Marcia Goldberg, past leader of B’nai El Congregation, dies at 72

Marcia Goldberg

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Marcia Lee Goldberg, a past co-president of Congregation B’nai El, an active volunteer for the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, and a music lover, died Tuesday, July 18, after a long battle with cancer, her husband, Warren Goldberg, said. She was 72.

Mrs. Goldberg was born Dec. 6, 1944, the daughter of the late Norman and the late Ruth Goldberg, each of whom owned music stores; her father owned MMB Music, and her mother owned MR Music. She was a graduate of University City High School and took classes at the St. Louis Institute of Music. At an early age, she showed great prowess in singing and entertaining. For many years, Mrs. Goldberg  sang on cruise ships and in nightclubs and other venues, her husband said. 

“Marcia loved music and traveled all around the world sharing her gifts with her audiences,” Warren Goldberg said.

In addition to her passion for music, Mrs. Goldberg was active for many years at Congregation B’nai El and served as co-president of the congregation with Marci Rosenberg. They served during a crucial transition period that led to the  reuniting of B’nai El with Congregation Shaare Emeth. 

Rosenberg worked with Mrs. Goldberg at B’nai El and as longtime active volunteers at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum. Mrs. Goldberg for many years served as a producer of the annual Yom Hashoah program sponsored by the museum to commemorate the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis. 

“Marcia’s Yom Hashoa programs were an inspiration not only here in St. Louis, but all over the nation,” Rosenberg said in remarks at Mrs. Goldberg’s funeral.

Rosenberg also expressed admiration for the courageous way Mrs. Goldberg dealt with her long battle with cancer. 

“She never asked for sympathy, and she never said, ‘Why me?’ ” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg and other speakers at the service last Thursdayat Berger Memorial Chapel said that Mrs. Goldberg’s talent as a singer with strong stage presence and a winning personality were evident from the time of her childhood.

Mrs. Goldberg was a dedicated volunteer for the New Mount Sinai Cemetery Association. She was praised for her strong involvement in a eulogy by Daniel Brodsky, executive director of the cemetery associati

Brodsky, along with Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, emeritius ofShaare Emeth, and Rabbi Lane Steinger, emeritus of Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Community, officiated at the funeral.

In his eulogy, Steinger said that he and Mrs. Goldberg were cousins. 

“I remember Marcia for her beauty, her strength of spirit and her enormous energy,” Rabbi Steinger said. “Marcia was always a take-charge person.” 

Stiffman recalled that when he arrived in St. Louis in 1965 to work with the late Rabbi Julius J. Nodel at Shaare Emeth, he was invited to accompany Nodel at the dedication of the new B’nai El synagogue building. Stiffman said he became immediately aware of how important B’nai El was to Mrs. Goldberg and her family.

“Alan Weiss noted some years ago that one’s life is not so much a journey as it is like a musical piece,” Stiffman said. “Marcia’s life was very much like a musical piece. After the service, burial was at New Mount Sinai Cemetery.

In addition to her husband, survivors include stepchildren Anthony Claunch and Marnie (Brian Barkhurst) Claunch and one grandchild. Memorial contributions preferred to BJC Hospicenursing staff or the St. Louis Holocaust Museum andLearning Center.