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Our Clergy

Rabbi Steven Schwartz

The Rabbi Mark Loeb Senior Rabbi’s Chair, Endowed by the Herbert Bearman Foundation

Rabbi Steven 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 a member of the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly, and is the community member at large of the Johns Hopkins Homewood Institutional Review Board.  Rabbi Schwartz also is 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, his late wife was Rebecca Schwartz Z"L. He has three children: Talia, Joshua, and Merav. Click HERE to read Rabbi Schwartz's 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.

 Rabbi Naomi Zaslow

 Rabbi Naomi Zaslow received her rabbinic ordination and a Certificate in Pastoral Care   and Counseling at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May 2022. At JTS, she   received the Lillian M. Lowenfeld Prize in Practical Theology, the Rabbi Sidney Greenberg   Homiletics Prize for Sermons, and served on the Upper Manhattan Interfaith Leaders   Coalition. Originally from the Orthodox community in Miami, Florida, Rabbi Zaslow took a   circuitous route to rabbinical school at JTS. In 2008, she graduated Magna Cum Laude   from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, with a BFA in Visual Art and a minor in Intergroup Dialogue. After her BFA, Rabbi Zaslow served in Americorps (national community service), and then taught for two years at an underserved public school in Seoul, South Korea. Rabbi Zaslow holds a Masters in Jewish Education from the joint Hebrew College and Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies program in Jerusalem. She was a middle school Talmud teacher before answering the call to rabbinical school. 

While in rabbinical school, Rabbi Zaslow interned extensively in campus, pastoral care, and congregational settings. She served as a Campus Rabbinic Fellow at Binghamton University and the University of Michigan, and as a chaplain in hospital, eldercare, and prison settings. Rabbi Zaslow was also the acting rabbi of the Fitzgerald Hebrew Congregation in rural Georgia, and the clergy intern at the Fort Tryon Jewish Center in NYC, each for two years.

Mon, October 3 2022 8 Tishrei 5783