Ben Kintisch looks to spread Jewish values through music

Cantor Ben Kintisch (Photo provided)

Cantor Ben Kintisch says he looked at synagogues across the country. The best fit: Columbia Jewish Congregation.

Kintisch became the Reconstructionist congregation’s cantor in July. He succeeded retiring Cantor Jan Morrison, who was with Columbia Jewish Congregation since 1994. The search for a new cantor took nearly a year.

Kintisch moved to Columbia from Cranford, N.J., with his wife, Elana Hoffman, daughter, Dalia, and dog, Rubia. He has worked in Jewish music as a cantor, as well as with camps and educational programs, and as a music teacher in Brooklyn schools. He said he is looking forward to nurturing the congregation’s culture of singing and elevating sprituality.

“I think my skills will mesh beautifully with what CJC is already doing,” he says.

In particular, Kintisch anticipates working with both the CJC choir, which has been frequently lay led, and the religious school as a way to spread Jewish values through music.

“I love bringing the spirit and fun of group singing to Jewish settings,” he says.

Kintisch is an avid cyclist and gardener. He and his family are excited to be moving to the area, where they already have friends and family. Addtionally, Kintisch says, Columbia is known for being a community where people move because of all it has to offer.

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