Rabbi Howard Herman was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1978 at their New York campus. Prior to his ordination as rabbi he studied at both Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. While living in Israel for 5 years prior to his ordination he also attended Tel Aviv University, was a graduate of Yeshivat Hakotel and the Hartman Institute both of Jerusalem. Rabbi Herman served as Assistant Rabbi at Old York Road Temple Beth Am in Abington, Pennsylvania for two years prior to his appointment as Rabbi of the Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation-Emek Shalom .
In 1980, Rabbi Herman accepted the position of Rabbi at the Farmington Valley Jewish Congregations-Emek Shalom. He also serves as the Jewish Chaplain at the USVA Medical Centers in Newington and West Haven, Connecticut. He is an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Ethics in the Connecticut Community College System. He is currently beginning his 31st year of service at the Temple. Rabbi Herman is the host of “Reflections” his program on WTIC-AM 1080 radio on Sunday mornings. Rabbi Herman is a popular lecturer in the Hartford area, he sits as a member of the Juvenile Review Board in Simsbury and is active in numerous clergy organizations throughout the State of Connecticut.. All one has to do is step into his office and instantly you know that his favorite team is the New York Yankees.
Rabbi Herman and his wife Mona live in West Simsbury. They have three children, Aryeh, Daniel, and Samantha, a grandson Aitan, and three labradoodles Wryly , Emmett, and Olive.
Warmly welcomed by FVJC-ES, Cantor Perman joined the synagogue in 2011. Originally from Brooklyn and raised in Manhattan, Cantor Perman is a graduate of New York University and an alumni of New York City's "famed" High School of Performing Arts. As a child, he performed on Broadway in “Shenandoah,” toured with Theatreworks USA, and appeared in commercials. He was inspired to become more spiritual and “Jewishly connected” through his years of participation at B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan.
He has also toured both the New Jersey and Atlanta areas with his one-man show "Bima to Broadway" which combines different styles from both the synagogue and theatrical worlds. Some of his favorite theatre roles include: Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank”; Tevye in “Fiddler On the Roof”; and Emile de Becque in “South Pacific.” He was consulted on the Bar Mitzvah scene in the movie, “The First Wives Club,” and appeared in the scene as well. He enjoys a variety of music and has dabbled in radio over the years, having most recently hosted a Jewish radio talk show for WMLB-AM radio in Atlanta.
Prior to joining FVJC-ES, he served as cantor of Temple Kol Emeth, in Marietta, Georgia, as a Jewish chaplain for the metro-west area in Essex County, New Jersey, and as the chaplain for the Hillel at Montclair State University. He was invested as a cantor from The School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).
Cantor Levine holds a special place in our Temple; as our first Cantor Emerita, she has seen generations of our families through life cycle events, educated our children, inspired us with Jewish music, and counseled us.
During her 32 years with our congregation, Cantor Levine co-led services with Rabbi Herman, conducted our choir, developed and directed our B’nai Mitzvah program, taught music in our Religious School, and brought creative and innovative programming to our congregation in the areas of women’s spirituality, Jewish music, and post-B’nai Mitzvah mentoring and education. She has been a very active representative of FVJC-ES in the Greater Hartford area in the areas of community learning, interfaith activities and programming, and cantorial concerts. She also served as the first woman chair of the Simsbury Clergy Association. In 1999, Cantor Levine was a recipient of the Woman of Valor Award, presented by the Women's Branch of the Greater Hartford Federation. In 2011, Cantor Levine became a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors. She also formed a Retired Cantors Network for the American Conference of Cantors.
Cantor Levine is a graduate of the Hartt School of Music with degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She received her Cantorial Certification from Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, School of Sacred Music. She has a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling from St. Joseph College and is a Connecticut Licensed Professional Counselor. Cantor Levine was in private practice with Bethany Pastoral Counseling Services for 15 years. She also spent some time facilitating the JACS (Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others) group at Jewish Family Services in West Hartford.
Cantor Levine has begun a counselling practice in Simsbury and facilitates an employment transitions support group for Jewish Family Services.