Ben Kintisch has found what he was looking for at the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music. In fact, the school has exceeded his expectations, bringing together many of his eclectic talents.
He says, “The small size of the school means that each student has plenty of close working relationships with our remarkably talented faculty. Many of my classes are composed of five to ten people, but sometimes are even as small as two or three students.” Ben continues, “I am also a proud member of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School choir, and it’s been a real thrill to sing with my classmates at some of the most beautiful synagogues in the city for concert appearances.”
Ben is also delighted to take part in student-organized concerts for tzedakah, where students have a chance to perform solo. Looking ahead, Ben hopes to use all that he has learned very much in that same vein. He explains, “I'd like to serve in a pulpit, perhaps in a medium-sized city. My ideal job would, in addition to leading services, involve a lot of teaching, song-leading, ensemble work, and tzedakah music. I like the idea of having different singing groups or choruses within a congregation, and then ‘touring’ to different community places needing a cheerful song—hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes.”
Even the beauty of the JTS quad is not lost on Ben. He says, “During a typical day, we move from one building to the next, walking outside through one of the various outside paths that ring the lawn and gardens. It's invigorating and refreshing to have that burst of fresh air in between long classes. Sometimes, I'll bring my chalilit (recorder), and play some tunes while standing in the middle of the lawn. The sound echoes in an ethereal way. It’s really lovely.”
It’s no surprise that Ben appreciates the greenery. He is a licensed citizen pruner, meaning he is allowed to care for city trees on a volunteer basis. He says, “This means I've had the pleasure of caring for the little trees in front of main JTS entrance.” Ben also plays ultimate Frisbee and rugby.
Ben has truly found a home at JTS.