Staff

Vivian 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 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.

Cantor Ronit Wolff Hanan, HaZamir, Director of Special Projects, has been steeped in Jewish music since she was a child and has been a presence in HaZamir for over a decade, first as a parent, then co-founder and coordinator and, now, conductor of HaZamir Bergen County. Ronit’s vast HaZamir experience positions her perfectly to have a great impact as the HaZamir network continues to expand and develop across the U.S. and Israel. Ronit holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University and a Masters in Sacred Music from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where she was invested as a Hazzan in 2012. She sings with the Zamir Chorale, and is the Music Director at Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey, where she co-conducts its award-winning children’s chorus, Tzipporei Shalom. Cantor Hanan can be reached at rhanan@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.

Fran Ginsburg, Development Consultant, is a seasoned and highly successful not for profit leader whose career in Jewish community development includes service as Chief Executive, Development Director, Consultant, and project manager for such leading institutions as the Weizmann Institute of Science, 92nd Street Y, Brandeis University, University of Haifa and UJA Federation. Fran's experience and skill in board development, strategic planning, solicitation techniques, campaign implementation, community building, staff and volunteer training and not for profit management bring a high level professionalism to ZCF's development activities.

Ms. Ginsburg holds an M.A. from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany.  Her strong commitment to Israel and Jewish life stems from her background as child of Jewish Partisan fighters during the Holocaust.  Ms. Ginsburg can be reached at fginsburg@zamirchoralfoundation.org.