated congregation, for 15 years. In 2018 he was invited to join the staff of The Shalom Hartman Institute, North America, where he works on the Institute’s national rabbinical programs and teaches rabbis of all denominations how to teach “Hartman’s Torah,” most especially its iEngage video lecture series. He is now excited by the prospect of returning to synagogue life where he feels most professionally fulfilled. Rabbi Herber is passionate about building a vibrant and welcoming congregational community, leading worship services that are engaging and inspiring, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds, being there for people when they are celebrating life’s joys, facing challenges, and experiencing loss, preaching, officiating at weddings, baby namings, britot, b’nei and b’not mitzvah, funerals, guiding people on their journeys to Judaism, supporting the State of Israel, tikkun olam, and engaging in interfaith work.
A big believer in giving back to his community, Rabbi Herber has served on the Nominations Committee of The Rabbinical Assembly and the Boards of Directors of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of State of Israel Bonds, Masorti Olami, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and as a member of the Clergy Auxiliary Board of the Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association. He served two non-consecutive terms as the President of the Wisconsin Council of Rabbis. While living and working in Philadelphia, Rabbi Herber was the Chaplain of the Shomrim Society of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley, and Jewish Chaplain for the Philadelphia Police Department. Currently he serves as a member of The Rabbinical Assembly’s Executive Council, Strategic Plan Implementation Leadership Team, and Chair of the Commission for a Vital and Connected Rabbinate, overseeing 10 committees charged with transforming the RA into a relationship-based international organization.
In July 2008 Rabbi Herber travelled to Uganda with other leading Conservative rabbis to supervise the conversion of over 200 members of the Abayudaya community. He also participated in the installation of Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, Africa’s first Black, Sub Saharan rabbi, as the spiritual leader of the Abayudaya community. Rabbi Herber’s work in promoting interfaith dialogue has taken him from the United States to Mexico, Germany and Poland.
Rabbi Herber is a recipient of the Jewish National Fund’s Service Award and Masorti Olami’s “Rabbi Mordecai Waxman Rabbinic Leadership Award.” He is also a contributing author of the book, Walking With Life published by the American Jewish University. Rabbi Herber received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History, cum laude, from the University of California, Davis, and his Master of Arts degree in Jewish Studies and his rabbinic ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary. He is also a recipient of the Seminary’s “Joseph Zubow Memorial Prize in Codes,” awarded annually to a rabbinical student for outstanding work in codes. In 2010 Rabbi Herber was admitted to The Shalom Hartman Institute’s highly selective and rigorous Religious Leadership Initiative (RLI) rabbinical fellowship program. He graduated in 2013 and was named a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Shalom Hartman Institute.
Rabbi Herber is blessed with two children. Mychal is a recent graduate of Dickinson College and lives in Washington, D.C. where she works as a press officer at the Embassy of the State of Israel. Adin is currently a freshman at UNLV.
He is a former competitive cyclist and raced for the Endeavour and ISCorp cycling teams. Today, he simply enjoys riding his bike, cross country (skate) skiing in Winter, reading books, playing his Fender Strat, and sharing his spare time with his loving dog, Reggie. A native New Yorker, Rabbi Herber is passionate about his New York Yankees, New York Rangers and is also an enormous supporter of the English Premier League’s Chelsea Football Club.