Rabbi Kim Blumenthal’s career in the rabbinate and work with congregations before becoming ordained has seen her trek up and down the East Coast to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Vermont, out to the Midwest in Michigan and back. Now that Blumenthal and her family have relocated to Maryland, she is starting the next chapter of her rabbinical career at Ellicott City’s Bet Chaverim Congregation.
Blumenthal became ordained and earned a master’s in Jewish education and a bachelor’s in rabbinic literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
After all her travels, Blumenthal said coming to Bet Chaverim was an easy choice.
“They are an emerging and evolving community,” she said. “I think there is something very exciting in the opportunities that that presents for the congregants, the Jewish community of Howard County and myself.”
She described the other members of Bet Chaverim’s leadership as “dedicated and passionate,” and had many kind things to say about educational director Rabbi Faith Cantor.
“Rabbi Cantor is a phenomenal educator,” she said. “The fact that the congregation made the decision to hire her showed me how committed they are to developing a contemporary Jewish education structure for the children and families.”
While Blumenthal is fond of her old community in Ann Arbor, she appreciates that the sheer multitude of Jews in Maryland will offer her and her family more opportunities for Jewish experience and Jewish community.
“So much of my rabbinate is driven by developing relationships with congregants, co-workers and the people we come into contact with on a regular basis,” said Blumenthal. “I have really enjoyed the beginning stages of that at Bet Chaverim.”
Blumenthal began working with Bet Chaverim in July, jumping right into High Holiday prep mode.
“I’m very much looking forward to the High Holidays and to learning some of the traditions of the congregation, and equally excited to bring some of my own ideas to create meaningful holiday experiences,” she said.
As a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, bringing her children closer to her old stomping grounds was the icing on an already sweet cake.
“We’re thrilled,” she said, “but the grandparents are even happier!”