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Reflecting On 

Our HaZamir Season   


I have the best seat in the house! From here I can look out over the entire HaZamir Youth Movement as it impacts the lives of the singers in HaZamir and their audiences.



  What a year this has been! We sang in Carnegie Hall as part of the Zamir Chorale's 50th Anniversary. We Sold Out Lincoln Center - 4 weeks in advance of our 18th HaZamir Gala! We performed at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance on Yom HaShoah and we gave local concerts in so many of our cities across the country and in Israel.  



Our HaZamir Israel family visited their sister city, Columbus, Ohio before coming to New York City the week before Festival.  As ambassadors for Israel, they visited public schools and Jewish Day Schools and introduced hundreds of American teens, Jews and non-Jews alike, to the beauty of Israel. It was the first time any of the public school teens in Columbus had met an Israeli and the hugs that were shared belied the import of this interaction.

HaZamir proves again and again that it's never too early to empower young people as long as it is done with direction and guidance. Just watch our HaZamir singers demonstrate artistic excellence and discipline as they experience the great joy that singing together creates.

In this issue of HaZa-News you'll read about the highlights of our 2010-2011 season from the people who experienced them. You'll hear from our singers, parents, chamber choir singers and alumni.

I'm keeping my seat - I can't wait to see what next season brings!

We wish you all a wonderful summer!


Vivian Lazar

HaZamir Director


A duet at Gala. 


Soloists at Gala. 


Happy HaZamir Faces ...... 


at the 18th HaZamir Festival.


bella The First Time's the Charm

By Bella Rubinton ( HaZamir NYC


Practice, practice, and more practice - that's how I've spent two hours of every Sunday afternoon this year in my weekly rehearsals with HaZamir NYC, preparing for the Gala concert at Lincoln Center. These rehearsals, however, did not prepare me for the power and meaning of the HaZamir Festival weekend when an international group of teens came together like small pieces fitting into a great choral puzzle.


I felt welcome from the start. I made friends while waiting on line to register. I made friends during the first rehearsal. I even found a "Shabbat-o-Gram" on my door, welcoming me to Festival when I returned to my room to prepare for Shabbat. I was immediately


Havdalah at Festival 

a part of the HaZamir family. It was surreal - discovering that I was surrounded by Americans and Israelis  alike who were all dedicated musicians and friendly people.


While the concert has come and gone, the experience still resonates. I had the chance to meet teens from all over the world who share a love of singing Jewish music. Overall, it was an insane and wonderful whirlwind of activity that I will not forget anytime soon.




             Singing For


Gilad  Shalit


All Eyes ...


 On the Conductor

The Teen Leader Experience

by Zoe Grossman ( HaZamir Bergen County)  




HaZamir is not just the International JewishHigh School Choir. The music is undoubtedly important, but it is not the only reason why we come back year after year. The strong sense of community  that is created through HaZamir gives us an incredible trans-denominational experience, forging close bonds and creating friendships that last forever. As a Teen Leader, I felt that it was my responsibility to foster those feelings in new and old members of HaZamir.


This was the first year of the Teen Leadership Program, and I was lucky enough to have been chosen to be one of the Teen Leaders from HaZamir Bergen County as well as the Chair of the  International Teen Leadership Committee.



Teen Leaders writing Shabbat-O-Grams to new Festival members  


My experience as a Teen Leader at this year's Festival was extremely fulfilling. Through all the activities that  we engaged in; writing Shabbat-O-Grams (candy included) to welcome HaZamir Festival first timers, the ice breakers we ran for the Festival "newbies", and the Teen Leadership meeting we held on Shabbat afternoon to discuss the leadership of each chapter, we were able to jumpstart friendships among HaZamirniks and enhance the already beautiful community that HaZamir provides for us.  



Teen Leaders being introduced at the Festival weekend 



Ambassadors For Israel

by Shir Dykan and Arad Dagan (HaZamir Israel)



During the year, HaZamir Israel may seem far away, but when we come to the United States we all know that we are part of the HaZamir family. Every spring, HaZamir Israel comes to America for the annual HaZamir Festival and Gala Concert. We fly to the States a week early to visit and perform in different schools and interact with American communities.


This year we had a unique experience - we visited Columbus, Ohio before coming to New York. Columbus, is the sister city of Kfar Saba, where HaZamir Israel meets each week. We performed in many schools including two public high schools (where there were no Jews). In addition to being singers, we became Ambassadors for  Israel- meeting non-Jewish teens, most of whom had never met an Israeli before, and gave them a new perspective about Israel.   

This feeling reached its high point when, on our last day in Columbus, we performed  a big concert for the entire Columbus community
. At the end of the show the teens from the public Arts High School joined us to sing "Heal Us Now". We were amazed that non-Jewish  teens from a public school had learned the words to this song, in Hebrew, and sang it by heart with us!  This was a perfect ending to the Columbus, Ohio leg of our trip.    




HaZamir Israel performs in Congregation Beth Shalom in Columbus. 


Our flight from Columbus brought us to New York just one day before Festival weekend. After a night with our surrogate families in Bergen County, a day of touring in New York City, and singing for the Solomon Schechter and Heschel schools, we finally boarded a bus that brought us to the HaZamir Festival. The weekend was amazing. We reunited with our American HaZamir friends, we sang for hours and hours, we talked about Israel and Judaism with Ameircan teens at the annual mifgash (encounter), and we remembered that American Jews support us and love our country.


Festival changed our lives!


We will never forget singing in Lincoln Center for a Sold Out audience. We will never forget the friends that we made and the music that we made with them. Some of us will be back next year, to do it all over again. Others of us are graduating and going to the army, where we will be defending out homeland for our friends and family in Israel and in America.  


All of us will take HaZamir with us wherever we go.

From Israel to LA - HaZamir Unites Us All! 



HaZamir Chamber Choir 

by Sarah Immerman (HaZamir Cleveland

chamber pic


We sat down  at our first Chamber Choir rehearsal - American and Israeli singers together - and immediately started singing. No time for socializing, introductions, small talk - we dove right into the music. That's the beauty of Chamber Choir, the ability to throw ourselves into the music and connect to each other on a deeper level than "hi, my name is..."    



The three pieces that we sang this ye245ar all evoked different emotions within us. We even performed Benjii Ellen Schiller's U'kratem Dror and attempted to sing like gospel singers and "toast that white bread"  as Mati put it during rehearsal.


 After 3 years of Chamber Choir and 5 years of HaZamir, I know that I have been shaped by the music I have sung and the friends I have made. Our conductors are inspirational; they are some of the most caring people I have ever met. HaZamir builds both Jewish identity and strong relationships- friendships that go far beyond "hi, my name is..."  



Parent Chaperone Reflection

by Sandy Lasserson (Parent, HaZamir Cleveland)


Perhaps I should've volunteered earlier, but I never found the time.  Besides, HaZamir Cleveland was in the capable hands of other volunteers........ Then three weeks before the 18th Annual HaZamir Festival my daughter had reconstructive foot surgery and wouldn't give up the hope of attending.  


This stubbornness sparked the "chaperone" in me.  Admittedly, my goals were not-so-noble: I'd make myself useful, be on hand to assist her, and relieve the other chaperones of the worry.  Little did I know that she'd be pain-free, Hazamirniks would take care of her, and I'd spend the bulk of my time falling in love with Hazamir.  jana


It was busy, tiring, challenging, and complicated.  However, it was also making friends, enjoying a special Shabbat, and understanding the magic.  By the concert I was familiar with the music, teens, staff, conductors, and accompanists.  I sat on the edge of my seat and then cried throughout the concert!


"It sounds so good, it hurts," I had said to a fellow parent.  Not only was I pleased that my daughters were part of the blend; but sitting in the dark distance, I knew that I had played a part in this musical miracle, and that this experience was my silver lining to the concern over Jannah's surgery.       


It's difficult to understand why managing behavior, logistics, and safety has such a profound effect on us adult chaperones!  It took two days for me to stop reeling, and the imprint will be with me always.  


My only regret was that I hadn't caught on sooner!



Beyond Graduation

by Alyssa Blumenthal (Alumna, HaZamir Long Island



I can still clearly recall my first HaZamir Intervisitation. It was January of 2008 and I was a sophomore in high school looking for answers. It was my first major experience with a choir and it was my first time truly experiencing Jewish music outside of the synagogue.


Spending only a handful of hours at a HaZamir event, I forged lasting friendships. I was moved by the music in a way I never had been before. My love for Judaism also deepened through the HaZamir experience, and going to Shabbat services and Hebrew high school no longer seemed a chore. Instead, I wanted to be involved. I craved spirituality and meaningful musical experiences and I redefined myself as an individual.



HaZamir Alumni perform at Gala..

This past spring, I joined HaZamir Alumni at Lincoln Center for the annual Gala performance. I was once again surrounded by peers who shared my love for music and Judaism, and as we sang the reprised HaZamir at the finale of the program, I felt reawakened and refreshed. Even after my high school graduation, HaZamir continues to be an important part of my life, and I am already counting down the days until I can reunite with my fellow HaZamirniks and HaZamir Alumni next year. 



To All Our

HaZamir Graduates 


Welcome to the HaZamir Alumni Association!


In This Issue
The First Time's the Charm
Teen Leader Experience
Ambassadors from Israel
A Parent Chaperone Reflection
Beyond Graduation

Sing with HaZamir at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires!


July 17-24

Quick Links


Mark your calendars for September 4th
for the
 Teen Leadership
Orientation Meeting

The Zamir Choral Foundation 475 Riverside Drive
Suite 1948
New York, New York 10115

If you cannot be there physically, please be available to skype in.



LOVE HaZamir?

LOVE Music?

LOVE Learning?



Sign up for the 

College Credit Program



 "Songs of My People"

 Taught by Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman



Learn about the songs in the HaZamir repertoire through an online course and receive 4 college credits!

 For more information or an application, click HERE

HaZamir Chamber Choir to appear at the 22nd annual


North American Jewish Choral Festival


July 10th 


Hudson Valley Resort and Spa

  for more information on the North American Jewish Choral Festival click HERE

HaZa - Year
at a Glance:


MAY 2011:
HaZamir Concludes its 
2010-2011 Season
MAY 1:
HaZamir Appeared at the Annual Gathering of Remembrance 
in New York City
Local and Joint
End-of-Season Concerts

HaZamir Chapters  in  Dallas and LA and
Hartford, CT


MAY 22:

HaZamir  Concert at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale

JUNE 2011:

College Credit Program

HaZamir seniors register for 4 college credits through the
HaZamir/Gratz College

JULY 2011:

Annual HaZamir
 Conductor's Meeting and
Conducting Master Class 


Matthew Lazar

North American Jewish 
Choral Festival

goes to 
Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
A week-long
master class

September  2011:

Teen Leadership
Annual Orientation



Local HaZamir 
chapter rehearsals begin

  Membership applications due


Chamber Choir auditions

Israel visit by Matthew Lazar to rehearse with
 HaZamir Israel



Preparations for Intervisitation


Martin Luther King Weekend

Winter Intervisitation/
Chamber Choir 
Hosted by
 HaZamir  Baltimore


Gala Festival Solo Auditions 

Festival Applications Due

Save the Date
MARCH 16-18, 2012

19th Annual HaZamir
Festival and Gala Concert 


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Zamir Choral Foundation 

Dynamic Music Programming

 Education   ♦   Jewish Leadership   ♦   Partnerships with Israel  
♦  Community Building

Zamir Choral Foundation
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1948
New York, NY 10115


www.ZamirChoralFoundation.org   ♦  info@zamirchoralfoundation.org  
phone: 212-870-3335 ♦   fax: 212-870-3336