Gerald C. Skolnik

Why We Need to Sing… Now!

North American Jewish Choral Festival 2024

Join our magical musical community - North American Jewish Choral Festival! Sing and learn with great conductors and teachers, enjoy beautiful surroundings, and have the time of your life! #bestweekofthesummerRegister and learn more using the link in the comments below.

Posted by Zamir Choral Foundation on Monday, May 6, 2024

Why Jews Need to Sing Now More than Ever Before

By Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik


To Sing is to Belong

To Sing is to Celebrate

To Sing is to Express a Wide Range of Emotions

To Sing is to Reflect on the Future

Music, without any words, is a universal language that transcends all boundaries and differences. Choral music, which blends glorious music with lyrics, is more complex. It can convey our deepest feelings of joy and sadness, a lament for our past, as well as a hope for a better future. The North American Jewish Choral Festival, a program of the Zamir Choral Foundation, will take place for five splendid days from July 14-18 in Westchester County. In a lovely venue, the Festival provides a unique opportunity to become part of a harmonious ensemble made up of hundreds of voices that create one glorious sound, giving expression to all of these emotions and sentiments.

NAJCF brings together like-minded people who form community through the music of the Jewish people. Singers from novice to pro have the opportunity to share their love of singing and Jewish music with the best and most talented musicians from around North America. The Festival provides a platform to meet others who know this music is bigger than the individual, or even an acapella group like those that have become popular on so many college campuses. Even these few days of singing with people who are so committed to Jewish choral music affirms a sense of identity and affinity for Israel, and our common bonds with other Jews.

Festival participants enjoy a variety of uplifting Jewish musical experiences. These include daily community sings; workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics; and evening concerts featuring guest choirs and outstanding performers.

Political or religious ideology are not a concern. There is no ideological or religious screening for participation. The only things that do matter are whether you are a tenor, bass, alto or soprano. Zamir creates a safe space that will respect you for who you are and acknowledges that you share the common goals of the group to make excellent music in which glorious, quality sound, lasting friendships, and emotional bonds are accomplished.

The Festival is a jewel in the Zamir Choral Foundation crown and I hope you’ll be able to join us to feel the music! To register for this year’s Festival, go to North American Jewish Choral Festival – Zamir (

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the Rabbi Emeritus of Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens and President of the Zamir Choral Foundation ( He has been involved with Zamir, both as a singer and as a board member, for over fifty years.

About the Author
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the Rabbi Emeritus of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.
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