Cantor Karen Kumin
Cantor Kumin hails from the Philadelphia area, where she received Bachelor’s degrees in both English Literature (University of Pennsylvania) and Voice Performance (Temple University). While in Philadelphia, she played roles in various theater and opera productions, including Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers and Patience, Verdi’s Aida, and J. Strauss’s The Gypsy Baron.
In 1998, Cantor Kumin became an adult Bat Mitzvah, and, soon afterward, traveled to Israel to study Hebrew and Jewish studies through the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) in the tiny desert town of Arad, to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a cantor. After an eye-opening and moving experience in Israel, living for extended periods in Arad and Jerusalem, she entered Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Jerusalem and New York City.
Her Master’s thesis explored the Yiddish-English radio programs of the 1930s and ‘40s. For her senior recital, she recreated an old-time radio show, complete with announcers, guest artists, and a klezmer ensemble. The recital was an enormous success, and she was then afforded the opportunity to perform it in concert for the Hebrew Actors' Union on the Lower East Side of New York City.
Cantor Kumin graduated from HUC-JIR in May, 2006, after which she served as congregational cantor at Temple Emanu-El in Edison, New Jersey, where she had the honor of sharing the bima with guest artists Dan Nichols, Debbie Friedman (z”l), Craig Taubman, and Neshama Carlebach. While at Temple Emanu-El, she staged concerts featuring Jewish music from all over the world.
Through fall 2011, in addition to her new role at Yavneh, Cantor Kumin served as High Holy Day cantor for B'nai Chaim Congregation in Morrison, Colorado. We look forward to Cantor K’s extraordinary voice and presence enhancing Yavneh’s High Holy Day worship this coming fall and for many years to come.
Click here to view Cantor Karen's website and learn more about all that she brings to our community.