Ha-Tikvah: Israel's National Anthem and the Politics of Hope

2nd Annual Howard Jay Reiter Memorial Lecture

For the Public
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
5:15 PM - 6:45 PM EDT

Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion

Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center

University of Pennsylvania


In person with reception to follow: RSVP

Streaming on Zoom: REGISTER


This lecture will offer a journey through key moments in the 140-year history of the song that became Israel’s national anthem. How does a folk song acquire such a profound cultural resonance that its performances can trigger emotional reactions as diverse as pride, nostalgia, despair, and hate? A look at “Ha-Tikvah” offers a unique opportunity to tackle such questions. Examining critically the varied reception of this song, a more textured and alternative history of Jewish modernity emerges. 

About the Howard Jay Reiter Memorial Lecture

Established by family and friends in memory of beloved Katz Center board member Howard Jay Reiter z''l, this lecture series shares insights and discoveries  from Israeli scholarship with the University of Pennsylvania community.


This event takes place in person with reception to follow. There is also an option to attend via Zoom.

RSVP HERE to attend in person.

REGISTER HERE to attend via Zoom.

Please note registration is required for this program. Non–PennCard-holders will be asked to show ID to register at the door, space permitting.


Edwin Seroussi

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Edwin Seroussi is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor Emeritus of Musicology and former director of the Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He researches North African and Eastern Mediterranean Jewish music, Judeo-Islamic relations in music, and Israeli popular music. A pioneer in the study of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical cultures and traditions, Seroussi was awarded the 2018 Israel Prize in the musicology category. He has also won the Joel Engel Prize for Life Achievement in Jewish Music Research, Tel Aviv Municipality.

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