Columbia Jewish Congregation will welcome Ben Kintisch as its new cantor on July 5.
Jan Morrison, who has been with CJC as its cantor since 1994, is retiring this month. The search for a new cantor was a nearly yearlong process.
“I looked at synagogues all across the country, and CJC emerged as the best fit,” Kintisch said.
Kintisch, who will be moving this summer to Columbia with his wife, Elana Hoffman, daughter Dalia and dog Rubia from Cranford, N.J., has a background in both Jewish music (as a cantor and working with Jewish camps and educational programs) and as a music teacher in Brooklyn schools. He said he is looking forward to nurturing the
culture of singing at CJC, along with creating community and elevating sprituality.
“I think those skills [of my background] will mesh beautifully with what CJC is already doing,” he added.
In particular, Kintisch said he anticipates working with both the CJC choir, which has been frequently lay-led, and the Hebrew school to further the engagement of Jewish values through music.
“I love bringing the spirit and fun of group singing to Jewish settings,” he said.
Outside of his role as cantor, Kintisch is an avid cyclist and gardener. He and his family are excited to be moving to the area, where they already have a number of friends and family. Addtionally, Kintisch said, Columbia is known for being a community where people move because of all it has to offer. His daughter, heading into first grade, is already enrolled in the latter part of this summer in Jewish day camps through the Owings Mills JCC.