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Spiritual Leadership

Ohr Kodesh's clergy lead the community with a commitment to tradition and a creative energy that engages all members of the community. 

Rabbi Corey Helfand

Rabbi Corey Helfand joined Ohr Kodesh Congregation (OKC) in July 2021. Prior to leading OKC, Rabbi Helfand served as the senior rabbi at Peninsula Sinai Congregation (PSC) in the Bay Area. Under his rabbinic leadership PSC grew to be a thriving, sacred community known for its warmth, energy, and vitality. 

Rabbi Helfand received his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary as well as a Master’s degree in Talmud and Jewish law and a concentration in pastoral care. He was a recipient of the prestigious Gladstein Fellowship and studied entrepreneurship rabbinics, with an emphasis on visioning and community building.

A Midwest native, Rabbi Helfand is a diehard Kansas City sports fan. He is married to Jenny Ackerman, a palliative care social worker, and together they have three children: Eden Leora, Matan Judah, and Jonah Gavriel.

He enjoys all things outdoors, watching and playing sports, and living up to his name, Rabbi MacGyver. Rabbi Helfand is a master community builder, a gifted teacher, speaker, pastoral presence, and storyteller. Be prepared to learn, laugh and deepen your love with Judaism. 

You can reach Rabbi Helfand at RabbiHelfand@OhrKodesh.org.

Cantor Hinda Eisen Labovitz

Cantor Hinda Eisen Labovitz has been the cantor and religious school principal of Ohr Kodesh since she achieved cantorial ordination and an M.A. in Judaic studies at Hebrew College in Newton, MA in June of 2014. Cantor Labovitz is a contralto, and has performed in many locations locally and internationally, singing diverse genres including chazzanut, Broadway, folk songs, popular, and Israeli music. She is proud to collaborate frequently with other cantors in the DMV and in other U.S. communities.

Cantor Labovitz has earned the esteem of her colleagues, having served as a member of the Executive Council of the Cantors Assembly (2017-2020). She is currently co-chairing two developing projects through the Cantors Assembly as well.

Academically, Cantor Labovitz was twice awarded the Al Goldberg Scholarship in Jewish Music, and upon graduation, she also received the Israel Pollack Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies from Hebrew College. She was also the 2013-2014 recipient of the Gideon Klein Scholarship from Northeastern University, for which she dedicated a year of independent study of the cabaret at the Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands.

Cantor Labovitz held several positions in New England before her arrival in the DC area, and was the assistant to the conductor for the Zamir Chorale of Boston, where she also served as Mary Wolfman Epstein Conducting Fellow, studying conducting under maestro Dr. Joshua Jacobson, and sang alto for eight years.

Cantor Labovitz and her husband Bob are parents to Devorah, Judah, and Ronen (z"l).

You can reach Cantor Labovitz at CantorLabovitz@OhrKodesh.org or (240) 650-6042. Set a meeting with Cantor Labovitz by clicking here.

Rabbi Emeritus Lyle A. Fishman

For 37 years, Rabbi Lyle Fishman has through his vision and leadership shepherded Ohr Kodesh from strength to strength.  Before receiving Rabbinic ordination and a Master’s degree in Hebrew literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), Rabbi Fishman graduated magna cum laude from Yale University.  His teaching experience includes serving on the faculty of JTS and The Foundation for Jewish Studies. Since 2015, Rabbi Fishman has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center.

In his commitment to Klal Yisrael, Rabbi Fishman takes an active role in the Greater Washington Jewish Community. He serves as a board member of the Greater Washington United Jewish Communities and helped to create the Washington Chevra Chapter to foster a better interchange of ideas among community rabbis. He is a member of the National Rabbinic Cabinet of UJA and a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Board of Rabbis. You can reach Rabbi Fishman at Ravlaf@Ohrkodesh.org.

Cantor Emeritus Edwin Gerber

Cantor Gerber served Ohr Kodesh from 1983 to 2019. During that time, his gifts as a teacher and leader were enjoyed by hundreds of children and adults who learned how to chant Torah and Haftarah under his careful guidance.

Cantor Gerber studied at the University of Illinois and received a bachelor of Sacred Music degree and a Diploma of Hazan from the Cantors Institute and College of Jewish Music of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He undertook additional study at the Jewish Theological Seminary and the College of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. He worked as Rosh Hazzanut at Camp Ramah in New England and served as chairman of the Cantors Assembly Seaboard Region. He is a member the Cantors Assembly of America. Contact Cantor Gerber at CantorGerber@Ohrkodesh.org.

Tue, October 26 2021 20 Cheshvan 5782