Tizmoret is in its seventeenth year as Queens College Hillel’s professional Jewish a cappella group. Tizmoret draws singers from colleges throughout New York City and has taken Jewish collegiate a cappella to the next level, performing classic Jewish melodies, American pop music and contemporary Israeli tunes. They have produced five CDs, with their most recent release, “Transitory,” receiving critical acclaim in contemporary Jewish and secular a cappella circles.
Tizmoret has performed for college campuses, countless b’nei-mitzvah and synagogues, and various music festivals across the Eastern United States. They recently toured the east coast, won the 5th annual Long Island College A Cappella Challenge, won Kol HaOlam, the first National College Jewish A Cappella Competition, and performed in Italy at a New Year’s party!
Our A Cappella Director: Daniel Henkin
For over twenty years, Daniel Henkin has conducted Jewish and secular choirs for children, teenagers, and adults, and has produced more than a dozen albums of Jewish and secular choral music. He has directed ensembles at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher and Merkin Halls.
As an arranger and conductor, Daniel has helped pioneer the contemporary Jewish a cappella movement today. His choral arrangements are performed by ensembles throughout North America, and have shaped the sound and style of this generation’s Jewish a cappella choirs.
Daniel Henkin received his BA in Music and Philosophy from Columbia University, and his Masters degree in Music Composition from Indiana University’s School of Music. He is currently working towards a Doctorate from Columbia University’s Teachers College in Music Education with a specialty in the college teaching of music.
Daniel is Director of Music at the Ramaz Upper School in Manhattan. He has taught music at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union and at the Yeshivah of Flatbush.
Nurita Abramowitz, is a third-year smokin’ soprano from Brooklyn, whose trills will give you chills! Before joining Tizmoret, she had the privilege of working with Sir Daniel Henkin throughout her high school years in Chamber Choir at Yeshivah of Flatbush. Some of her favorite musical artists include Alicia Keys, Guns ‘n Roses, and Evanescence.
Shosh Balk, is made of sugar and spice and everything nice; in other words, she’s a soprano. Shosh grew up on West Farm Acres in Cincinnati, OH whence was cultivated her love of cows, corn mazes, county fairs, and country music. Currently a teacher pursuing her M.S.Ed., in her next lifetime she aspires to synthesize the vocal styles of Neshama Carlebach and Miranda Lambert (while researching fairytales and publishing children’s literature). Outside of Tizmoret, Shosh can be found collecting pop-up books, writing lists of names, or urging you to subscribe to Cimorelli’s YouTube channel. She was most recently featured as an audience member in Glee 3D – who knows what will be next in her musical career! Shosh enjoys mint chocolate chip ice cream and would like a puppy for her next birthday.
Debbie Nehmad after three years of tireless dedication to Tizmoret, has at long last advanced to the ranks of President. Prior to her presidency, this super-veteran trilingual soprano earned the title “Tizmoret Mommy” thanks to her endless provision of birthday cards and birthday cakes, chauffeuring Manhattan members back home after late night practices, and ensuring prompt responses to all Tizmoret-related emails. An aspiring music therapist, you can pretty much always find Debbie wearing her big white headphones blasting some Sara Bareilles, talking about LGBTQ rights, taking care of Tizmoret business, and filling out grad school applications.
Brittany Rainess comes from Suffolk County, Long Island and is proud to join Tizmoret as the group’s newest and truest soprano. Currently a junior at the Aaron Copland School of Music, she plans to pursue her master’s degree in Music Therapy in the near future. When not singing or doing music theory homework, Brittany can be most likely be found listening to Ingrid Michaelson, eating Oreos, or watching Disney movies.
Chana Gabriella Friedenberg, who also answers to Gwen, has attended neither Yeshivah of Flatbush nor Camp Nesher; still, this Monsey resident chose Tizmoret over a callback to NBC’s “The Voice.” Former president of the Stern College B’Notes, this alto brings a wide range (pun intended) of musical expertise to the group. She can most often be found walking the streets of Manhattan while conducting an imaginary orchestra and/or practicing her beat boxing. She enjoys listening to music of which she hopes no one has ever heard on huge headphones that she removes on occasion. After she graduates, Chana hopes to check out the music scene in Oregon and embark on her professional musical career.
Leora Graber, a newbie (or as she prefers to be called, a tadpole) in Tizmoret, is a lovely addition to the alto section. After attending Solomon Schechter in Long Island, Leora is now a freshman at Queens College, intending to be a Psychology major with a minor in Theater-Dance. Leora has loved singing, dancing, and acting since she was a tadpole herself and she has brought that love with her to Tizmoret. Even after 11 years of classical ballet lessons, Leora still manages to be a klutz, along with getting easily scared by the shiny side of aluminum foil, revolving doors, and grass. Outside of Tizmoret, Leora will be found doing pretty much the same thing as while she’s with Tizmoret: singing…and annoying the heck out of everyone whom she knows and loves in the process.
Daniella Rosenblatt, is so happy she woke up this morning! She is a senior at Queens College studying Environmental Science and Anthropology. Currently in her third year of Tizmoret, this show-stopping alto enjoys playing guitar and mandolin, crocheting, biking, hiking, stretching, cuddling, and hosting the extended Tizmoret family at her home in Monsey. When not singing with Tizmoret, Daniella is most likely to be found at Eden Village or an anti-fracking rally. Jill Stein for President!
Marissa Rosenfeld, Tizmoret’s most veteran alto, attended the Yeshivah of Flatbush (go figure) where she rapidly achieved fame and recognition following the popularity of the hit single “Chaverim.” Originally from Staten Island, she now lives on the Upper West Side, a place we have come to regard as a second home since Marissa graciously hosts the Tizmoret family for countless gigs and get-togethers. A senior at Hunter College, Marissa double majors in English Literature and Jewish Studies, and hopes to study abroad while pursuing a master’s degree in Jewish History with an emphasis on Holocaust Studies. When not singing with Tizmoret, she can be found in Urban Outfitters, at the Jewish Museum, or at a Justin Bieber concert.
Darya Rubenstein, a proud Torontonian, is a Pre-Med junior at Queens College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Theater. After seven intense summers of preparation for Tizmoret in the Camp Nesher choir, this powerful alto has proven that she has what it takes. Now in her third year with the group, Darya lends not only her impressive vocals but her expert fashion sense and killer dance moves to Tizmoret. When not singing with Tizmoret, Darya can be found studying Chemistry and Physics, building igloos, hunting polar bears, or reading “The Hunger Games.”
Hillel Landman, yet another Yeshivah of Flatbush addition to Tizmoret, has finally returned to the Land of Tenor where he first began. Bringing some more YU pride to Queens College, this Economics major from Staten Island multitasks as the newest president of the Y-Studs. Hillel enjoys remembering to eat dinner, listening to a Peter Hollens rendition of anything, and getting/singing some sleepy time. He’s totally st-t-t-toked to be in his second year of Tizmoret!
Nathaniel Ribner, new to Yu and our lone Jersey boy, was pushed into Daniel Henkin’s Queens-bound car one day and immediately found his niche in Tizmoret. The young tenor has been involved in music for a long time now, singing, directing, playing piano (and ukulele), and beatboxing and did a lot with it at Frisch and Lev HaTorah. Nathaniel, the smiley optimist of the group, also enjoys floor hockey, world travel, and of couse, chatting up the altos. He is enthusiastically looking forward to a fun-filled experience in Tizmoret for years to come. Yeah Tizstud!
Benjy Garber, after realizing at his Tizmoret audition that he could indeed sing, enters his second-year in the group as a booming bass. After dropping out of high school, Benjy spent one semester at Yeshiva University before transferring to Queens College (though he’s not quite sure how he got accepted to either school). He spends an inordinate amount of time playing guitar, sowboarding, and golfing when the weather’s nice. When not singing with Tizmoret, Benjy can be found working out at the gym or hosting pool parties. If you’re a blond, blue-eyed female under the age of 21, you just might be Benjy’s bashert.
Rafi Laury, a Yeshiva University sophomore majoring in Business Management, brings his melodic bass notes to Tizmoret from Scranton, PA. He has performed with several choral groups prior to joining Tizmoret, including his high school choir and the Camp Nesher choir, and he dabbles in several instruments. When not singing with Tizmoret, Rafi – more commonly known as Darius – travels the world to go fly-fishing in as many locations as possible.
Jesse “Adonis” Shore is one of the greatest men alive, to date. After the Maccabeats let Jesse go because he was “too good”, this Philadelphian’s vocal skill, harmonious acumen, and sensual creativity were warmly welcomed by Tizmoret, a singing group which finds itself in the hearts of so many. His work reflects man’s triumph over the elements, and is widely considered masterful by experts in the field. Also, Jesse wrote this biography.