HUC-JIR to Present Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to Elena Zarkh

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Elena Zarkh with the Doctor of Music at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.  Cantor Zarkh was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.

Cantor Zarkh joined the clergy of Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington, PA, immediately following her investiture as Cantor from HUC-JIR’s School of Sacred Music in 1985.  In the quarter-century that she has served the congregation, she has taught more than 1,500 B’nai Mitzvah candidates and officiated at hundreds of weddings and other life-cycle events.  Cantor Zarkh officiates at Shabbat and holiday worship services, directs the Temple’s adult volunteer and childrens’ choirs, teaches adult eduation classes and music to School of Early Learning and Religious School students.

While her repertoire includes Jewish and classical music, Yiddish and Hebrew melodies, liturgical, Chassidic, Russian, Ladino music and Italian arias; her vocal range is dramatic and expressive.  She has appeared as featured soloist in numerous concerts throughout the Philadelphia area.

Born in Leningrad, Russia, Canto Zarkh earned her Bachelor of Music from the Music Colege of Leningrad, Rimsky-Korsakoff Conservatory.  Her unique background has enabled her to support Philadelphia’s Russian Jewish community through teaching, performing in concerts, and supporting them through life-cycle events.

She and her husband Serge Goldberg reside in Elkins Park and are the parents of Marsha and Rebecca.


Founded in 1875, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion is North America's leading institution of higher Jewish education and the academic, spiritual, and professional leadership development center of Reform Judaism. HUC-JIR educates men and women for service to North American and world Jewry as rabbis, cantors, educators, and nonprofit management professionals, and offers graduate programs to scholars and clergy of all faiths. With centers of learning in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, Los Angeles, and New York, HUC-JIR's scholarly resources comprise the renowned Klau Library, The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, research institutes and centers, and academic publications. In partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, HUC-JIR sustains the Reform Movement's congregations and professional and lay leaders. HUC-JIR's campuses invite the community to cultural and educational programs illuminating Jewish heritage and fostering interfaith and multiethnic understanding. www.huc.edu