December 8, 2023 |
Rabbi Sam Blumberg has been with the Temple Beth Am community since July 2020 and was ordained as a rabbi from Hebrew College in 2021. Born and raised in Southern California, Rabbi Blumberg earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from the University of California, Davis. After working as a substitute teacher in Northern California, he spent three years living in Jerusalem and studying at the Pardes Institute, earning a Master’s Degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Rabbi Blumberg then spent five years teaching Jewish Studies to middle school students at a Jewish Day School in Portland, OR before returning to Hebrew College to prepare for the rabbinate. While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Blumberg worked as a rabbinic intern at Congregation Betenu in Amherst, NH and Temple Sinai in Brookline, and completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Rabbi Blumberg is a trained facilitator of Prepare/Enrich and a proud fellow in Cohort 4 of the Rukin Rabbinic Fellowship with 18doors, working with interfaith couples and families in the Jewish community.
Rabbi Blumberg is passionate about meaningful, accessible, and joyous Jewish living and enjoys all aspects of synagogue life and the rhythms of the Jewish calendar. He and his wife Amalia love sharing and passing down the love of Judaism to their children Zamir and Sol.
Cantor David Wolff joined Temple Beth Am in July 2020 after spending two years as a cantorial intern. He was ordained at Hebrew College in June 2020. He brings pulpit experience from Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Adas Israel Congregation in Washington D.C., and Congregation Beit Chaverim in Maryland, in addition to almost 10 years of work experience in music and religious education.
Cantor Wolff graduated from Amherst College with a degree in music composition before studying Hebrew at Ulpan Gordon in Tel Aviv. He earned a Master of Music in Voice and Music Education from the University of Michigan and Master of Arts in Jewish Education from Hebrew College. Before becoming a cantor, Cantor Wolff was an opera performer and a music educator in a low-income public elementary school in Maryland for 5 years. David was greatly influenced by his grandparent’s journey from Germany to Israel and his early experiences in the Jewish Community in Washington D.C.
“I love using music to create a moving spiritual experience for a congregation. Being a cantor resonates with my Jewish identity, my family’s rich Jewish history, my love for music, and my desire to serve others. When I sing in shul, I work to create the most meaningful and beautiful music, but not to glorify myself. I sing to glorify our God-given capacity for feeling, for beauty, for music, and for togetherness.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Rabbi Splansky did his undergraduate work at Columbia College in New York City and was ordained a rabbi at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.
Rabbi Splansky came to Temple Beth Am in 1984 and served the congregation until 2007 (24 years).
While serving at two different congregations in Cincinnati, he earned a Ph.D. in rabbinics there at the main campus of HUC-JIR. Rather than serve in some academic position, however, he preferred the joy of working and learning with lay-people in the full variety of life-cycle events and congregational life.
Since his retirement from the active rabbinate, Rabbi Splansky has been teaching at St. Marks School in Southborough. As Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Am, he is an active part of the life of community. He also leads our Saturday morning minyan group twice a month, teaches in our Lifelong Learning program and teaches a class on Yom Kippur afternoon.
Rabbi Splansky is married to Greta Lee since 1963 and they have 3 children, Karen (& David) Farbman, Rabbi Yael Splansky and Adam Sol and Josh and Bethany Splansky. The Splanskys have 8 grandchildren.
Cantor Jodi Schechtman served for 28 years at Temple Beth Am in Framingham, Massachusetts. She was named as the Spiritual Leader of the congregation in 2010. She attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music and was invested in 1988. As the first full-time ordained cantor of Temple Beth Am, she had the privilege of working on all aspects of temple life, including worship services, officiating at weddings, funerals, b’nai mitzvah ceremonies and baby namings, and visiting our congregants in the hospital. She also conducted the Adult, High School and Junior Choirs, taught in the Hebrew School, the High School and the Lifelong Learning programs, and prepared all of the B’nai Mitzvah students for their special day.
She celebrated with congregants at their simchas and grieved with them at their times of sorrow. She watched so many Jewish children grow into “mensches” and had the joy of officiating throughout the life cycle events of families.
In addition to her responsibilities at Temple Beth Am, Cantor Schechtman was a member of the Executive Board of the American Conference of Cantors where she was the Chair of Development, and she was the liaison for the New England Region of the American Conference of Cantors to the Union for Reform Judaism. She also served as Vice President of the New England Board of Cantors.
When she was not with congregants and their families, she enjoyed spending time with her husband, Gene Laks, and their daughter, Madison.