Kenneth A. Kanter - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Kenneth A. Kanter, Rabbi, DD

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Contact Information

(513) 487-3256
Executive Director of Roots of Reform


Academic Field: 
Professional Development
Research Interests: 
American-Jewish Cultural History, with special focus in American Jewish popular culture

Rabbi Kenneth A. Kanter serves as Interfaith and Special Projects Coordinator at HUC-JIR/Cincinnati. He previously served as Associate Dean and Director of the Rabbinical Program at the Cincinnati campus. In 2005, Rabbi Kanter concluded 13 years as Founding Rabbi of Congregation Micah of Nashville, TN. Born in Chicago, IL, Rabbi Kanter received his B.A. in Jewish and American History from Harvard University in 1974, his M.A.H.L. from HUC-JIR in 1978, was ordained in 1980, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from HUC-JIR in May, 2005.

Rabbi Kanter served for ten years as Rabbi of Chattanooga’s Mizpah Congregation.  Previously he served as Assistant Rabbi at Congregation Ohabai Sholom, in Nashville, TN, as Jewish Chaplain and Adjunct Professor 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. His third encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Jewish American Popular Culture, was published in 2009.

 Kanter is married to Dr. Toni Kanter. They have three children and two grandchildren.


Selected Publications and Edited Works

The Jews on Tin Pan Alley  (Author)

Jewish-American History and Culture  (Contributor)

Jewish American Popular Culture (Contributor)

Current and Future Courses
Senior Practicum Seminar
Fourth Year Homiletics
Fifth Year Homiletics
Second Year Mentoring Seminar
“Days of Our Lives”—Resources for the Jewish Calendar and Life Cycle
Public Lecture Topics
Shiru Ladonai Shir Chadash- Jewish Liturgy from the Tanach to the Campfire
The Jews On Tin Pan Alley
We Jews on Broadway
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor
The Day After Anatevka
Gold Before the Crash
From the Silver Screen to the Great White Way
The Bible on Broadway
New York, New York
Is it True What They Sing about Dixie?
Izzy and Jacob and George
The Country’s in the Very Best of Hands- The Broadway Songs of Politics
Of, For and By the Women—the Iconic Songs, Roles and Women Performers