Rabbi Kenneth Kanter Visits Dothan

Rabbi Kenneth Kanter Visits Dothan

October 10, 2008

On October 8, Rabbi Ken Kanter made an impromptu visit to Dothan. He stopped at Temple Emanu-El to visit Rabbi Lynne Goldsmith. They were then joined at a lunch by the congregation’s president Dr. Barbara Minsky, her husband Leon, and Rabbi Goldsmith’s husband Robert.

This was warm and wonderful opportunity for Rabbi Kanter to reconnect with his former student (Lynne) and congregants (Barbara and Leon).

Please enjoy the attached photos and Rabbi Kanter’s bio, below.


Kenneth A. Kanter serves as Director of the Rabbinical School for the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. In June of 2005, Rabbi Kanter concluded thirteen years as Senior Rabbi of Congregation Micah of Nashville, Tennessee. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Rabbi Kanter received his B.A. degree in Jewish and American History from Harvard University in 1974. At graduation he received the British Royal Society for the Arts Medallion “To the Outstanding Student in the Arts at America’s Outstanding University.” While a rabbinical student, Kanter served pulpits in Sherman, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Melbourne, Australia. He received his Master’s degree in 1979, was ordained in 1980 and in June, 2005, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Kanter served for ten years as Rabbi of Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation where among other civic responsibilities, he chaired the Chattanooga Human Rights/ Human Relations Commission. Previously he served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohabai Sholom, in Nashville, Tennessee and as Jewish Chaplain 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 1840’s to the 1940’s. 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.

While in Nashville, Rabbi Kanter served in numerous civic and communal roles. He was Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School, founding chairman of the Metropolitan Nashville Human Relations Commission, president of the Covenant Association (Nashville’s Clergy Association), chairman of the NCCJ, chair of the Mayor’s Religion Task force, President of the Nashville Board of Rabbis, and a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville. Rabbi Kanter also served on various boards including Family and Children’s Services, Nashville CARES, the CASA Advisory Committee, Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, the Country Music Foundation, the Mental Health Association and the Board of Trustees at the Jewish Federation of Nashville. He is an alumnus of Leadership Nashville and served on the Alumni Board of Trustees. Kanter was selected as one of 40 subjects in the recent book What Matters Most-Intimate Interviews with Notable Nashvillians. He is married to Wendy Koplow Kanter, a nationally recognized Warm Water Relaxation Massage Therapist.

Doctor of Divinity, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 2005
Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters, HUC-JIR, 1980
B.A. Harvard University, 1974. Majored in American and Jewish History
Academic emphasis on American cultural history, especially American popular music.

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