Student Cantor Rachel Black
Rachel is a third year cantorial student at the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to cantorial school, she served synagogues in the Kansas City region as a cantorial soloist, composer, and religious school director. She has traveled the world, singing at commemorations and special events, most notably at the House of Representatives, the Knesset, the National Press Club, and Temple Israel of the City of New York. As a young child, Rachel’s family lived in Jerusalem, and later moved to Rockville, Maryland, where she studied for her bat mitzvah under Cantor Mike Stein at Congregation B’nai Tzedek and began formal voice lessons with Cantor Susan Berkson.
Rachel earned her Bachelor of Music in Performance from Berklee College of Music, focusing on her vocal training and songwriting. Rachel has composed original music for Yom HaShoah, baby naming ceremonies, Yizkor, and Selichot themes. Her critically-acclaimed song “Edyka” has been featured in publications around the world such as the Kansas City Star, the Miami Herald, U.S. News and World Report, the Jerusalem Post, and the Times of Israel. She says, “My Jewish life, family history, and deep connection to prayer through song carry me through my daily life, defining me, and shaping my role in my family.”
In the fall of 2020, Rachel took a big step in her cantorial journey by beginning her studies at JTS remotely. Now entering her third year, Rachel’s love of nusach, tefillah, and the Jewish community have only deepened. Under the tutelage of Cantor Jack Mendelson, Rachel enjoys exploring coloratura vocal styles and deepening her studies of nusach. Rachel currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband, Eric, and three-year old daughter, Cora. Rachel is thrilled to join the Melville JC community in her new role as Part-Time Student Cantor. The whole family is excited to relocate to New York and begin the next chapter.
Please join us to give Cantor Rachel, Eric and Cora a warm Melville JC welcome!
Cantor Rachel can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org