Who are the conductors?

Josh Jacobson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Northeastern University, Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant in the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College, and founder and director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston. He has guest conducted a number of ensembles, including the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Bulgarian National Symphony and Chorus.  He has guest lectured and taught workshops for schools, synagogues, festivals and conventions throughout North America and in Israel. He has written two books, dozens of articles, and over 100 published compositions, editions and arrangements.  Dr. Jacobson holds degrees in Music from Harvard College, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Cincinnati. He was honoured with a special award at the 2017 North American Jewish Choral Festival for his services to choral music.

Prof. Jacobson leads The Challenge Choir at the AJCF 4, for experienced singers with strong music reading skills.


Kelly Shepard has conducted numerous choirs throughout his 25 year teaching career, building a performing arts program at Milken Community Schools, where he served as Musical Director for a vast range of musicals. Unexpectedly, he is also a master of Barbershop! For 15 years he directed the Los Angeles chapter of HaZamir, the International Teen Choir founded under the umbrella of the Zamir Choral Foundation, conducting them concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre. He has been a regular presenter at the North American Jewish Choral Festival. In 2017 Kelly and his family moved to Brisbane to be close to his wife Naomi's family. 


EZL image 1.jpgElliot Z. Levine was for over forty years the resident composer and baritone in the acclaimed New York vocal ensemble The Western Wind. A Master’s graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, he has been a featured soloist with many ensembles, including the Rome Opera and the Folger Consort. For many years an educator of vocal ensembles at summer workshops at Smith College, Massachusetts, he is a regular presenter at the North American Jewish Choral Festival. He was on the faculty of the inaugural Australian Jewish Choral Festival, 2012 and again in 2016. He is a respected and prolific contributor to contemporary liturgical repertoire

Matthew Lazar, Founder & Director, Zamir Choral Foundation, North American Jewish Choral Festival: “Elliot’s music is a joy to sing!”