Cantor Vicky Glikin’s love of Jewish music started at an early age. While growing up in Kiev, Vicky joined a Children’s Jewish Musical Theater at age 11, and Jewish music and performance have been a part of her life ever since, following her to Skokie shortly thereafter, Northwestern University and currently Congregation Solel in Highland Park.
Edwin Bederman, Vicky’s nominator and congregant, sang her praises: “Cantor Glikin has taught our congregation new ways to pray and to achieve spirituality through her personal dynamics and the beauty of her voice.”
According to Bederman, Vicky worked as an equities analyst for a few years before realizing that her way to make a difference in the world was through service of the Jewish people. She quit her career to become a cantorial soloist and then became an official cantor through the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music HUC-JIR in 2007.
Singing, however, is not Vicky’s only involvement in the Jewish community. She supports OSRUI, Northwestern Hillel and JUF’s Russian Jewish Division. Her Ukrainian roots are still very important to her too: this winter, she helped raise funds to ensure proper medical care for several of the Ukrainians injured during the revolution.
Full-time Cantor at Congregation Solel in Highland Park and mother to Adam, Michelle, and Sam
On the side:
Engagement in the Russian-speaking Jewish community and spiritual support for unaffiliated families
Happily married for almost 11 years to my high school sweetheart, Vlad Leybovich
How do you give back?
Work more with the unaffiliated families in the Chicago area, including members of the Russian-speaking Jewish community. I would also travel and spend more lazy afternoons with my kids.
Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Passionate, hard-working, intelligent, empathetic, compassionate, adventurous, sincere, curious
Celebrity doppelganger/who would play you in a movie:
Lea Michele or a young Barbara Streisand
How do you Jew in Chicago?
I'm the cantor at Congregation Solel and participate in various events organized by the Russian Jewish Division of the JUF. My volunteer work is also informed by my Jewish values and is an extension of them.
My family, Judaism, yoga, reading, hiking, singing, music, traveling, creating meaningful worship experiences, helping people
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
Engaged, committed, inspired, unified, tackling issues that plague our beautiful city such as poverty, gun violence, inadequate education, unequal opportunity, etc.
Me in 10 years:
Engaged, committed, inspired, still loving doing what I do and feeling that I am making a real impact on people's lives.