Rabbi David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, awarded Cantor Roslyn Jhunever Barak with the Doctor of Music at Graduation Ceremonies in New York on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York. Cantor Barak was honored for 25 years of scholarly distinction as an alumna of HUC-JIR.
Cantor Barak has served Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco since 1987, one year after her graduation and investiture from HUC-JIR/New York. She received musical training at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and was the recipient of several prestigious vocal awards and honors. Before entering the cantorate, she was a concert recitalist and opera singer, appearing in the Santa Fe Opera, the Israel National Opera, the Jerusalem Symphony, and the Israel Philharmonic.
Aside from her numerous duties at Congregation Emanu-El and the Jewish community of the Bay area, Cantor Barak appears regularly in concerts around the country and in Europe and Israel. She has toured Germany eight times in recent years in conjunction with the worldwide release of her CN, "The Jewish Soul," and appeared onstage in concert at the Brecht Theatre in Berlin for the opening of the Berlin Jewish Film Festival in 2006.
Cantor Barak is a member of the Cantors Assembly and the American Conference of Cantors, where she serves on the Board. In that capacity, she served as chair for the 2008 National Convention in San Francisco, and is currently co-chairing the upcoming Vatican concert committee. She is responsible for the programming of that very important, groundbreaking event in Rome in November, 2010.
She is dedicated to interfaith work and helped compile the songbook for the United Religions Initiative, as well as encouraged the various faith communities of San Francisco to combine their annual interfaith Thanksgiving services into a single community event. Cantor Barak was appointed to the Board of Shalom Bayit, an organization dedicated to eradicating domestic violence.
Cantor Barak sat on the editorial committee of the Reform movement's new prayerbook, Mishkan Tefillah. She has published essays, articles, and reviews in various Jewish publications including "American Rabbi" and "The Journal of Jewish Synagogue Music" and online for the Union for Reform Judaism's "Ten Minutes of Torah." Cantor Barak also holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Her son, Danny, is an attorney living in Sacramento.
Click here to view the National Ordination/Investiture/Graduation press release.