Holocaust Music Education and Performance


Dr. Tamara Reps Freeman

Holocaust Music Educator And Performer


Meet Dr. Freeman

MISSION STATEMENT:  Dr. Freeman encourages justice and racial respect for people of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities through Holocaust music and culture. Her Holocaust music classes and lecture recitals help people find personal relevance to the lessons and legacies of music and arts created in the WWII ghettos and concentration camps. Each song and instrumental piece is taught and performed in a way that speaks to universal humanistic needs for dignity and affirmation.

VALUES: Dr. Freeman respects the abilities and vulnerabilities in each person with whom she interacts, whether in a personal meeting, classroom setting in person or on zoom, or addressing a large audience. She gently, yet effectively, draws her students and audiences into Holocaust prose and melodies with psychological acuity. Her professional training as a concert violinist, violist and conductor informs the highest quality of performances for herself and her fellow musicians, both amateur and professional.

VISION: Dr. Freeman’s vision is to help others envision themselves as agents for positive and ethical change in the world.

Dr. Tamara Freeman, a Holocaust ethnomusicologist, educator and concert violist teaches powerful lessons of morality and courage through Holocaust music. Holding a Doctorate from Rutgers University, her dedication to Holocaust education began in 1994 with the inception of the NJ state mandate for Holocaust genocide education. The mandate inspired her to craft a K-12 interdisciplinary music curriculum that encourages racial respect. Dr. Freeman is an adjunct professor at Montclair NJ State University Cali School of Music, Yeshiva University and Saint Elizabeth University, focusing on Holocaust music, culture and education.

In 2018, she directed“Voices of Hope” in Nashville TN, showcasing 250 multicultural students performing a full concert of archival Holocaust songs in Yiddish.

Dr. Freeman performs lecture-recitals playing her 1935 Joseph Bausch viola, a Holocaust relic, at esteemed venues such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

From 1982-2012, Dr. Freeman taught instrumental and vocal music in the Ridgewood, NJ Public Schools. She authored the music curriculum for the 2014 Emmy-nominated documentary, “The Defiant Requiem.” She is a contributing author in “Voices of Democracy in Music Education: Diversity and Social Justice in the Classroom,” Routledge Press, 2015. She is a member of the international Association for Holocaust Organizations and the International Society for Music Educators.

Summary of dissertation:
Using Holocaust Music to Encourage Racial Respect:
An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Grades K-12
CHAPTER-I provides the rationale and purpose of using archival Holocaust music for an interdisciplinary curriculum. 
CHAPTER-II presents an extensive literature review to include collections of archival music, historic documents, and Holocaust Arts research for educators.
CHAPTER-III lays out the methodology highlighting two focus groups and educational philosophies that support Holocaust music education.
CHAPTER-IV is the “heart” of the dissertation:  The grades Kindergarten through 12 interdisciplinary curriculum grounded in archival music, complete with lesson plans and musical scores. 
CHAPTER-V states the research summary, recommendations for further research and conclusions.
 The APPENDICES serve as helpful and actionable resources for educators, to include additional lesson plans for very young children that are age/grade appropriate.

Holocaust Ethnomusicology:

Dr. Freeman possesses a vast knowledge of vocal and instrumental archival Holocaust music composed by Jewish people across Europe.  She also has a deep understanding and respect for the musical contributions of other persecuted populations such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Roma and Sinai people and Christian missionaries.

Music Education & Curriculum Development:

With three degrees in Music Education and many decades of teaching, Dr. Freeman has a strong foundation in creating and implementing lesson plans interdisciplinary curricula that is custom designed to meet the specific cultural and pedagogical needs of students, schools and communities. 

Concert Performance & Directing:

Dr. Freeman performs lecture-recitals playing her 1935 Joseph Bausch viola, a Holocaust relic, at esteemed venues such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC., the Chautauqua NY Summer Institute, the Museum of Tolerance in NYC and the Holocaust Museum in El Paso TX.

Holocaust Advocacy & Public Speaking:

Dr. Freeman’s engaging Holocaust music lecture-recitals  have taken her to prominent venues such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Dr. Freeman’s ability to engage and educate audiences, combined with her dedication to Holocaust remembrance, underscores her skills as both an advocate for social justice and a captivating public speaker.

Dr. Tamara Reps Freeman’s Performance Calendar


Thursday, January 16, 2024 2:00 p.m.
Daughters of Miriam, Clifton NJ
Concert of Yiddish music before and during the Shoah   
Wednesday, February 8, 2024  1:00-2:15  
Cavallini Middle School, Upper Saddle River NJ
How Music Helped the Jewish People During the Holocaust: Songs of Resilience and Resistance
Sunday, April 14, 2024  7:30 p.m.
Morrow Memorial Church, Maplewood NJ
Music of Resilience and Resistance from the Ghettos and Concentration Camps
Sunday, April 28, 2024
B’Nai Israel Southington CT
Religious School Workshops on Holocaust Music
Sunday, May 5, 2024, 7:30 p.m.
Temple Israel and J.C.C. Ridgewood NJ
Conducting world premier of “(plea)sed” by composer Elliot Roman, sung by the Ridgewood Interfaith Choir, accompanied by the Rose String Quartet, Annette Lieb (flute), narrated by Second Generation Survivor Freddie Kotek
Monday, May 6, 2024, 2:00 p.m.
Daughters of Miriam, Clifton NJ
Holocaust Songs of Strength and Chutzpah!
Tuesday, May 7, 2024, 11:00 a.m.
Cafe Europa 
Holocaust Songs of Strength and Chutzpah!
Sunday, November 3, 2024
Temple Beth Tikvah, Wayne NJ
Music for Kristallnacht


Thursday, January 12, 2023     

2:00 p.m. JCC of Northern NJ:  Music Composed in the WWII Ghettos and Concentration Camps. 

Temple Avodat Shalom, River Edge NJ

Monday, April 17, 2023      

7:30 p.m.  Jewish Community Center, Edison NJ.  Keynote speaker on Holocaust music

Tuesday, April 18, 2023      

Cafe Europa Survivors’ program of Holocaust Music                  Congregation Oheb Shalom, South Orange NJ

Thursday, April 20, 2023      

2:00 p.m.  Zoom lecture-recital for Anachnu, Stanford CT

Thursday, November 9, 2023      

7:30 p.m. Yeshiva University:  Holocaust music lecture-recital

Thursday, November 12, 2023      

7:00 p.m.  Temple Beth Tikvah: Holocaust music lecture-recital


Thursday, January 27, 2022      

2:00 p.m. Zoom Lecture Recital, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism  Sarasota Florida

Tuesday, April 5, 2022      

Drew University Holocaust music workshop, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 7, 2022      

ministerial music zoom class for Milligan University, TN

Tuesday, April 26, 2022      

Lecture Recital for Cafe Europa, Metrowest, 11:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022      

Ridgewood NJ Annual Yom HaShoah Commemoration, Temple Israel & JCC. 7:30 p.m.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021      

Holocaust Music Series on zoom, featuring the music and voices of the Roma

Sponsored by Temple Israel & JCC, Ridgewood • 8:00-9:00 p.m.

contact the synagogue to get a zoom link (201) 444-9320

Tuesday, March 23, 2021      

Holocaust Music Series on zoom, featuring the music and voices of the female partisans and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Sponsored by Temple Israel & JCC, Ridgewood • 8:00-9:00 p.m.

contact the synagogue to get a zoom link (201) 444-9320

Tuesday, March 30, 2021      

Holocaust Music Series on zoom, featuring the music and voices of the Jewish children

Sponsored by Temple Israel & JCC, Ridgewood • 8:00-9:00 p.m.

contact the synagogue to get a zoom link (201) 444-9320




Tuesday, February 4, 2020      

Guest lecturer for World Cultures Class, Rutgers University 

Lucy Stone Hall, A 143, Livingston Campus 3:20-4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020      

March 11 – May 6, 2020 

Holocaust Music Culture graduate course (ED660) on zoom

Saint Elizabeth University

Sunday, April 19, 2020      

Adath Shalom Synagogue, Morris Plains, NJ

Religious School Workshops and Lecture-Recital

Monday, April 20, 2020      

Annual Ridgewood Holocaust Commemoration

Temple Israel & JCC, Ridgewood NJ. 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 23, 2020      

Bayonne, NJ City Hall Yom HaShoah Commemoration, 6:00 p.m.

Music of Faith, Conviction and Courage

Sunday, April 26, 2020      

Holocaust Music Lecture Recital

Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, May 5, 2020      

Holocaust Music Workshop for Choir Students


Saturday, February 2, 2019      

Holocaust Music Teacher Training Workshop

Montclair State University, John J. Cali School of Music

9:00 a.m. – noon

Monday, March 4, 2019      

March 4-8  SUNY Binghamton, Scholar in Residence

   March 4:  Colonization, Violence & Genocide class

   March 5:  History of Western Music class and Judaic Studies on the Holocaust

   March 5:  Encouraging Racial Respect Through Holocaust Music, continuing education workshop

   March 7:  Holocaust music recital, University Art Museum 5:00 p.m.

   March 8:  Holocaust music workshop for Masters in Social Work Diversity and Oppression class



Wednesday, January 24, 2018      

Montclair State University, Montclair NJ

Sacher Distinguished Lecture 1:00 p.m.

with the Heimat String Quartet

Thursday, February 15, 2018      

Holocaust music lecture-recital

Bright View, Paramus NJ 3:00

Tuesday, March 13, 2018      

John J. Cali School of Music

Montclair State University

Director Series Lecture-Recital 8:00 p.m.

Friday, March 16, 2018      

Violins of Hope Docents Workshop

Nashville, TN via Skype


Copryright 2023 Tamara Freeman. All rights Reserved.