Announcing the 2023–24 Fellows

May 17, 2023

Announcing the 2023–24 Fellows: The Sound and Music of Jewish Life

drawing of david playing the harp

The Katz Center looks forward to a 2023–24 fellowship year devoted to the study of sound and music as a part of Jewish life, and we are delighted to announce the cohort of scholars who will join us for a year of research, conversation, and engagement with the Penn community and with the public. The fellows come to Philadelphia from Europe, Israel, and the Americas, and their research addresses a wide range of topics, among them the study of the Jewish voice in different religious and social settings, the use of song as a way of conveying the news, early efforts to develop a Jewish sign language, the contemporary orthodox female music industry, and many other exciting projects at the forefront of Jewish life past and present.    

The theme gives the Center an opportunity to explore the intersection between scholarship and the arts in new ways. We would love to share some of the sounds and insights of the year with the broader community locally and globally, so please check out our website later this summer for information about our online public programs, campus lectures, performances, and other opportunities to benefit from this intellectual community. 


2023–2024 Katz Center Fellows: 

Paula Ansaldo, Harvard University 

Ruth Meltzer Fellowship 

The Jewish Voice in Argentine Theatre: Aural Components in the Configuration of Jewish Characters 


Emma M. Brodeur, University of Rochester 

Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship 

Signing Judaism: Moses Mendelssohn’s “Living Script” and Deaf/Jewish Emancipation 


Mary Caldwell, University of Pennsylvania 

University of Pennsylvania Faculty Fellowship 

Praying, Singing, Sharing: Multilinguality, Contrafacture, and Jewish-Christian Exchange in Medieval Song 


Oren Cohen Roman, University of Haifa 

Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship 

Jews Singing the News: The Performance of Older Yiddish “Historical” Songs 


Naomi Cohn Zentner, Bar-Ilan University 

Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship 

Religious Ritual Reenacted: A View from the Israeli Concert Stage  


Samantha M. Cooper, Harvard University 

Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship 

American Jews and the Making of the New York Opera Industry, 1880–1940 


Galeet Dardashti, New York University 

Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellowship 

Reconfiguring Sephardi/Mizrahi Musical Practice: Israel and North America  


Uri Erman, Ben-Gurion University 

Jody Ellant and Howard Reiter Family Fellowship 

John Braham, Sacred Tenor  


Hadar Feldman Samet, Tel Aviv University 

Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellowship 

The Missing Chapter in Ottoman-Jewish Musical and Cultural History: Songs, Soundscapes, and Early Modern Society 


Gila Flam, The National Library of Jerusalem 

Primo Levi Fellowship 

An Autoethnography of Jewish Sound 


Katherina Galor, Brown University 

Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship 

Esther of Carpentras between the Centuries  


Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Harvard University 

Dalck and Rose Feith Family Fellowship 

Connecting Musical Worlds: Crossroads in Jewish and African Studies 


Mark Kligman, University of California, Los Angeles 

Thomas and Elissa Ellant Katz Fellowship 

“We’ve Got the Music”: Orthodox Jews Asserting a Sonic Identity 


Jeremiah Lockwood, Yale Institute of Sacred Music 

Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship 

Melody Like a Confession: A Cultural History of the Cantorial "Golden Age" 


Michael Lukin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Ruth Meltzer Fellowship 

Old Hasidic Nigunim: Aesthetics and Semiotics  


Jessica Roda, Georgetown University 

Albert J. Wood Fellowship 

The Global Ecology of the Orthodox Female Music Industry: Creativity, Spirituality, and Wellbeing 


Edwin Seroussi, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Ellie and Herbert D. Katz Distinguished Fellowship 

German Jewish Sacred Musical Intersections at the Eric Mandell Collection of Jewish Music in Philadelphia  


Yonatan Turgeman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 

Charles W. and Sally Rothfeld Fellowship 

“Living Seeds of the Bible”: The Search for Jewish Sprachgesang 


2023–2024 Katz Center Fellows and Research Topics