Staff

Vivian Lazar is the Director of HaZamir: The International Jewish High School Choir 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 teens across North America and Israel. Ms. Lazar can be reached at vlazar@zamirchoralfoundation.org.

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.

Ellie Reis, HaZamir, Director of Teen Activities, comes from a background in youth movement leadership through USY and Young Judaea. Prior to joining HaZamir, she worked at Rubenstein Associates, a public relations firm in New York. She has a BA in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies from Mount Holyoke College. Ms. Reis can be reached at hazamir@zamirchoralfoundation.org.

Marilyn Gurtman-Oppenheimer, Office Manager/Bookkeeper, comes to Zamir following a twenty year career in Information Technology.  Previously with Interactive Data Corporation, Marilyn’s IT background serves her well in overseeing finance and data. Ms. Gurtman-Oppenheimer can be reached at mgoppenheimer@zamirchoralfoundation.org.

Debbie Berger, ZCF’s Office Assistant since 1994, is integral to all aspects of the Foundation’s work with a particular emphasis on NAJCF and support for Matthew Lazar. Ms. Berger can be reached at dberger@zamirchoralfoundation.org.

Sandra Laserson, HaZamir Midwest Regional Coordinator, a speech-language pathologist, received her BA in Psychology-Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Michigan and her MA in Speech-Language Pathology from Northwestern University. In the community, she has chaired annual events for FMS, @Akiva, the Mandel JCC Playmakers Youth Theater, and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Sandywas a long-time piano student and credits her love of Jewish music to her father, a classical and Jewish music enthusiast who played the guitar and sang with her from a very young age. Sandy and her husband, Steve, are blessed with four wonderful and musical daughters, who have enjoyed and grown through the HaZamir program. Sandy can be reached at slaserson@zamirchoralfoundation.org

Hadas Sturman, HaZamir 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