Temple Beth Miriam in Elberon will welcome its new cantor, Scott Borsky, when he conducts his first service for the congregation on Friday evening, July 2.
Borsky has more than 20 years of experience as a cantor. Originally from Cherry Hill, he has served congregations in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He comes to Beth Miriam from Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill.
“Scott is the entire package. He has a wonderful voice, he’s very engaging as a person, he’s warm and embracing, and he wants to be a part of the Beth Miriam community,” said Rabbi Cy Stanway. “He’s an exceptional pianist and a wonderful match for us.”
Borsky told NJJN he fell in love with the congregation. “I’m a Jersey boy. I was looking for a place to hang my kipa here. I wanted a haimish, wonderful synagogue and congregation heavily active in music, with lots of kids.
“This is a wonderful congregation with the heart and soul of Yiddishkeit,” he said.
Borsky also said he appreciates that Stanway plays guitar and that congregants who play percussion or guitar often join the rabbi on the bima at Friday evening Shabbat services. “I want to use music to teach Judaism and prayer and to bring joy into Shabbat,” Borsky said. He said he plans to start an adult choir and a children’s choir and “bring out the spirit of Shabbat through music.”
Borsky is the first non-student cantor the congregation has had in at least 12 years.
“We loved our student cantors and they served us faithfully and well,” said Stanway, “but we wanted some consistency, someone who would be here every week, with not only breadth but also a depth of talent and experience and someone who could engage children, adults, seniors, and bring plenty of energy to the job.”
The synagogue’s most recent student cantor, Raina Siroty-Flowers, had been in line for the part-time job at Temple Beth Miriam. Instead, she accepted a full-time position at a synagogue in Sylvania, Ohio, after budget cuts cost her husband his full-time job teaching music in the Millburn school district.
“We really liked Raina. It was very difficult,” said Stanway. “But as they say, ‘gam zeh l’tova,’ this too is for the good. We just had to wait several months to realize the good. We lost our student cantor, but we hired Scott.”