Newsletter 2021 - 2022 - Page 14

Spotlight on AJR Student , Howard K . Glantz
My “ Jewish journey ” begins at Beth El Temple in West Hartford , sitting in shul between my parents , z ” l . My father pointed at the words in the siddur and urged me to follow his finger as it jumped back and forth with every word or phrase the Hazzan repeated , and my mother loved to sing along . I never thought to ask what the words meant .
The rabbi , Stanley M . Kessler z ” l , convinced my parents to send me to Camp Ramah . That experience laid a foundation for individual Hebrew words and phrases that we had to use … that is if we wanted to eat ! In the חדר אוכל no one would pass anything without hearing
... נא להעביר את ה Ramah was like Jewish basic training where I first laid tefillin
daily and the energetic singing stirred me in a new way .
My senior year of high school was spent in the Holy Land due , in large part , to a great uncle who set aside funds for any of his great nephews and nieces to study in Israel . Our class had five weeks of intensive daily Ulpan before being placed with families from the Eidot HaMizrah in the Mateh Yehudah region of Jerusalem . I count the Maimon ’ s among my closest ‘ framily ’, that is , the family one chooses .
Upon my return from that transformative year of study and exploration in Eretz Yisrael , my parents proudly brought me back to shul . Suddenly , the prayer book seemed to come alive for me . This set me on a course of increasing Jewish involvement and activism at UMass Amherst , followed by the Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary . These are just a few of the steps in my Jewish journey . In Port Chester , NY , Farmington Hills , MI , and now in Elkins Park , PA , I have been blessed to work with rabbis with immense passion and deep scholarship . Each has influenced me and encouraged me to learn text more deeply and share the wisdom I glean from our rabbinic sources .
Since 2004 , I have served as Hazzan at Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park , PA and five years ago , the shul leadership requested that I seek semikhah . In my search for appropriate schools , I found a new appreciation for the phrase , “ I didn ’ t know what I didn ’ t know .” Now to find the appropriate school that would help fill the spaces and teach me not THE answers , but where to seek and identify possible answers and perhaps even sharpen the questions .
The Cantors to Rabbis program of AJR has been a blessing beyond expectation . Here I found caring guidance paired with real intellectual challenge . This has served as a natural extension of where I was intellectually and spiritually upon arrival and motivated me forward . The friendships I have made with fellow students , professors , and administrators are ones I value and expect will continue into my rabbinate / cantorate .
Howard K . Glantz , Hazzan Cantors to Rabbis Program
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