Marlborough student finds her voice with international Jewish choir


By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer

Eliana Greenstein Himle

Marlborough- For Eliana Greenstein Himle, being a member of Hazamir, the International Jewish High School Choir, has had a huge impact on her life. She has already performed with this group at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.

Eliana is a junior at Marlborough High School and while she has a rigorous week with classes and homework, she so looks forward to her Sunday rehearsal schedule with other members of the Boston Chapter of Hazamir who meet each week at Temple Beth Shalom in Framingham.

“To me, being a member of this group of 400 high school students is so much more than a choir. Everyone who is a part of Hazamir spends months learning the same music all over the country and Israel while creating meaningful friendships with those in their chapter. Everyone is passionate about singing the Jewish repertoire and eager to meet new people to make more lifelong friendships. Not only are the people amazing but the music we create is magnificent,” said Eliana.

Eliana was first introduced to the Zamir Choral Foundation at the time of her Bat Mitzvah by her rabbi. She auditioned at that time while in eighth grade. She loves that fact that every participant is learning the same music at the same time and they might even speak different languages. When they come together to perform it is magical.

“In January we have something called ‘Intervisitation’ where everyone from the East Coast comes together. There are over 200 of us now rehearsing with all of the parts of the songs equally represented. We don’t get to hear all of the harmonies, etc. until this time. Everyone’s voices join as one to create stunning harmonies and powerful emotions throughout the audience and choir. This year’s ‘Intervisitation’ will be held in Baltimore and while it is a working rehearsal, anyone can come and listen,” said Eliana.

One of the things that strikes Eliana the most is the people. She cannot say enough about the testament to their friendliness, genuiness and sense of community within the Hazamir group.

“It doesn’t matter if you are from the East Coast, West Coast or Tel Aviv, you form strong friendships quickly that last. Everyone becomes like a family,” said Eliana.

Each year in March there is an event called Festival where every Chapter comes together. This is typically a four- day event where participants rehearse from Thursday until Saturday with a final concert commencing on Sunday. Shabbat is celebrated together as well. This event will be held in New York City next on Sunday, March 18 at Lincoln Center.

“My husband, Wayne, and I chaperone events like Festival in New York City. Seeing all of these talented kids come together and listening to them perform is truly a very emotional and magical experience. Along with the 60 other chaperones, we have an amazing time. The songs and the melodies will take you away,” said Eliana’s mom, Sherri.

Hazamir was founded 25 years ago by maestro, Matthew Lazar. His wife, Viviann, is the director.

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