Jewish Day Schools Participate in Ninth Annual Choir Festival Weekend

The ninth annual Kolot HaYam Jewish Choral Festival was held May 11-13 at Camp Ramah Nyack in Nyack, NY. The festival, hosted by Golda Och Academy, featured a special weekend of musical competition, skill-building workshops and pluralistic celebration of Shabbat, enabling participating schools to compete in a traditional choral competition while observing Shabbat and kashrut.
This year, Golda Och Academy was joined by the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (Rockville, MD), Abraham Joshua Heschel School (New York), Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (New York) and Gann Academy (Boston, MA). Approximately 100 students and faculty attended Kolot HaYam, led by festival director Jamie Mittleman. The event featured cutting-edge vocal workshops led by leading singer-songwriters and recording artists, Shabbat services and meals, as well as a choral competition judged by award-winning a cappella group Six13 members Mordy Weinstein and Jacob Kraus, singer/voice teacher Lisa Kasdan, and Broadway star and Greatest Showman vocalist Natalie Weiss.
Throughout the weekend, participants had the opportunity to improve their skills on songwriting, improvisational harmonies, beatboxing and performance techniques. “Kolot HaYam 2018 was truly breathtaking,” said Festival Director Jamie Mittleman. “It is difficult to articulate the level of talent, courage, and warmth that our students and musical staff bring to this event. There are so many superstars that fill every moment with music and passion. We are all looking forward to bringing together even more schools next year.”
The Kolot HaYam Jewish Choral Festival was made possible by a generous grant from the Arie and Eva Halpern z”l Fund for Jewish Heritage, which enriches students’ Judaic studies at Golda Och Academy through enhanced opportunities in Judaic arts, music and experiential education. Next year’s festival will take place May 31 - June 2, 2019. For more information, visit