Rav Sam Blumberg
Rav Sam Blumberg comes to Temple Beth Am in July 2020 as spiritual leader from Hebrew College, where he will be ordained next spring. He grew up in Southern California and earned a degree in religious studies from the University of California, Davis. Rav Blumberg then went on to the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem before receiving his Master of Jewish Education from Hebrew College. He 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. He has worked as a rabbinic intern at Congregation Betenu in Amherst, NH and Temple Sinai in Brookline, and completed his chaplaincy at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Rav Blumberg lives with his wife, Amalia, and two children, Zamir and Sol.
Cantor David Wolff
Cantor David Wolff returns to 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.”
Rabbi Emeritus Donald M. Splansky, D.D., PhD.
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.
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.
Cantor Emerita Jodi M. Schechtman, D.M.
Cantor Jodi Schechtman attended the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion School of Sacred Music and was invested in 1988.
Prior to her recent departure to a congregation in Albany, NY, Cantor Schechtman served for 28 years at Temple Beth Am in Framingham, Massachusetts. She was named as the Spiritual Leader of the congregation in 2010 and led each service and assisted families with each life-cycle event..
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.