Cantor Sarah A. Zemel’s passion for Cantorial music and Jewish music of all types was sparked during her studies at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, from which she earned her Masters in Sacred Music and was ordained as a Cantor in May, 1998.  At the HUC-JIR, she was fortunate to study with Bet Am Shalom’s Cantor Emerita, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller. A cherished fellow Westchester colleague for many years, Cantor Schiller continues to be a generous mentor and endless source of wisdom and inspiration.

A native of Commack, New York, Cantor Zemel attended Duke University, from which she graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Religion and a certificate in Judaic studies.  A member of both the Cantors Assembly and the American Conference of Cantors, she has served congregations in Westchester, Long Island, and New Jersey.  She has been serving as the Cantor at Temple Shalom in Aberdeen, NJ in a part-time capacity since 2015.

Cantor Zemel has been a featured performer of traditional Cantorial music, Yiddish, Ladino, Israeli folk and art songs, and American Theater songs in a variety of settings.  She studied conducting in a summer course at the Westminster Choir College, and taught a semester-long choir class to Cantorial students at the Academy for Jewish Religion. Cantor Zemel is an active member of Kol Hazzanim: Westchester Community of Cantors, and currently serves on its Executive Board as its treasurer. She studies voice with Jane Olian at her private studio in NYC, and also enjoys playing the violin in the Excelsior Symphony Orchestra. Cantor Zemel lives in New Rochelle, NY with her husband Marc, and children Avital, Eitan, and Eliana. She is thrilled to be a part of the warm and welcoming Bet Am Shalom community.