The enormous talent in our choir is what gives it the spiritual “sound” and depth.
Judy is a former teacher of music, language and crafts in private schools. An experienced performer and lecturer in piano, song and storytelling, she has appeared in Baltimore, Washington, Miami, Rochester, Atlanta and elsewhere at libraries, book and craft fairs, schools and educators’ conferences. Her musical education was at The Peabody Institute (now of Johns Hopkins University), at Towson State College (now University), and at Baltimore Hebrew College (now at Towson University) High School. She is a Certified Child Care Provider and worked for Play Keepers at Yeshivat Rambam as Director of after-school care and, more recently, at Krieger Schechter School.
She has written several picture books. Several pieces of her chapter book, The Mysterious Chanukah Candles and Other Holiday Adventures, have appeared in print. Her features, profiles, fiction, book reviews and Op Ed pieces have been printed in Ladycom magazine (paired with one by editor Sheila Gibbons), Baltimore Jewish Times, Jewish Week (New York), Washington Jewish Week, Philadelphia Exponent, Shofar magazine, The Sun (Baltimore) and other periodicals. Her poetry and essays have appeared in the Baltimore Evening Sun, Women’s Voices of the 90’s and Chesapeake (National League of American Pen Women)–including first and third prize winners, The Baltimore Review and elsewhere. Professional Touch’s 1998 Touchstone includes her first-prize winning “Sweet Susan.” She has also contributed two chapters to Blu Greenberg’s proposed book, Mikveh.
Judy was commissioned by The Jewish Publication Society to produce their first audio cassette, Five Stories from The Aleph-Bet Story Book, featuring her narration and vocal performance of her own setting of the title song. Following the publisher’s sellout of the tape, she retrieved her rights and markets this second edition with her own cover design.
As the only authorized collaborator of award-winning author Sadie Rose Weilerstein, Chernak produced the three-title K’tonton in Israel Read-Along Book & Cassette Series based on Weilerstein’s 1960 Jewish Publication Society’s book. She edited stories, narrated, composed and performed vocals and piano music, produced the books and tapes, and has marketed them internationally since 1984 through her company, Judy Chernak Productions.
She also edited and illustrated the original edition of her daughter Wendy Chernak Hefter’s The Complete Jewish Wedding Planner, subsequently published by Harper & Row, 1988, and now in its fourth edition from PSP Press, Baltimore.
Many of her original poems, songs, riddles, games and crafts were published by the Baltimore Board of Jewish Education in its Home Start Program, 1982-83, for which she produced eight cassettes as well as creating and editing numerous print materials for this holiday subscription package for families with young children. Home Start was subsequently purchased and reformulated by Behrman House Publishers.
Currently Judy is representing Alliance Learning, Inc. as a Certified Tutor for their unique intervention software that remedies learning gaps in both Math and English. The program is being placed in schools as well as offered for individual students.
Judy has four children and nine grandchildren. She has held membership in The National League of American Pen Women (in Letters and Music) and is past president of the Baltimore Writer’s Alliance. While serving numerous community organizations and reviewing books for Children’s Literature journal and on-line for Jewishbooks.com, she also sings with the championship Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus of Sweet Adelines International and the choir of Chizuk Amuno Congregation of Baltimore and has directed an á cappella chorus at Beth Tfiloh Community High School.