Cantor Kim Harris
Cantor Kim Harris joined the clergy in 2002 after receiving her cantorial investiture and Master’s of Sacred Music with honors from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Cantor Harris began her career as an educator following the completion of her studies in English at the University of South Carolina and earning a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the College of Charleston. Over the years, Cantor Harris became more heavily involved in Jewish music and education through teaching religious school and participating in the synagogue choir, as well as through her active involvement in the Women of Reform Judaism. Eventually she found herself leading many of the services in her home congregation, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, and traveling all over the Southeast to perform and conduct worship services, often serving in a cantorial role for regional Women of Reform Judaism conventions. These experiences inspired her to combine her passion for teaching with her love of Jewish music and liturgy by seeking the cantorate.
At Temple Beth-El, Cantor Harris focuses her cantorate on education of all ages with an emphasis on b’nai mitzvah – striving not only to create curricula, learning materials, and teaching methods that are innovative, fun, and motivating, but to kindle a love for Judaism. She endeavors to bring spirituality, warmth, and meaning into worship and into the lives of her congregants.
Outside of the Temple’s walls, Cantor Harris is an active member of the American Conference of Cantors and the Reform Cantors of Chicago. She has received recognition both for her scholarship and musical compositions. Several of Cantor Harris’s songs appear in works published by Transcontinental Music Publications (now URJ Books and Music). Her Master's thesis, Southern Voices: The History and Music of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Charleston, South Carolina, was awarded academic honors and can be found in university libraries across the country. Cantor Harris is often consulted by those studying the music of early Jewish America and has served as a scholar-in-residence for the Women of Reform Judaism, Southeast Region.
Cantor Harris is married to Brian Harris and is proud of her children Nathan and Dana, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, and grandson, Jacob Daniel.