As Temple Beth Shiras Spiritual Leader Sharon Steinberg is excited to offer musical, motivational, Jewish and educational environment. With a background that includes singing on 3 continents as an opera singer, serving as a music professor at several universities, leading congregations as a rabbi and cantor and working with individuals as a life coach and pastoral counselor, Sharon is able to offer a wide variety to our congregation.
Sharon was born in Queens, New York. Her passion for singing became evident at an early age. She majored in music in college earning both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Ithaca College and Indiana University respectively. Upon graduation, Sharon accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) teaching voice and other related music courses. She has also taught at the Community College of Baltimore, the Baltimore School for the Arts and the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay.
Concurrent with her years as a professor, Sharon pursued an operatic and concert career. Her recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall was met with critical acclaim. While on a European tour, she sang excerpts from Puccini’s La Boheme which was recorded for and subsequently broadcast on Italian National Television. Sharon has sung lead roles with many opera companies and orchestras around the world including Bel Canto Opera, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Southwest Virginia Opera, Roanoke Symphony and Johns Hopkins Symphony Orchestra.
In 1992, Sharon began her second major career as a cantor. She earned credentials through the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College and did course work for a Masters in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University. She served for seven years at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase, one year at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and eleven years at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria, Virginia. During her years as a cantor, Sharon conducted choirs, founded chamber ensembles and klezmer bands for which she often did the musical arranging and she performed often with her cantorial colleagues.
The role of the cantor is much more than a position as a musician. As a cantor, Sharon did a great deal of teaching and more importantly, she served as a pastoral counselor and spiritual advisor. Thus, Sharon realized that she wanted to further her education and study for the rabbinate to delve more deeply into Judaism and she wanted to pursue credentials as a life coach to help her be more effective as a counselor. She was ordained in June of 2013 by Mesifta Adas Wolkowitz Rabbinic Academy of America. She was recently certified as an Energy Life Coach through IPEC, the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
Sharon is the proud mother of three young adults, Rob, Dan and James, all of whom are musical and artistic.