Roz Barak - Vocal Artist and Cantor
Jewish Clergy/Lifecycle Officiant (weddings, memorials, etc.)
I have loved singing from the time I was a little girl. Music always filled my house and has been the driving force of my life. Being a cantor has provided me with a sacred opportunity to sing for a higher purpose. As a concert artist I love to sing in every style, and I choose my music according to the message that is inherent in the poetry and the texts. When the words and music touch my soul, it is perfection.
Cantor Roz Barak is Cantor Emerita of Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco, having served for 28 years as Senior Cantor at that venerable religious institution. She received her musical training at the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music, both in New York City. Before her decision to enter the cantorate, she received numerous awards and honors for her vocal artistry, and appeared in concerts and operas throughout the United States and Israel.
Roz toured Germany several times in conjunction with the release of her acclaimed album “The Jewish Soul”. She appeared in concert at the Brecht Theatre in Berlin for the opening of the Jewish Film Festival in 2006, and programmed and performed in a groundbreaking concert for Vatican officials in Rome in November of 2010.
Although she is most known for her singing abilities, she has served as a pastor to her congregation, officiating at life cycle events and teaching students; she has published essays in several Jewish publications and online; she has taught at the Geiger College in Berlin and lectured on the topic of synagogue worship in Weimar Germany. During her tenure at Emanu-El she also produced a fine concert series, Music at Meyer, which lasted 13 seasons and showcased young and upcoming artists of the Bay Area and elsewhere.
She also studied for a degree in psychology and attained an MA in 1996. The Hebrew Union College conferred a Doctor of Music/Honoris Causa on Cantor Barak in 2011. Roz’s oral history was published by the University of California/Berkeley in its Bancroft Library, which is available online.
Since her retirement Cantor Barak has continued to co-lead High Holy Day Services at various synagogues as well as conduct master classes and private coachings, officiate at life cycle events and teach Jewish studies.