Sunday, December 4, 2011



SHIRAH Community Chorus on the Palisades
Led by Matthew Lazar, founding director and conductor,
WHEN:  Sunday, December 11 at 3 PM
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ (411 East Clinton Avenue) Taub Auditorium, Tenafly
TICKETS: $18 general admission; $15 JCC members) may be purchased by calling 201.408.1465 or e-mailing
For more information, please visit

Repertoire will include traditional Chanukah favorites in Hebrew and English, and the concert will feature a singalong of Chanukah songs with the audience.

About the SHIRAH Community Chorus on the Palisades
SHIRAH was created in 1994 by Matthew Lazar, who founded and directs the Zamir Choral Foundation in New York. Lazar also created the acclaimed North American Jewish Choral Festival, now in its 23rd year, as well as HaZamir: the International High School Jewish Choir Movement, with chapters throughout the United States and Israel.

SHIRAH combines the openness of a no-audition choir with the excellence and precise interpretation that are the hallmark of a Lazar-led group. A project of the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, SHIRAH brings together singers from across the Jewish denominational spectrum to perform the great choral works of the Jewish experience.

“People who are firm believers in the right, firm believers in the left, and firm believers in the center need a place where they can all agree. Fortunately, music is one of those places where we can all agree. This is what I've tried to accomplish here with SHIRAH,” said Lazar.

SHIRAH has been featured in concerts in the United States and Israel, including at Avery Fisher Hall (Lincoln Center), the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Bergen Performing Arts Center, and the Colden Center, featuring the world premiere performance of This Scroll by Dov Selzer with the Queens Symphony Orchestra. SHIRAH performs annually at the North American Jewish Choral Festival, and performs regularly in synagogue concerts throughout the tri-state area. SHIRAH was featured in the opening ceremonies of the 2003 JCC Maccabi Games at the Continental Airlines Arena (now the Izod Center) in East Rutherford, N.J., and performed at the North American JCC Association meeting in Philadelphia in 2006.

The chorus is supported by founders Bernie and Ruth Weinflash and their SHIRAH Endowment Fund in tribute to Matthew Lazar; the Ethel and Irving Plutzer Endowment for the SHIRAH Choir; and the Rhoda Toonkel Endowment for the SHIRAH Choir.

About the JCC Thurnauer School of Music
The JCC Thurnauer School of Music, New Jersey’s leading community music school, has been designated a Major Arts Institution by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Open to everyone with a desire to learn music, it offers a comprehensive program of private lessons for students of all ages on every instrument and voice, plus musicianship classes and orchestral, choral, jazz, and chamber ensembles. Concert and master class artists have included Glenn Dicterow, Pinchas Zukerman, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Paquito D'Rivera, Mark O'Connor, and Alan Gilbert and musicians from the New York Philharmonic. Recipient of a special award for "excellence and high standards" from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the JCC Thurnauer School of Music is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. It is an integral part of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, a non-profit organization serving more than 20,000 people annually from Bergen County and beyond.