Melanie Blatt Hired as Beth El's Cantor Educator & Director of Community Engagement
BALTIMORE, MD. (April 11th, 2018) — Beth El Congregation of Baltimore announced today it has hired Melanie Blatt to serve as Cantor Educator and Director of Community Engagement. She will begin her position in July of 2018.
In her new role, Cantor Blatt will collaborate with and support Beth El clergy in leading services, teaching congregants, and officiating at life cycle events. Additionally, Cantor Blatt plans to establish a young professionals group within the Beth El community and will work with clergy to strengthen the congregation Hesed outreach initiative with a specific focus on Bikur Holim, the mitzvah to visit and extend aid to the sick.
“I am honored to join Rabbi Schwartz, Rabbi Saroken, and Cantor King, a very special clergy team,” said Cantor Blatt. “Beth El has such a solid foundation of community and there are so many niches that are ready and waiting to be developed. I am particularly excited to lead a special interest group which will bring spiritually and physically healing music to people in hospice and assisted living.”
Melanie first began working part-time at Beth El Congregation in 2013 leading High Holy Day and Shabbat Services for families. She also served as Beth El’s Youth Programming Director and Music Educator for the Hebrew School. Before her cantorial appointment at Beth El, Cantor Blatt served as Musical Director for Shirei HaNeshama in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cantor Melanie Blatt back to her hometown as she begins her full-time work at Beth El as a Cantor and educator this summer,” said Senior Rabbi Steven Schwartz. “Melanie has been a presence in our congregation for some time now, working with our Hebrew school students, leading family High Holy Day services, and working with our Hebrew school families on fun and meaningful Shabbat programs. Melanie brings terrific musical talent, a deep love of Judaism, and a unique spark and spirit to all that she does. I am proud and grateful to welcome her to our Senior Staff.”
As Cantor Educator, Ms. Blatt will continue to plan and lead High Holy Day family services and other family and youth services on Shabbat at the main campus and satellite sites throughout the year, including Tot Shabbat, preschool Shabbat Friday mornings, and special services for religious school students.
“It has been my privilege and pleasure to watch Melanie mature through the years as both a musician and a teacher, and I’m delighted that she has decided to join the Beth El family”, said Cantor Thom King. “Anyone who has seen her engage with children and their parents during Shabbat and High Holiday Family Services knows that she brings a special joy, spirit, and love for Judaism to all that she does. I’m looking forward to having her work with me as we continue to expand Beth El’s vision of the future, and I know that she will continue to work her magic in all of her new responsibilities.”
“It is a dream come true to work with Cantor King,” said Ms. Blatt. “I first admired Cantor King for his stunning performance of Elijah when I sang with him and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.”
Cantor Blatt earned her Cantorial Ordination for Spiritual and Educational Leadership as well as a Masters of Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. She also holds a Masters of Jewish Education from Towson University’s Baltimore Hebrew Institute. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, Cantor Blatt sang in the Jewish a cappella group, Kol Sasson, during which time she toured the country, including a stop at the White House to sing for President Obama at his annual Hanukkah party.
ABOUT BETH EL (https://www.bethelbalto.com)
Beth El, a progressive and inclusive congregation affiliated with the Conservative Movement, fulfills the spiritual, educational and social needs of its members by nurturing religious practices and tradition, Jewish values and Tikkun Olam. Beth El Congregation is an engaging, vibrant, and inclusive synagogue community for today's modern Jewish families. We invite you to explore Jewish life at Beth El through traditional Jewish prayer and ritual, inspiring adult and childhood education, vibrant community celebrations and more.