Board and Staff

Board of Directors 2015-2016

Joshua R. Jacobson, President
Robert Snyder, Chair
Gilbert Schiffer, Treasurer
Peter Finn, Clerk
Richard Blocker
Frumie Burns
Bruce Creditor
Bruce Donoff
Barbara Gaffin, ex officio
Rachel Miller, ex officio
Elana Rome, ex officio
Lawrence Sandberg


Professional Staff

JOSHUA R. JACOBSON, Founder and Artistic Director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, holds a Bachelors degree in Music from Harvard College, a Masters in Choral Conducting from the New England Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to his responsibilities with the Chorale, Dr. Jacobson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University, where he served for nine years as Chairman of the Department of Music, and for six years as the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Studies. He also holds the position of Adjunct Professor of Jewish Music at Hebrew College.

Prof. Jacobson has conducted workshops on choral music for various groups, including the American Choral Directors Association,the American Conference of Cantors and the Zimriyah International Choral Festival, and he has guest conducted a number of ensembles, including the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Boston Lyric Opera Company. He has given lectures on various aspects of music for a number of organizations, including the pre-Symphony lectures sponsored by the Friends of the New England Conservatory. He has also written articles on various aspects of choral music, and has published compositions and arrangements which have been performed throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Europe and Israel. In 1989 he spent four weeks in Yugoslavia as a “Distinguished Professor” under the auspices of the Fulbright program. In 1994 he was awarded the Benjamin Shevach Award for Distinguished Achievement in Jewish Educational Leadership from Hebrew College. Prof. Jacobson is past President of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Edwin Swanborn EDWIN SWANBORN, Accompanist, studied with Dr. Anthony Newman at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, and has participated in master classes with Gustav Leonhardt and Anton Heiller. Mr. Swanborn is Music Director of the historic First Parish Church in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He is also the Artistic Director of the Candlelight Concert Series of Duxbury, a nationally recognized chamber music series. Founder-Director of the Boston Baroque Chamber Players and harpsichordist of the Atlanta Virtuosi, Mr. Swanborn also serves on the music staff of Northeastern University in Boston. Solo and chamber music engagements have taken him to all corners of the United States as well as to Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Mr. Swanborn has made several compact disc recordings which have been enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike.

Barbara Gaffin With over 35 years experience working in Jewish community relations and public policy, BARBARA GAFFIN, Managing Director, has advocated on behalf of, developed partnerships with, and established cutting edge projects with local, national, and international civic groups, government agencies, and Jewish communities, including Boston, Washington DC, Ethiopia, Israel, Ukraine, the Former Soviet Union, Argentina, and Yemen. Barbara is a decades-long advocate on behalf of Ethiopian Jews.

Some of Barbara’s previous positions include serving as Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Boston, congressional liaison for the National Conference on Soviet Jewry in Washington, DC, and coordinator of “Freedom Sunday” for Soviet Jews in Washington in 1987 – the largest rally ever organized by the Jewish community in the US.

Zamir Chorale of Boston

1320 Centre Street, Suite 306
Newton, MA 02459

Phone: 617-244-6333

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