Rabbi Joshua Z. Heller has served as the rabbi of Congregation B’nai Torah since July 2004 and has made it the fastest-growing congregation in the Southeast. He is known for his skills as an inspiring preacher and teacher, his sense of humor (including “high holiday sermon bingo”) and his caring for Jews in need.
In addition to serving as a spiritual leader for Congregation B’nai Torah, Heller is acknowledged as a leader in the Rabbinic Community. He has served as president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, and founding president of MACOM, the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah, and has served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Jewish Family and Career Services. Within the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement, he has served on the Executive Committee, as vice president of its Southeast Region, and co-chaired its Atlanta convention, and has served on the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Theological Seminary,
Rabbi Heller has also developed a reputation as an expert in Jewish law and practice. He is a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly, serves as chair of its rights and rituals subcommittee. He consults with communities around the country on topics related to the construction and maintenance of Mikvaot and Eruvin.
Heller grew up in New Jersey and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard with a degree in computer science. He published original research in the Journal for Computational Neuroscience but then turned down offers from Silicon Valley to become a ninth-generation rabbi, and the third generation in his family to be ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS).
Before coming to Atlanta, Rabbi Heller served as Director of Distance Learning and Educational Technology at JTS, bringing Jewish learning to over 20,000 people each week, on levels ranging from casual adult learning to Masters’ level courses, and helped develop online resources like Learn.jtsa.edu. Rabbi Heller also supervised a number of initiatives within JTS to apply technology in training Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish educators and professionals. During the period after 9/11, he also served as the rabbi of the Downtown synagogue- one of the synagogues closest to the site of the World Trade Center.
Rabbi Heller and his wife Wendy have 2 sons and a daughter. In his spare time, Rabbi Heller enjoys spending time with family, playing word and math games and is a fan of pop culture and science fiction.