Francine Berg Named Cantor at Menorah Park
After full careers as a Syracuse School District educator and cantor at Temple Concord, Francine Berg was recently named cantor for Menorah Park.
Cantor Berg will officiate Friday Shabbat services as well has all holiday religious services at Menorah Park’s main building that is home to a skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation services and an assisted living community. Berg will also officiate the Jewish holiday services at The Oaks, Menorah Park’s independent living community .
Originally from Geneva, Berg moved to Syracuse in the ninth grade. As a member of the Temple Adath choir, she taught Sunday school music classes and aspired to become a cantor, a career not open to women. It was not until the Women’s Rights Movement of the 1970’s that Berg would be able to realize her dream to become a cantor. As both Temple Concord’s cantorial soloist and Cantor, Berg’s career spanned 33 years.
In addition to her role as cantor, Berg will continue her volunteer work, directing musical programs for Menorah Park. The “Forget Me Nots” chorus, features residents, many with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Working with local musician Irwin Goldberg, Berg also organizes the “Menorah Chorus.”
“Returning to Menorah Park as a cantor is like a homecoming. Leading music therapy programs for Menorah Park over the last ten years has given me the chance to connect on a professional and emotional level with the residents and their caregivers – we have become a little family, “said Cantor Berg, “ I love the Menorah Park community and am honored to be their cantor and connect with them spiritually.
Mary Ellen Bloodgood, Menorah Park CEO said, “We couldn’t be more pleased that Fran is now our cantor. Her compassion, sense of humor, love of music and a lifetime of experience assures our residents of a joyous religious experience.”