Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
3 Reform congregations welcome Rabbi Ken Kanter
The three Reform congregations of Tarrant County — Beth-El, Beth Israel and Beth Shalom — will collaborate and welcome Rabbi Kenneth Kanter as their Selichot scholar in residence.
Kanter serves as associate dean and director of the Rabbinical School for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to the HUC website, Kanter concluded 13 years as founding rabbi of Congregation Micah of Nashville in June 2005. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Kanter received his B.A. degree in Jewish and American history from Harvard University in 1974, obtained his M.A.H.L. degree from Hebrew Union College in 1978, was ordained in 1980, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in May 2005.
Kanter served for 10 years as rabbi of Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation. Previously, he served as assistant rabbi at Congregation Ohabai Sholom, in Nashville, as Jewish chaplain and adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University.
Kanter is a popular lecturer and author of books, journals and articles focusing on the Jewish contribution to American popular music from the 1840s to the 1940s. His first book, The Jews on Tin Pan Alley, was published in 1982. He contributed to several journals in the field of Jewish history and religion. Kanter’s second book to which he contributed, Jewish-American History and Culture, was published in 1992. His third encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, was published in 2009.
Kanter was married to the late Wendy Koplow Kanter.
The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at Beth-El Congregation (4900 Briarhaven Road in Fort Worth), Kanter will speak about the influence Jews have had on American Jewish music during Shabbat evening service.
At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Congregation Beth Israel (6100 Pleasant Run Road in Colleyville), Rabbi Kanter will speak, during Shabbat morning worship, on the topic, “Shiru L’Adonai Shir Chadash — Sing to the Lord a New Song: Jewish Liturgy from the Bible to the Camp Fire.”
At 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Congregation Beth Shalom (1212 Thannisch Drive in Arlington), Rabbi Kanter will lead a sing-along concert, “The Jews on Tin Pan Alley.” In sing-along format, participants will trace the history of American popular music from the 1840s to the 1940s, the beginning of the American popular music industry to the end of “Tin Pan Alley.” Featured will be the song pluggers, tunesmiths, European immigrants, “real life nephews of Uncle Sam” and the songs that serve as musical companions to American history. The names Berlin, Kern, Rodgers, Arlen and Gershwin are joined to lesser-known names like Von Tilzer, Gus Kahn, Billy Rose, and Charles K. Harris. In addition, there will be Havdallah, a nosh and a spiritually enlightening Selichot service designed to put everyone in the right frame of mind for the High Holy Days.
Jewish Family Services opens office in Northeast Tarrant County
Jewish Family Services of Fort Worth and Tarrant County has opened an office in Colleyville, just a few minutes from Congregation Beth Israel. The decision was made in order to meet the demands of Northeast Tarrant County, according to Dr. Carole Rogers, JFS executive director.
Dr. Robbie Kinney is available on a part-time basis to provide counseling, consultation and referral services.
These services are possible because of a bequest made to JFS by Barbie Rakoover. Barbie cared deeply about quality mental health services and trusted that JFS would be able to utilize money she gave to provide these services.
Jewish Family Services will be having an open house at the new office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30. The office is located at 6207 Colleyville Blvd., Suite 200. All community members are welcome.