Cantor Kathy Fromson has signed a five-year contract renewal with Temple Israel in Bath Township.
Fromson, who lives in Solon, filled in for cantors throughout the Cleveland area at houses of worship such as The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple and Montefiore, all in Beachwood, and Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike; but she had been looking for a place to call home.
“I really wanted my own pulpit,” she told the Akron Jewish News. “It’s very rare for a cantor job to open up, and especially where you live.”
She said when the job at Temple Israel opened up, she was contacted by the temple and eventually took the position.
“It was like a dream come true,” she said.
Now in her eighth year, Fromson is grateful for all that Temple Israel has brought into her life.
“It completely fills my soul,” she said of working as a cantor at Temple Israel. “I’ve never been happier and, to me, I don’t feel like this is a job.”
Fromson said she doesn’t consider her job to be work because it brings her so much joy.
“It comforts me while I comfort others,” she said. “It’s the most nurturing environment I’ve ever been in. I have an incredible clergy partner in Rabbi Josh Brown.”
She said the music of their heritage is special and to be able to sing to people is very powerful and fulfilling.
“If I can do this longer, it’d be great,” she said.
Fromson said she is looking forward to all that the next five years may have in store for her.
She has a goal of bringing more participatory services to the congregation, she said, and to bridge the generation gap between those who regularly attend worship services and young families who may not attend as often.
“While families are very busy, it’s very hard to have them want to come, so I’m looking for ways to engage,” she said. “I’m embarking on a new shabbat service called ‘Ruach Shabbat’ with cantorial soloist Rob Ross.”
Fromson said she and Ross, who previously worked at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, are excited about using a display screen as their prayer book to lift their eyes, voices and spirits. They plan on bringing in some secular music as well to create a fun and inviting environment.
In addition, she said her goal for the next five years is to be someone who can continually comfort and support people in the Temple Israel community in any way they need.
Fromson said she welcomes new families or anyone interested in learning more about the community.
“If families are new to the Akron area, or if people are stopping by and just want to visit us, or if you’ve lived here your whole life and have never come to the building, or you want to learn more about Judaism, this is the place to do it,” she said.