Cantor Miriam Eskenasy brings her considerable gifts and knowledge as a Cantor, musician, and teacher to the Jewish community. Born in Bucharest, Romania, to Zionist parents, Miriam immigrated to Israel when she was ten years old. It was there that she discovered her talent for languages, becoming fluent in Hebrew, French and English in addition to her native Romanian.
At sixteen, she and her family came to the United States. Miriam completed high school in Columbus, Ohio and resumed her French and music studies at Ohio State University. She graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York with a B.A. in Romance Languages, specializing in French literature and minoring in music. For the next twenty years, Miriam lived, worked, married and raised a family successfully in New York City.
During this time, Miriam continued singing and performing opera. She eventually joined the Rottenberg Chorale, a Jewish choir in New York. During her ten-year involvement with the chorale, Miriam realized that singing Jewish music strengthened her own identity and passion leading her to choose it as her life’s work. In 1998, she was accepted at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York where she studied not only Jewish music in-depth but also Jewish history, philosophy, liturgy, Torah, biblical grammar and more. In 2002 Miriam was ordained as a Cantor.
After serving congregations on the East Coast, Cantor Miriam came to Chicago where she currently resides, to become the Cantor of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in 2008. From July 2014 to June 2016, Miriam worked as the Spiritual Leader of Temple Israel, Miller, IN. Currently she tutors b'nei mitzvah students at Temple Sholom of Chicago, and teaches privately. She has distinguished herself as a teacher of both children and adults always inspiring her congregants and students to deepen their understanding of God, Torah and Jewish music.
In her spare time, Miriam enjoys the good company of friends and her wonderful daughters and grandson, Carin , Erica and Elias when they visit. She enjoys walking along Lake Michigan, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Art Museum and the many other cultural opportunities available in beautiful Chicago.