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Singing in perfect harmony

In fine voice .... the Zamir Choral Choir

The International Jewish High School Choir

Building a musical bridge of awareness and respect between Israeli and American Jewish teens

HaZamir Israel, 24 talented singers from 6 different high schools in the Sharon area, is one of 23 HaZamir choirs - the others being in cities throughout the U.S. These young men and women, chosen by audition, who must be as personable and as fluent in English as any good Israeli diplomat, meet weekly to learn the vast HaZamir repertoire (some 18 pieces in 6 months). They will join their 270 counterparts in New York for a weekend of preparations for a Carnegie Hall concert at the end of March 2014. They also perform for Jewish and public schools in the New York and New Jersey areas.

HaZamir was founded in 1993 by Matthew Lazar, the founder and director of the Zamir Choral Foundation. An acclaimed maestro in both general and Jewish music circles, Lazar is driven by a passionate commitment to the Jewish choral tradition. His desire to give American Jewish teenagers high quality musical experiences, along the lines of all state high school choirs, consistent with Jewish tradition in both form and substance, led to the formation of HaZamir.

The companion goal of HaZamir is to instill a love of Jewish choral music into the next generation, ensuring that this form of Jewish cultural expression continues with the passage of time.

But HaZamir is not only about making beautiful music. For the Israeli teens, this is an experience which opens their eyes to pluralistic Judaism. Secular and observant, believers and doubters, those of different backgrounds, levels of knowledge and observance all come together for a weekend which includes celebrating Shabbat in a manner that respects all forms of observance. It also includes round table discussions on current events, life in Israel, and being a global Jewish teenager. Both these American and the Israeli young people come away with a greater understanding of how important Israel is to American Jews and also how important American Jewish support is to Israel.

HaZamir Israel was born in 2006. Its charismatic and talented conductor is Lior Ben Shlush. This year, a new chapter is being developed in Beit Shean with the help of their Partnership 2000 city, Cleveland, Ohio. We hope to see new chapters grow in other Partnership cities in the next few years.

On December 29, 2013, HaZamir Israel will be joined by members of several HaZamir America choirs under the baton of Maestro Matthew Lazar for a concert at the Mishkan of Music and Arts in Raanana. The only way to understand what HaZamir is about is to hear them. Please join us.

Sima Rolnick is the Manager of HaZamir Israel. 



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