The Light of Music
Professional synagogue choirs have a long tradition that started back in Europe in the sixteenth century. Our synagogue continues this long and beautiful tradition through its own choir established by Mr. Rosmarin in 1947. Mr. Lou Burko took over the duties of choir master in September 1963. The all-male choir became a mixed choir in 1983, when women’s voices were added, and today over 20 singers join their voices and sing for Shabbat morning services (except July, August, and winter break), as well as for High Holidays and Festivals.
Over the years, our cantors, from Solomon Gisser to Eric Moses, Gideon Zelermeyer and Boaz Davidoff were accompanied by this magnificent group of singers to help shape the experience of worship at Shaare Zion, making the tefilah in our synagogue an unforgettable occurrence. The music sang by our choristers is chosen to reflect our identity, the nusach binding us even closer together. Enhancing the beauty of our prayers are works by Salomone Rossi, Salomon Sulzer, and Samuel Naumbourg, great composers and arrangers of synagogal music.
The attention of our choir and of the choir director is focused on providing a perfect blend, balance, and delicate accompaniment of our chazzan. In my capacity as choir director, my efforts are continuously directed toward creating the appropriate ambiance through music and arrangements of quality that connect our congregants in a meaningful, and uplifting tefilah, supplementing the great work of our Rabbi, Hazzan, and Hazzan Sheini. Our repertoire is changed and updated from Shabbat to Shabbat, from High Holidays service to High Holidays service, and from Festival to Festival for the benefit of our congregation. I am proud to be part of the Shaare Zion family, and happy to see how the members of our choir are always improving their performance, and passionately dedicate their efforts to the beauty of our services. I am relentlessly trying to infuse my optimism into our choir’s performances, and the choir at its turn, tries to covey to you, our congregation. Every time our choir performs, it does so for each member of the Shaare Zion family, and for each guest that enters our synagogue, our home, Shaare Zion.