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In This Issue
Josh Jacobson's Musings
Baby Jacobson
Upcoming Concerts
Fall Roundup

Quick Links

Zamir CDs on Sale Now!
All Zamir Chorale of Boston CDs are on sale now through December 31*
*on-line only

Compact Discs: regularly $10, now $7.50

Zamir DVD: regularly $10, now $7.50

Ten-CD gift set: regularly $80, now $60


On the Air

Ten Zamirniks formed a mini-chorus in the studios of WERS Boston on October 21 as part of the station's live Sunday-morning broadcast of Jewish-themed music. Writer Chris Gillespie's column captures the essence of Zamir. 


Check out the article, photo, and video clip  here.


Zamir Live-in-Studio at Chagigah

Alumni News and 


The Zamir Alumni Relations Committee (ZARC), chaired by Alan Teperow and Bruce Creditor, and now known as ZAMRU (Zamir Alumni: Music and Ruach)

is planning a Boston-area alumni gathering in January as an opportunity to sing some of Zamir's oldies and to reconnect; watch your email for details. We also hope to continue our NY/NJ alumni gatherings and are eager to work with other regional groups in developing a Zamir alumni presence in your area.


If you'd like to join our efforts--via occasional conference calls to set policy and programming--just let Tep know at [email protected].


And don't forget to send your personal and professional updates (simchas, achievements, condolences) to alumna Ronda Jacobson for inclusion in "Zamilestones."

Ronda Jacobson selling Zamir CDs 
Alumna Ronda Jacobson selling CDs at Zamir concert
YouTube Features
Watch the

Zamir Chorale of Boston's

From Boston to Berlin performance at Slosberg Hall, Brandeis University, 

June 2012!   

Sim Shalom, From Boston to Berlin, Brandeis University's Slosberg Hall, June, 2012
"Sim Shalom," sung by
 Joel Caplan
Kiddush sung by Louise Treitman
"Kiddush," sung by
Louise Treitman

"Mahnung," sung by
Naomi Gurt Lind
Mah Tovu-Enosh-Halleluyoh
"Mah Tovu-Enosh-Halleluyoh"
The Twenty-Third Psalm
"The Twenty-Third Psalm"

 WINTER 2012  

Dear Friends of Zamir,


As 2012 draws to a close, we celebrate the power of music and community in the Zamir family, and in the world. Sharing our voices lifts our souls in times of joy and sorrow. In this issue, you'll find news of a special simcha in the Jacobson family, as well as information about our upcoming concerts, and a roundup of a busy fall season. And if you don't already have your tickets, be sure to come to Hanukkah Happens XXIII on December 24 at Temple Emanuel in Newton! May 2013 bring you and your loved ones peace and laughter, music and meaning. 

In each issue of E-Notes, Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson offers his unique insights and experiences as a world-renowned scholar, composer, conductor, and influential teacher of Jewish music.

A couple of years ago The New York Times Josh Jacobson printed an op-ed piece by Miles Hoffman about the dearth of "classical music" in American synagogues. I responded in my own column, explaining that the author was right and he was wrong. He was wrong because he had not been open to the possibility that non-notated and non-harmonized music could be considered classical. It sure is in India, Turkey, and other Asian countries. So why not think of the great cantorial recitatives as being classical? And even within the Western concept of classical, he was discounting (or unaware of) the great contributions by Rossi, Lewandowski, Hal�vy, Milhaud, Schoenberg, Ben-Haim, Bloch, and many others. But, alas, he was also right. Because rare is the synagogue where you can hear this great music. 


In March, Zamir will be participating in the Boston Jewish Music Festival with a program featuring "classical" liturgical music by four great American composers: Lazar Weiner and his son, Yehudi Wyner; and Hugo Adler and his son, Sam Adler. Together with Hebrew College's chamber choir, Kol Arev, we will be presenting this gorgeous but rarely heard music, not in a synagogue service, but in a concert setting.

Sam Adler and Yehudi Wyner 1968
Sam Adler and Yehudi Wyner 1968

Preparing this program was an eye opener (ear opener?) for me, giving me the opportunity to get to know some wonderful compositions, most of which were not on my radar screen at all. Lazar Weiner, who came to this country from Russia in 1914 at the age of seventeen, established his reputation as a choral director and composer of Yiddish art songs. Although he was skeptical of organized religion, he was a deeply spiritual man, with a respect for tradition, and served for nearly fifty years as music director of the Central Synagogue in New York City. His son, Yehudi Wyner, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who has served on the faculties of Yale and Brandeis universities.


Hugo Adler was chief cantor of Mannheim, Germany, and barely escaped Hitler's executioners in 1939; he later settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, and served for sixteen years as cantor and composer at Temple Emanuel. Sam Adler served for thirteen years as music director at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas. Under his direction, the choir grew to 100 members and set the standard for synagogue music. Sam served for many years as professor of composition at the Eastman School of Music, and now, in his retirement, teaches composition at Juilliard. 


Sam and Yehudi will be honored guests at our concert; they will discuss both their own and their fathers' music. The program will take place at Northeastern University's beautiful Fenway Center on Sunday, March 10. Tickets will be available from the BJMF. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, not to be missed!

"Saba" Josh  Josh and baby Ziv


Mazal Tov to Ronda and Josh Jacobson on the birth of their grandson, Ziv Ohr Shalem Jacobson, who was born to Shira and Ben Jacobson on November 28 in Pardes Chana, Israel. Welcome to the Zamir family, Ziv. You're in for a wonderful, spiritual, musical ride indeed!







Hanukkah Happens XXIII

Hanukkah Happens 2012 Monday, December 24, 7:30 pm: Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward Street, Newton. This year, Zamir performs Arthur Honegger's oratorio Le Roi David, featuring soloists Cantor Elias Rosemberg, Cantor Lynn Torgove, Patrick Cheedon, and Prof. Barbara Grossman in the role of narrator; Amy Lieberman will guest conduct. Following intermission, we'll celebrate Israel's 65th birthday a little early, with a rich array of selections, including Naomi Shemer's "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" and Robert Starer's "Break Forth Unto Joy." For ticket information: www.templeemanuel.com/HanukkahHappens. 


50th Jubilee at Temple Beth El, Sudbury

Sunday, January 20, 2013, 3:00 pm: Zamir is delighted to be performing as part of "A Jubilee Celebration: Beth El at 50,"at Congregation Beth El of the Sudbury River Valley, Hudson Road, Sudbury, Mass. The temple's own Cantor Lorel Zar-Kessler will join Zamir as guest soloist; and the choir, Shir El, will participate in the festivities. For information:www.bethelsudbury.org.


"Open Your Eyes" at Temple Shalom, Newton

Sunday, February 10, 7:00 pm: 175 Temple Street, West Newton. Zamir performs a full-spectrum program from our classical, jazz, and liturgical repertoire. The Temple Shalom choir, with Cantor Peter Halpern, will join Zamir for a few selections. This concert is offered as part of the Anita Wyner z''l "Open Your Eyes" series. 

Zamirnik Naomi Gurt Lind had a very special relationship with Anita, who passed away in March 2011 at the age of 93. Anita was one of the temple's founders and a veritable celebrity in the community. Read Naomi's fond remembrance of Anita here. For more information: www.templeshalom.org.


L'Dor VaDor


Sunday, March 10, Time TBA: Fenway Center, 77 St. Stephen Street, Boston, on the campus of Northeastern University. As part of the 2013 Boston Jewish Music Festival, Zamir will perform in a special concert sponsored by Hebrew College and the BJMF, featuring the music of Hugo Adler and Sam Adler, and Lazar Weiner and Yehudi Wyner. For an inside look at the event, see Josh Jacobson's musings, above. Full info will be posted closer to the concert date at bostonjewishmusicfestival.org.


Middle East Harmonies Encore on the Cape

Sunday, May 19, 7:00 pm: Cape Cod Synagogue,145 Winter Street, Hyannis, Mass. We are delighted to reprise the spectacular program from our 2011 season, featuring music from "Middle East Harmonies: A Musical Dialogue Between Arab and Israeli Cultures," a collaboration of Zamir and Northeastern University. Guest musicians include flutist Amir Millstein, percussionist Taki Masuko, vocalist and oud player, Mehmet Sanlikol. The concert is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cape Cod. For information: jewishfederationofcapecod.com or email Terry Smily.





Touch the Dream: A Musical Tribute to Israel at 65

Thursday, June 6, 2013, 7:30 pm 

Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley 

A pops-style concert honoring Rav-Hazzan Scott Sokol


Co-sponsored by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and 

the Consulate General of Israel


Open Sing with LimmudBoston


Open Sing 2012 menOn December 2, a crowd of nearly 200 singers lent their voices for the annual Open Sing, held in conjunction with LimmudBoston at Congregation Mishkan Tefila in Chestnut Hill. Maestro Jacobson led the group in a reading of favorite choruses from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, followed by a spirited sing-along of music by Israeli songwriters and composers. 


Alan Nelson at Open Sing 2012
Zamir founding members Alan Nelson (second from left) and Alan Teperow (second from right) at Open Sing

Alan Nelson, Zamir founding member, had this to say: "Where else in the world can you spend two hours, sitting within the sections of the world's preminent Jewish chorale, under the direction of perhaps the world's foremost authority on the topic of Jewish music...and sing the great music that has sustained Zamir for 43+ years? The answer is...you can't!"

Open Sing 2012 women

Special thanks to Phyllis Hammer for once again underwriting the annual Open Sing. And much appreciation goes to our volunteer photographer, Mickey Goldin.  


Check out additional photos from the Open Sing on our website! 


Zamir Honors Joyce Bohnen at MWJDS


Also on December 2, Zamir participated in a gala event at the MetroWest Jewish Day School in honor of former board chair and longtime Zamirnik Joyce Bohnen. 


A chamber chorus sang John Rutter's "The Lord Bless You" for Joyce, who also joined the group as soloist for Benjie Ellen Schiller's "Haleluhu." 





 Zing, Zing, Zing Went the Children!


Roz Garber with grandson
Roz Garber with her grandson, Caleb

Temple Reyim was filled to capacity on October 28 for "Zing! An Interactive Children's Concert." Over 250 children and their families enjoyed an afternoon of Jewish music from Israel and America, just hours before Hurricane Sandy zinged through the Boston area. Chorus members dressed up as Noah, cats, birds, and teddy bears while demonstrating voice parts, call-and-response singing, rounds and harmony. Free kazoos were given to all children at the end of the program; refreshments were provided by the temple's Rosenshine Nursery School.


Zing! was made possible by the Garber Family, who commemorated the tenth yahrzeit in October of Lou Garber z'l, an enthusiastic devotee of Jewish music and co-founder of Zamir in 1969 with Josh Jacobson. Lou was passionate about kids, repairing the world, summers on Nantasket Beach, opening day at Fenway Park, and the local and global Jewish community--present and future.



As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far. Stay warm and be well. See you in the spring!



Barbara Gaffin 

Managing Director


Deborah Sosin

Editor, E-Notes