Born in Vitebsk, Belarus, Rabbi Farbman received his semicha (rabbinic ordination) at the Leo Baeck College, Reform Rabbinical Seminary in London. From 2001 to 2004, Rabbi Farbman served West London Synagogue of British Jews in London, UK as Assistant Rabbi. Serendipitously, Rabbi Farbman’s friend and mentor in London was Rabbi Mark Winer, the former Rabbi of Temple Emanuel in its early, formative years! Rabbi Farbman holds a B.A. and M.A. in Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
From 2004 to 2007 Rabbi Michael Farbman returned to Russia and helped build Sha’arei Shalom Progressive Jewish Community in St. Petersburg, Russia. The story of Sha’arei Shalom and its success is the subject of the film, To Russia with Love, made by the respected Israeli documentary film maker, Asher Tlalim. In 2007 Rabbi Farbman moved to Washington, DC where he served as Rabbi-in Residence at the Washington Hebrew Congregation.
In 2009 Rabbi Farbman became the rabbi of Temple Emanuel, succeeding the much beloved Rabbi Gerald Brieger who retired that year and was named Rabbi Emeritus.
Rabbi Farbman serves on the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and is an active member of the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries as well as the Orange Interfaith Clergy group. He was recently appointed to the North American Council of the World Union For Progressive Judaism, and he is a faculty member at URJ Camp Eisner.
Rabbi Farbman, his wife, Olga Markus and their two sons live in Woodbridge, CT.