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The Power of Giving Back to a Community: Featuring Zamir Chorale of Boston and Newton Community Farm

By Kristen Bosse

Giving back to the community always seems like a later thing, rather than a now thing. Groups of people want to stand up and make a difference, but often feel that they can't give back in a way that coincides with their interests. Not so fast. Making a positive impact in your community isn't always easy, but some organizations are giving back in their own, unique way. The Zamir Chorale of Boston and the Newton Community Farm are two organizations on opposite sides of the spectrum, with the same goal of spreading knowledge and joy to the residents of Newton.

Zamir Chorale

Simply put, the Zamir Chorale of Boston "is dedicated to raising awareness of the breadth and beauty of Jewish cultures through performances, recordings, publications, and musical commissions". Take a deeper look and you will see that the chorus is compromised of volunteers that truly enjoy singing about their culture and sharing these classical pieces with the town. Led by Founder and Artistic Director Joshua Jacobson, pieces include information about Jewish liturgies, the Holocaust, and even Israeli, Yiddish, and Ladino folksongs.

Jacobson is known as one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish Choral music and therefore is more than qualified to lead the chorus on not only their journey in Newton, but their World Tour in Berlin.
"The Zamir Chorale of Boston was recently selected to represent the United States in the fourth annual Louis Lewandowski Festival, December 19-21, 2014, in Berlin. Nearly 40 musicians and singers from Zamir will participate in this international festival that joins Jews and non-Jews in bringing back music from the great German Jewish composers who were forced to leave Germany due to anti-Semitism."

Zamir's performances in Berlin will only increase their ability to reconcile the German and Jewish cultures through song, and bring this reconciliation to Newton. Those seeking to hear some of their informative and moving pieces can catch a concert all over the town, especially during the holidays. Every few years they do a special concert for pre-school children. They also go into schools and perform for and with the students, modeling excellence in musical performance. Every year they sing a free concert for the elderly at a senior living center. Not only that, but every year they collaborate with one or more local choirs to expand their audience. Their performances can be found in synagogues, concert halls, churches, colleges, and museums, as well as in smaller venues?private homes and galleries.

Newton Community Farm

The Newton Community Farm is another great example of an organization that found their own unique way to give back to the town of Newton. For years, Newton Community Farm has been know for providing fresh, local produce to the residents of the town. With their mission being to nurture a community that teaches and models sustainable agriculture and environmental practices, the farm facilitates this with classes about gardening and nature, and volunteer opportunities open to everyone! Greg Maslowe, Manager of the farm, is truly passionate about providing fresh eats that are grown locally. Why you ask?

"Eating food that is grown near your home means it is probably much fresher. From a health perspective plants start to deteriorate, and hence lose their nutritional value, as soon as they are harvested. The average grocery store produce travels 1,500 miles from where it was grown to your table. It's tough for produce to be very fresh when it has to travel that far."

Aside from the obvious nutritional value, Maslowe also talked about what investing into a community organization can do for the town. Buying local produce can really help keep the community strong. Almost every penny of every dollar spent at chain grocery stores leaves the community. When you purchase produce at a farmers' market or at a farm stand, that money stays in the community helping keep your local economy strong. Greg continuously spreads this knowledge and even more about the environmental consequences of using herbicides. Although there are obvious health consequences to consuming produce grown with synthetic chemicals, Greg tends to focus on the effect it would have on his farmland. He prefers to pursue organic farming and make sure his customers get the purest healthiest form of the fruit or vegetable.

The Newton Community Farm is really considered a treasure of the community. It is rare for a town to have their own establishment that provides some of the freshest and most delicious food for the entire town to enjoy. Visitors of the farm often comment on its beauty and sense of peacefulness.

Although the organizations above are vastly different, it is apparent that their missions remain the same. The Zamir Chorale of Boston and the Newton Community Farm both strive to provide knowledge to the town, in order to make it a more involved, diverse, and stronger community.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

Phone: 2039130483

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