In Search of Jews, Music, and Sound: Lost, Hidden, Revived

For the Academic Community
Monday, April 15, 2024 -
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

University of Pennsylvania

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

3417 Spruce Street, Philadelphia PA 19104

Dajana Denes Walters
Email Dajana ( to register for this in-person event.

Katz Center Spring Colloquium

In global Jewish life, music and nonverbal sounds have long served to elicit emotions and feelings that are difficult to conceptualize. In this two-day in-person conference, we will address the mystery of music and sound, both within Jewish experience and from outside the Jewish community. Examining a range of historical and social contexts, from ancient myths and biblical stories to our contemporary moment, this conference assembles experts to capture the roles that music and sound have played in governing political agendas, configuring personal values, and shaping modern national projects.


9:30 AM           Breakfast, Golkin Room, Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street

10:15 AM         Welcome, Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Steven Weitzman, Ella Darivoff Director


10:30 AM         Recovered Performance

Chair: Mary Channen Caldwell, University of Pennsylvania/Katz Center Fellow

Arabic as Sacred: Contemporary Performance Practices among Mizrahi Haredim in Israel

        Galeet Dardashti, New York University/Katz Center Fellow

Resonating Repentance: Sounding out Sliḥot in the Israeli Public Sphere

       Naomi Cohn Zentner, Bar-Ilan University/Katz Center Fellow

Jews and Arabs in the Time of TikTok: The Sonic Economy of Israeli Ethnicities

       Oded Erez,  Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Respondent: Klára Móricz, Amherst College 


12:00 PM          Lunch (by invitation) Golkin Room, Houston Hall


1:30 PM            Acts of Musical Duplication

Moderator:   Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Harvard University/Katz Center Fellow

Panelists:      Yonatan Turgeman, Tel Aviv University/Katz Center Fellow

                           Gila Flam, The National Library of Jerusalem/Katz Center Fellow

                           Mark Kligman, UCLA/Katz Center Fellow

                           Hadar Feldman Samet, Tel Aviv University/Katz Center Fellow

                           Evan Rapport, The New School

                           Oren Cohen Roman, University of Haifa/Katz Center Fellow


3:15 PM            Break

3:45 PM            Behind the Scenes in the Music Business

Chair: Jim Sykes, University of Pennsylvania


“Between Biznes and Art”: Jewish Impresarios and Actors in the South American Yiddish Theatre Scene

       Paula Ansaldo, University of Buenos Aires/Katz Center Fellow


"For Evening and Opera Occasions": Jewish Production and Consumption of Goods and Services for New York Opera Culture

       Samantha M. Cooper, Harvard University/Katz Center Fellow


Sound Infrastructure: Jews and the Recording Industry in Twentieth-Century North Africa and the Middle East 

       Christopher Silver, McGill University 


Respondent: Mark Slobin, Wesleyan University

5:15 PM            Break

6:30 PM            Dinner (By invitation) ARCH Building (Room 108), 3601 Locust Walk 



8:30 AM           Breakfast, Golkin Room, Houston Hall

9:00 AM           Murmuring Archives

Chair: Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania

Daughter of a Lost Tribe: Madame Goldye Steiner, Shahanna McKinney Baldon and Echoes of Black Khazones                  

       Jeremiah Lockwood, Yale Institute of Sacred Music/Katz Center Fellow

Musical Life in Terezín: A Reconsideration

       Kai Hinrich Müller, Cologne University of Music and Dance

Bene Israel Women’s Song Notebooks: A Relational Archive of Performance

       Anna Schultz, University of Chicago

Respondent: Lyudmila Sholokhova, The New York Public Library

10:30 AM          Break

11:00 AM         Beyond Reason: Music between Mysticism, Esotericism and Healing

Moderator:  Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Katz Center Fellow

Panelists:     Jessica Roda, Georgetown University/Katz Center Fellow

                          Richard Jankowsky, Tufts University

                          Michael Lukin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem/Katz Center Fellow

                          Collin Edouard, Yale University

12:30 PM          Luncheon (by invitation) Café 58, Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street