Senior Rabbi Steven Schwartz
The Rabbi Mark Loeb Senior Rabbi’s Chair, Endowed by the Herbert Bearman Foundation
Rabbi Steve Schwartz joined the Beth El community in 1998 when he began his service to the congregation as its Assistant Rabbi. Upon the retirement of Rabbi Mark Loeb in 2008 Rabbi Schwartz became the congregation’s third Senior Rabbi, now occupying the Rabbi Mark Loeb Senior Rabbi’s Chair, endowed by the Herbert Bearman Foundation. Ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 1998, Rabbi Schwartz is a graduate of Brandeis University, and also holds a Masters degree from the University of Maryland in the field of Psychology. Along with his service to Beth El Rabbi Schwartz is active and engaged in the community, sitting on the Boards of Directors of the Associated, the Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund, and the Baltimore Jewish Council where he serves as an officer. He is the community member at large of the Johns Hopkins Homewood Institutional Review Board, a past president of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis, and an emeritus trustee of the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies. Rabbi Schwartz has proudly continued on the path of his predecessors Rabbi Mark Loeb and Rabbi Jacob Agus, and is committed to building a progressive, open, and pluralistic Jewish community where all are welcome. Known for his love of the music of the Grateful Dead, Rabbi Schwartz resides in Owings Mills with his wife Rebecca. Their three children Talia, Joshua, and Merav are currently encouraging their parents to explore the world of ‘empty nesting.’ Click HERE to read Rabbi Schwartz's sermons and blog.
Rabbi Dana Saroken
Rabbi Dana Saroken is a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Arizona’s Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and Jewish Studies. She attended rabbinical school at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City where she was ordained in 2004. Prior to becoming a rabbi, she worked as the Educational Director for “Up With People” an international organization best known for performing arts, community service and global education. Thereafter, she became the Director of the Jewish Student Association at Georgetown University and subsequently the Assistant Rabbi at the New City Jewish Center in New York. Rabbi Saroken joined Beth El in 2007 and was the congregation’s first female rabbi. She is currently serving as both a traditional rabbi at Beth El and the founder of the Soul Center. In addition to her congregational work, Rabbi Saroken sits on the board of the Associated, and has been selected to be a part of the national Kenissa Cohort for Jewish Start-Ups. She is also a current fellow of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s rabbinic cohort. Rabbi Saroken was recently named one of Jewish Women’s International ten “women to watch” for 2018. She and her husband, Rafi Rone, are blessed to have three children. Click HERE to read Rabbi Saroken's sermons.
Cantor Thom King
Cantor Thom King is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Hart School of Music in Hartford Connecticut, where he studied voice and hazzanut under the tutelage of renowned Cantor Arthur Koret. He is a commissioned member of the Cantors Assembly. He has performed internationally in cantorial concerts, recitals, symphony concerts, and opera, and has appearances at Carnegie Hall in NY, and at El Palacio De Las Bella Artes in Mexico. City. Cantor King can be heard on "Thom King Sings Michael Isaacson”, a CD of contemporary Jewish music. He has been our cantor since 1997. He is a founder and director of Beth El Congregation's adult and junior choirs. Cantor King and his wife Cantor Shazy King, have three daughters and reside in Pikesville.
Cantor Melanie Blatt
Cantor Melanie Blatt recently was ordained by Hebrew College and is excited to continue to serve the Beth El Community in her new role as Cantor Educator and Director of Community Engagement. Cantor Blatt has a Bachelor's Degree in Fire Protection Engineering from University of Maryland College Park with a Scholars Citation of the Arts. She has also earned a Master's Degree in Jewish Education, Leadership, and Communal Service from Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University and a Master’s Degree in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. Cantor Blatt has performed for audiences all over the country including President Obama at the White House. With a background in dance, movement, and meditation, Cantor Blatt looks forward to integrating her passions into her programming. She also has been a certified personal trainer since 2010.