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.