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FALL 2018 
Dear Friends of Zamir, 
Shana Tova to you and yours! Now that it's fall, we are getting into high gear for our exciting 50th-anniversary season, which will kick off on Thursday, October 11, with a Cabaret Reception at Newton City Hall. Throughout the year, in addition to our busy concert schedule, we will be hosting special events for alumni, starting with "Shir Joy: A 50th-Anniversary Sing-In," on Saturday, November 17, at Temple Reyim. See all details below. And be sure to read Josh Jacobson's reflections on the anniversary. We hope to see you soon (and often!).
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.
Photo by Andy Weigl
I can still remember the excitement of starting the Zamir Chorale of Boston in the fall of 1969. My friend and teacher Stanley Sperber, the founder and conductor of the Zamir Chorale in New York, had suggested that we start a Zamir in Boston.The New Yorkers provided some repertoire and lots of encouragement. So, with my co-conspirators, Lou Garber and Jerry Halpern, and with the chutzpah and energy of innocence, we proclaimed ourselves the Zamir Chorale of Boston, recruited about 40 singers, and started rehearsing.
And now in the fall of 2018, we've embarked on our 50th season--something we never could have imagined back in 1969. We've performed all across North America and in Europe and Israel. We've issued recordings (first it was LPs, then cassettes, then CDs), and videos on disc and on the web. We've performed hundreds of choral works, many of which were written for and first performed by us. We've encouraged and made it possible for many other choirs, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to explore Hebrew choral repertoire. More than 700 men and women have sung in the choir over the years. And we have received generous kudos from the press.
Zamir 1970
Zamir, circa 1970
So what are we doing in this, our jubilee year? We will be releasing a "virtual choir" video, featuring 150 singers from around the world singing Louis Lewandowski's great "Halleluyoh." And we'll be using that video as a springboard for our project to introduce the great classics of Jewish choral music to choral conductors across America. We've commissioned six beautiful new works from some of our favorite composers, and we'll premiere them at our gala concert in June. And we'll host a reunion of many of our Zamir alumni.
This fall, we're celebrating a number of
Pictured (l-r): Josh Jacobson, Alan Nelson, Dan Funk
other anniversaries, too. The State of Israel declared its independence 70 years ago. Leonard Bernstein was born 100 years ago in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and then grew up in Newton. Also 100 years ago, Rabbi Israel Goldfarb composed one of the best-known Shabbat songs, "Shalom Aleychem." (Sorry. That tune wasn't handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. It was written in New York.) We will be recognizing all of these anniversaries in our concert repertoire this fall. Come celebrate with us. We hope to see you in the audience.
Sunday, October 21, 7:00 pm, Temple Reyim, 1860 Washington St, Newton: We are delighted to return to Temple Reyim for a full-spectrum concert, including a tribute to Leonard Bernstein and liturgical gems from across the centuries. Info: Temple Reyim.
Sunday, November 4, 7:00 pm, First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 842 Tremont St (Rte. 3A), Duxbury, Mass: Spread the word among your friends on the South Shore that we're coming back to the home church of Zamir's longtime accompanist, Edwin Swanborn, who will perform on the church's newly refurbished pipe organ. For tickets, c ontact the church directly. 
Sunday, December 2, 4:00 pm, Central Reform Temple, 15 Newbury St, Boston: Don't miss this annual Hanukkah celebration and candle-lighting ceremony. The Chorale will perform in the cantata "A Light Through the Ages," text by Rabbi Howard A. Berman, which weaves a chronicle of the celebration of the holiday in many times and places over the centuries. Free and open to the public. Visit the Central Reform Temple website for details.  
Monday, December 24, 7:30 pm, Temple Emanuel, 385 Ward St, Newton: Our annual "Hanukkah Happens" concert, with guest soloist Hazzan Elias Rosemberg, will feature liturgical masterworks of the last 100 years. For tickets, visit Temple Emanuel.

Be sure to hold Tuesday, June 4, 2019,
for Zamir's 50th-anniversary gala concert, 
honoring Josh Jacobson, at
Sanders Theatre, Cambridge!

Josh Jacobson was named this year's recipient of Chorus America's Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a member whose long-term service to the choral field significantly furthers Chorus America's mission "to empower singing ensembles to create vibrant communities and effect meaningful change."   Watch Chorus America's wonderful video tribute to Josh and Josh's acceptance speech.
We are delighted to welcome new members Randi Levine and Hannah Szydlo, altos; Elisheva Grzegorzewski, soprano; and returning alums Marty Oppenheimer, bass; and Francene Sokol, mezzo-soprano.
As always, let us know what you're up to--we love hearing from our friends near and far.  Have a peaceful, healthy, and happy new year!   

Barbara Gaffin           Deborah Sosin        
Managing Director       Editor, E-Notes