Published On: Tue, May 21st, 2019

HaZamir Sings for Pittsburgh

Solidarity Concert in Pittsburgh conducted by Matthew Lazar

At May 19 concert at Temple Sinai in Pittsburgh,

HaZamir members sang in solidarity with Pittsburgh

Boca Raton, FL – Singers from 20 chapters of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir joined HaZamir Pittsburgh for a free concert on May 19 at Temple Sinai in solidarity with the city of Pittsburgh.

Joey Breslau, 17, a member of HaZamir Pittsburgh, said, “In the wake of tragedy, the most important way to show support is by being a part of the community. I can’t think of any act more nurturing of relationships than choral singing.”

Below, HaZamir teens from the Bergen County, Boston, Cleveland, DC, Manhattan, Miami, Philadelphia, and Westchester chapters of HaZamir talk about the significance of the Pittsburgh concert.

The concert included the music of Nurit Hirsh and the Pittsburgh premiere of two new works—by Cantor Gerald Cohen and HaZamir Alumnus Samuel Rosner. The concert showcased Jewish musical styles from across the globe and throughout history.

Matthew Lazar, the founder of HaZamir in 1993, and conductors from various chapters of HaZamir, conducted. The concert was sponsored by The Zamir Choral Foundation. Created by Matthew Lazar, the Foundation promotes Jewish choral music as a vehicle to inspire Jewish life, culture, and continuity across generational and denominational lines. It sponsors HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir, comprised of 29 chapters in the U.S. and 10 in Israel, and the HaZamir Chamber Choir. Vivian Lazar is the director of HaZamir.

Ms. Lazar said, “It is imperative that we teach our young people that acts of hatred require a response. With antisemitism on the rise, what response can teenagers make? They can unite us with music as many voices join in song. I am so proud of our HaZamir teens who are traveling from cities across this country to join a national community in unity and harmony.”

HaZamir Teens on Significance of Pittsburgh Concert:

Ben Mitnick, 16 – HaZamir Bergen County

“Time and time again we will fight intolerance and come back stronger because of it. I hope, by singing from the bottoms of our hearts—by singing together—we can help spark something great in the world.”

Eliana Greenstein Himle, 17 – HaZamir Boston

“After the massacre in Pittsburgh, Jews from all over were shaken but unified. In HaZamir, all of us joined together as one Jewish community to show yet again that we will not stand for antisemitism, and we will persevere.”

Kayla Soclof, 17 – HaZamir Cleveland

“I think the concert in Pittsburgh is super important because it shows that HaZamir isn’t just about the music. We are a community that is part of the Jewish nation, and we give our support whenever and wherever it is needed. The best ways to fight modern day antisemitism head on is to embrace our Judaism and show our enemies that no matter how many times they try to push us down, we get right back up again more unified than ever and sing.”

Yosef Nelson, 17 – HaZamir DC

“The concert in Pittsburgh is a testament to the strength of the HaZamir community. At a time when Pittsburgh was hurt by violence and antisemitism, HaZamir united and rallied support for our friends in Pittsburgh. The concert in Pittsburgh gives us an opportunity to join our voices with a message of love and hope for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. I’m proud to be able to represent HaZamir as we work together to fight hate and spread a message ofTikkun Olam.”

Yael Beer, 17 – HaZamir Manhattan

“The recent violent acts of antisemitism in his country have made it easy to feel alone and scared as a Jew living in America. Communal gatherings like these, where we stand in solidarity to honor the dead, are precious moments where for a brief time, it becomes easier to feel supported and less alone.”

Alan Hatch, 17 – HaZamir Miami

“We join together to remember the tragedy in Pittsburgh and honor the lives lost in order to strive for hope, safety, and peace. This concert highlights the connection Judaism fosters between people – many of whom we have never even met – as we come together to show solidarity and unity in thought, prayer, and strength. We are one.”

Olivia Kogan, 17 – HaZamir Philadelphia

“The Pittsburgh concert emphasizes the ongoing support from a pluralistic community to stand up for the lives of all the individuals lost on October 27, 2018. On May 19, we are not Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox Jews, but rather one Jewish community ready to combat antisemitism. I hope that through the music that HaZamir will sing, healing and remembrance will fill the room and the audience. No one community should go through a tragic event alone. We are here as support.”

Gabe Lesser, 17 – HaZamir Westchester

“This concert in Pittsburgh is meaningful to me because our united voices demonstrate the resilience of the Jewish people. By supporting our Jewish community nationwide, we are able to show that we stand with Pittsburgh and that we will never let antisemitism win.”

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