Cantor Elias Rosemberg of Temple Emanuel of Newton honored by Masorti Olami at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York

NEWTON, MA. December 14, 2016 – Cantor Elias Rosemberg of Temple Emanuel was recently selected to receive the Hiddur Mitzvah Award, which was presented during a festive Latin American-themed evening of entertainment including fabulous musical performances. 

The World Council of Conservative/ Masorti Synagogues (Masorti Olami) builds, renews and strengthens Jewish life throughout the world, with efforts that focus on existing and developing communities in Europe, Latin America, the Former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and Australia. They conduct activities within the context of the overall Conservative/Masorti movement, in close cooperation with partner and affiliated organizations in North America and Israel. Cantor Rosemberg is personally committed to the mission of Masorti Olami and is deeply humbled by this award.

Originally from Buenos Aires, at 18 years of age Cantor Rosemberg won “Argentina Sings for Israel”. He completed his B.A. in Pathology, Audiology and Speech Therapy at the University of Buenos Aires and was ordained at the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer inaugural Beit Asaf Cantorial class of 1994. Cantor Rosemberg began his career at Chaim Weitzman Community in Buenos Aires and served as Hazzan at Lamroth Hakol Synagogue from 1990 to 2000. He immigrated to the United States and served Temple Emeth of Chestnut Hill, from 2001 to 2007. Since 2007, Cantor Rosemberg has served Temple Emanuel in Newton and is the New England Chair for the Cantor’s Assembly. He is featured on the CDs “Encore”, “The Spirit of Jewish World Music”, “The Spirit of Celebration” and “My Beloved Prayers and Songs”.

In her moving tribute to Elias, Rabbi Michelle Robinson shared that, “ten years ago, when he was installed as our Hazzan, our beloved Rabbi Samuel Chiel, may he rest in peace, gave him the most beautiful blessing, taken from the special service on yom tov as we take the Torah scrolls from the ark.  We pray: va’ani tefilati, which our siddur translates as ‘I offer my prayer to you.’  Rabbi Chiel suggested another reading.  Not I offer my prayer, but rather, I am my prayer.  It’s not only about how you sing. It’s also about how you live.  It’s not only about what you do on the bimah. It’s about what you do in life.  Don’t just sing a prayer. Be a prayer.  That was Rabbi Chiel’s blessing.

Since then, Cantor Rosemberg has showed us how to be a prayer.  From when they were young, he has welcomed his sons, Mikey and David onto the bimah at the end of services to sing Adon Olam together. Singing with him proudly then, and again at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, along with his dedication and love for his wife, Lorena, he has touched our congregation in many ways.

Not only does he mobilize the yiddishkeit of his own children, he mobilizes the yiddishkeit of our congregation’s children. Cantor Rosemberg created our synagogue band, Tizmoret, where teen musicians create a symphony of sound for us on Simchat Torah, Hanukkah and Purim.  He has given a spot every single week to talented teens to lead, inspire, and be inspired at Shabbat Alive.  He produced a sold-out performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat with our congregation. He creates experiences of magic like a Community Seder on the second night of Passover which is the hottest ticket in town.  Cantor Rosemberg helps to expose us to the world, bringing groups to Argentina and Spain to learn about Judaism in other parts of the world.”

Over sixty friends, family and congregants from Temple Emanuel joined Cantor Rosemberg at the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City for a very special evening in his honor. Cantor Rosemberg was proud to be the first Latin-American cantor to receive this award. A beautiful duet with Rabbi Robinson and Cantor Rosemberg captured so eloquently just how meaningful his music and direction have been to Temple Emanuel over the years. “Everyone here tonight heard your extraordinary voice,” she said. “But your signature move is not showcasing that voice.  Your signature move is the duet. Your signature move is ‘join me,’ said Rabbi Michelle Robinson. Cantor Rosemberg also received commendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Newton, the New England Patriots Organization and the Zamir Chorale. 

“What a truly memorable event and spectacular tribute to our beloved Hazzan, Elias, as well as to Rabbi Marcelo Rittner and Marion Mayman, the evening’s other honorees,” exclaimed Lisa Hills, former Temple Emanuel President.