Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers began in 1996 and now includes members from over a dozen Chicago-area synagogues. Kol Zimrah provides a common forum for singers from many backgrounds in the pursuit of musical excellence.

Kol Zimrah has the distinction of performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Riccardo Muti, in the Siamsa na nGael Celtic Celebration at Orchestra Hall with conductor Stephen Alltop and narrator Martin Sheen, and with Hershey Felder, Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Master Singers. Kol Zimrah performed at the Max Janowski Centennial at KAM Isaiah Israel. Kol Zimrah also has performed concerts commemorating Kristallnacht. In addition, Kol Zimrah appeared at the North American Jewish Choral Festival, the American Conference of Cantors Convention, the Cantors Assembly, and Jewish United Fund.
Locally, Kol Zimrah has appeared on WFMT and Fox-TV, and at senior residences. The choir has performed in Detroit, Milwaukee, Indiana, and in 2019, at the Synagogue Union Libérale Israélite de France in Paris.

Kol Zimrah continues to grow and evolve to keep with its mission of sustaining and interpreting the great tradition of Jewish choral music, serving as a musical resource for the region, and encouraging the composition of new Judaic choral works.

Live concerts resumed in November 2021 with another “Restoring The Broken Glass” concert. This time, Kol Zimrah was joined by members of the KAM Isaiah Israel Chorale, Cantors David Berger and Susan Lewis Friedman, and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed.

Today, the choir continues to grow and develop. In addition to a busy schedule, we are constantly reinventing ourselves to fulfill our mission of preserving and interpreting the great tradition of Jewish choral music, serving as a musical resource for the region, and encouraging the composition of new Jewish choral works. We perform and collaborate with cantors and musicians throughout Chicago and beyond. Kol Zimrah is an ensemble in the US and abroad, and we are very proud of it.


Cantor Pavel Roytman

is a native of Nikolaev, Ukraine. His conducting and choral experience began when he was only six years old and hand-picked to join the all-boys choir at the R.M. Glière School of Music for Talented Children in Kaliningrad, Russia. In 1994 Cantor Roytman immigrated to the United State. He received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from DePaul University School of Music and a Master of Music in musicology from Northwestern University. In addition, Cantor Roytman received his investiture as cantor both from the American Conference of Cantors and the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Roytman served as a guest conductor for Campanella Children’s Choir and Second Baptist Church of Evanston Choir and as principal conductor for Milwaukee Jewish Community Chorale, and he is currently the music director of Kol Zimrah Jewish Community Singers. Cantor Roytman writes music and is a published composer, performing worldwide as a singer and interpreter of Jewish liturgical and Klezmer and Jiddish music.


Margo Schwartz

is a freelance collaborative pianist. After earning a degree in sociology, she pursued studies in piano performance at Roosevelt University and later earned a Master of Music in collaborative piano from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to collaborating with instrumentalists and singers, she has worked with several sacred and secular choirs and accompanied operas such as Menotti’s The Medium, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the world premiere of Wendell Logan’s Doxology with the New Black Music Repertory Ensemble. Margo studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, spent a summer at the Interlochen Center for the Arts accompanying ballet and modern dance classes, and participated in the inaugural UCLA Vocal Arts Institute and Summer Songfest. She has had the privilege of taking master classes with Elly Ameling, Dalton Baldwin, Richard Boldrey, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, and members of the Cleveland Orchestra, among many others.