HaZamir's Professional Leadership

2.pngMatthew Lazar is the Founding Director of the Zamir Choral Foundation and the founder of HaZamir. As the leader of the Jewish choral movement in North America, his superior talents as conductor and interpreter of Jewish music have elevated the standards of Jewish musical performance and educated audiences. In addition to directing the Zamir Chorale, an adult choir, he has also created the Mantua Singers, the Selah Vocal Ensemble, and Shirah: The Community Chorus of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. He has inspired the creation of adult choral ensembles throughout the U.S. and, through the Jeanne R. Mandell Fund for New Music, has contributed to the expansion of the choral repertoire through commissions of new music by the finest Jewish composers. Maestro Lazar has also served as guest conductor for multiple symphony orchestras and festivals, and he presents regularly at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the other major concert halls across the U.S. and Israel. He has served on the faculties of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, is a frequent lecturer and scholar-in-residence, and has made multiple recordings with Zamir and other prominent ensembles.

1.pngVivian Lazar is the Director of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir. Ms. Lazar was chairman of the English department in a New York City magnet school for the gifted and talented where, for two decades, she taught honors English and dance. Ms. Lazar has created English and writing curricula for private new education initiatives and mentored teachers in the public sector. As an experienced amateur choral singer, Ms. Lazar brings to HaZamir an understanding of the musical and educational value of choral singing. Under her leadership, HaZamir has been increasingly professionalized and has expanded to include a growing number of programs and teens across North America and Israel.

Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman, Administrator and Director of Education for the Zamir Choral Foundation, earned degrees in general music, Jewish music and Jewish studies from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and has taught Jewish music to students of all ages for more than 40 years.  In addition, she has been affiliated with the Zamir Choral Foundation in various musical and managerial capacities since 1971, and currently serves as Administrator of the Foundation.  Dr. Bryan Edelman has been named Professor Emeritas of Music and Education by Gratz College, where she served on the faculty for some 25 years, and currently teaches as an adjunct faculty member at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Miller Cantorial School.  She is also a much sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics relating to the nature and history of Jewish music, and has been acclaimed for both the breadth of her knowledge and for the popular appeal of her presentations to audiences across the United States and in Israel. Dr. Bryan Edelman is the author of numerous articles on Jewish music for a wide range of national and international publications, as well as program notes attendant to concert and recorded performances of Jewish music. Her book, Discovering Jewish Music, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in June, 2003.  Dr. Bryan Edelman can be reached at info@zamirchoralfoundation.org.

Hadas SturmanHaZamir Israel Project Manager and Conductor of HaZamir Beit She'an, attended the Music Academy at Tel Aviv University. Ms. Sturman holds a BA in Choir Conducting and completed a two-year internship in Children's Choirs. She has been conducting a professional conservatory choir for the last fifteen years. Hadas can be reached at hsturman@zamirchoralfoundation.org.


Dani Paticoff, Assistant to the Director of HaZamir, received her BS in Music from Hofstra University on Long Island. Her lifelong passion for music began with voice lessons at age 6, continued as a student at Long Island High School for the Arts, and advanced in college at Hofstra University, where she was President of a Jewish a cappella group called Chai Notes. Dani comes to HaZamir after returning to New York from a year spent in St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked in the entertainment industry. Dani is thrilled to be back in New York and looks forward to working with the teens and staff of HaZamir. Dani can be reached at hazamir@zamirchoralfoundation.org.


Dr. Francene Sokol, Coordinator of the HaZamir Preparatory program, “HaZaPrep”, earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Her research on the mathematical modeling of human vision is published in leading academic journals. Dr. Sokol was a professor of Linguistic and Cognitive Sciences at Brown University and a neuropsychology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. She then served as Mathematics Department Chair and taught high school mathematics for many years at the Maimonides School and Gann Academy. Currently, she teaches mathematics and science at the MetroWest Jewish Day School.  Dr. Sokol has studied and performed instrumental and vocal music since childhood, and has performed in numerous instrumental, theater and choral groups. Dr. Sokol has participated for over twenty-five years at the North American Jewish Choral Festival. She currently serves as the coordinator of HaZamir Boston, a chapter that she co-founded in 2013.  She is thrilled to be working for the Zamir Choral Foundation, passing the joy of Jewish choral music to the next generation, including her own children who are members of HaZamir and Zamir Noded. fsokol@zamirchoralfoundation.org

Chris Mason, HaZamir Midwest Regional Coordinator.  Chris Mason, HaZamir alumnus and founding member of HaZamir Bergen County, has been a part of HaZamir's international community since 2007. A veteran bass singer, he participated in HaZamir's Chamber Choir from 2009 - 2012 and served as International Co-Chair of the Teen Leadership Committee in 2012. A graduate of William Paterson University, he has earned his B.M. in Music Education as a classical saxophonist, studying a minor in classical voice. The 2015 - 2016 season marked Chris' debut as the conductor of HaZamir Westchester. cmason@zamirchoralfoundation.org

Jeffrey Nadler, Director of Development.  With over twenty years of experience working with non-profits, government and public officials Jeff’s experience includes serving as the Chief Development Officer for the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly; Director of Development for Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson, where he created an award-winning campaign focused on hunger in the community; as well as Independent Curators International; and WNYC, New York Public Radio. jnadler@zamirchoralfoundation.org


Emma Miller, HaZamir Teen Educator, is a graduate of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute. A Jewish educator and theater director, Emma is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Emma spent many summers on staff at the Mandel JCC of Cleveland's Playmakers Youth Theater, where she trained camp staff, developed innovative curricular programming, and was Assistant Director of Performing Arts Camp, and developed a passion for Jewish arts-based education. She has taught and worked with teens at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Laurel School, The Mandel JCC of Cleveland, The Marlene Mayerson JCC Manhattan, Tkiya, Romemu, and B'nai Jeshurun. In addition to her work with HaZamir, Emma is co-artistic director of New York professional theater company The Hearth and is the Theater Arts Director at B'nai Jeshurun, where she created a new model for Jewish performing arts programming. Emiller@zamirchoralfoundation.org