A Prelude: An Opening Conversation about Sound and Music in Jewish Studies
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
At the weekly Ruth Meltzer Seminars, Katz Center fellows share their research in an intellectually rigorous workshop setting. Seminars are limited to fellows and invited guests only.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Edwin Seroussi is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology and the director of the Jewish Music Research Center 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 music category. He has also won the Joel Engel Prize for Life Achievement in Jewish Music Research, Tel Aviv Municipality.
Mary Channen Caldwell
University of Pennsylvania
Mary Channen Caldwell specializes in music in Europe ca. 1000–1600. She engages with historical musicology and medieval studies, recognizing the importance of notes on the page while seeing these abstract reflections of music as part of complex systems of cultural meaning and history. Caldwell is the codirector of Music in the Pavillion, a concert series at the University of Pennsylvania, presented by the Department of Music and Penn Libraries. She received her Ph.D. in Music History and Theory from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Music degree from the School of Music at Queen’s University (Ontario, Canada).
Judah M. Cohen is the Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture and Associate Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. He has authored The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor: Musical Authority, Cultural Investment (Indiana University Press, 2009), Sounding Jewish Tradition: The Music of Central Synagogue (New York: Central Synagogue, 2011), and Jewish Religious Music in Nineteenth Century America (Indiana University Press, 2019). Recent publications include the “Jewish Music” article in the second edition of the Grove Dictionary of American Music, and the Music entry for Oxford Bibliographies in Jewish Studies. He has also published extensively on Caribbean Jewish history, including his monograph Through the Sands of Time: A History of the Jewish Community of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (Brandeis University Press, 2004). His current projects explore World War II era narratives in musical theater, 19th century American synagogue music, and American Jewish singer/songwriter/liturgist Debbie Friedman.