The International Jewish High School Choir is a musical youth movement that uses music to create strong bonds between Israel and Diaspora youth. There are 30 HaZamir chapters across the United States and 6 in Israel. HaZamir singers study Jewish classical and contemporary choral music, are trained in leadership skills as well as provided with the highest standards for musical training. Each year, all HaZamir Israel chapters travel to the United States for a week- long visit to rehearse with 400 other Jewish high school students for a gala concert in a major New York City concert hall.
This year’s concert took place at the Metropolitan Opera House. All HaZamir Israel singers also spend 3-5 days in various cities in America acting as ambassadors for Israel.HaZamir is not only an international choir of the highest standard, but an experiential educational experience that is an investment in the future of Jewish leadership of both countries. HaZamir was founded by Matthew Lazar and Zamir Choral Foundation.
Bat Ella is a secular Israeli-sabra who is very proud of her Jewish heritage and believes that Judaism is a “treasure” that belongs equally to all Jews. She presents pluralistic, egalitarian and Israeli Judaism.
Bat ella, a singer, graduate of the IDF Performing Art Troupe “L’hakat pikud Darom”. Through her performances of songs of prayer and liturgy from the Jewish Sources in melodies and arrangements that express the rich musical texture of the Israeli melting pot, Bat ella makes the “Jewish Bookshelf” accessible to diverse audience. These performances have the ability to bring elation, joy, optimism and hope – a performance of “Israeli soul music with Jewish flavor”.
As a musical spiritual leader, Bat ella conducts moving musical experiences on themes from the Israeli-Jewish culture and heritage, that invite and encourage audience participation – children and adults.
Bat ella is the “signature” singer and leader of Jewish spiritual music in the network of schools belonging to “Tali Foundation” (strengthening of Jewish studies) that includes close to 300 schools with 45,000 children and 400,000 graduates in Israel. Some of her music has become anthem-like among thousands of Israeli families, including “Helelu”, “T’filat Haderech” and “Tfilati” (My Prayer).
Bat ella has to her credit two solo albums of music, “T’filati” (My Prayer) (2010) and “L’chi Lach”(2015), a musical production devoted to the renowned American singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman. Both albums are produced and arranged by Amos Ben-David.
Boaz Dorot, Musical Director
Boaz Dorot is a composer, arranger, choir conductor, pianist and music educator.
Graduate of the Cross – Disciplinary Composition Department in the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.
His original pieces have been performed by The Israel Sinfonietta Beer Sheva orchestra, Meitar Ensemble, Tempera Ensemble.
Boaz has been involved with the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism since early childhood and in the Noar Telem Youth Movement as a counselor, songleader and program director. Nowadays he is deeply involved in the IMPJ , leads musical services, composes for T’filah, conducts choirs , and supervises music in prayer services. He had directed major musical events and training for musicians in the IMPJ. He was the Musical Director for the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism 2016 Biennial.
Boaz is the co-founder and Musical Director of Nigunim Ensemble. This pioneering ensemble creates, arranges and performs music, accompanying religious services throughout Israel.
Mikolot Mayim Sacred Music: Feliza & Or Zohar
Rabbi Or Zohar is a musician, a spiritual activist and a community builder in the Reform Movement in Israel, currently serving as the rabbi of 2 Reform congregations in the Galilee: Ma’alot Tivon and Misgav Regional Council. He is the former founding rabbi of Kehilat Halev of the Daniel Centers in central Tel Aviv and the former musical director of IMPJ’s Israeli biannual.
Together with his life partner – singer, artist, art therapist and cultural activist Feliza Zohar, they have been sharing their original sacred music for over a decade, using it as a powerful tool for bringing people together in creating a vision of a pluralistic, progressive and spiritual society in Israel.
Their first album, “Lev Tahor Sacred Music” has been a pioneering voice in the new wave of contemporary Jewish spiritual prayer in popular Israeli music. For many years, Or and Feliza perform and lead services in major Israeli spiritual festivals, their original melodies are known, loved and used in various Reform congregations in Israel and around the world such as in this Australian Netzer youth gathering, this congregation in West Palm Beach Florida, or at the Hava Nashira gathering.
Mikolot Mayim – Sacred Music is Feliza and Or’s second album. It is a musical “mandala” of 13 original melodies, a musical journey throughout the various spiritual nuances of Shabbat. It is an authentic musical voice among Israeli Reform congregations today and reflects the broader phenomena of contemporary Israeli spiritual and liberal Jewish awakening. “Mikolot Mayim is launching musical tours in congregations in Israel and around the world beginning spring of 2017.