There is just something about music. Everyone seems to understand its language, as rhythm and voice affect mind, body, and spirit at once. Music brings out a depth of human feeling that, let’s face it, is often tempered in academic contexts. But with the coming year at the Katz Center devoted to global musical cultures, we—and our audiences in and outside of the academy—will have the opportunity to enjoy Jewish musical expression to the fullest, with a robust lineup of online and in-person performances, interviews, and talks.
The Jewish Culture and Contexts series is published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in association with the Katz Center. The series is co-edited by Steven Weitzman, Francesca Trivellato (Institute for Advanced Study), Shaul Magid (Dartmouth College), and Beth Berkowitz (Barnard College), and its goal is to deepen understanding of Jewish culture within the specific historical and geographic contexts in which it has developed. Broadly interdisciplinary, this series features monographs in all areas of Judaic studies.
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.
Although it may seem like our staff brings a zealous, 24/7, laser-sharp focus to their work at the Katz Center, some (ok, all) have talents and interests that reach beyond our walls.
JQR 113.1 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
Four current and past Katz Center fellows won top honors:
On December 21, 2022, Penn’s Judaica collections received a magnificent gift of twenty-seven historic ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) from Penn alumni Joseph T. Moldovan, C’76 and Susan Alkalay Moldovan, C’76. The donation features twenty-five handwritten and two printed ketubot, dating from 1678 to 1946, originating in Persia, Gibraltar, Italy, Morocco, Ottoman Palestine, Holland, Tsarist Russia, the U.S., the Kingdom of Poland, Yemen, and British Mandate Palestine. Accompanying the gift are detailed descriptions of each ketubah and high-resolution TIFF images.
With Bonnie Blankenship’s retirement on December 31, 2022, the Jewish Quarterly Review loses a sustaining pillar, and the Center says farewell to the person with the longest memory of this institution, as she moves on to a life of art, books, and leisure.