The National Library of Jerusalem
Louis Apfelbaum and Hortense Braunstein Apfelbaum Fellowship 

Research Topic

An Autoethnography of Jewish Sound 


Gila Flam has been the director and curator of the Music Department and the Sound Archives of the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem since 1994. In this position, she has developed one of the foremost collections serving the field of Jewish music. She writes and lectures on the topics of Yiddish songs, Israeli music, and music archiving. 

Flam received her B.A. and M.A. in Musicology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from The University of California, Los Angeles Department of Music in 1988. She founded the Ethnomusicology Archives of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, where she served as director of the ethnomusicology department from 1989 to 1992.   

Selected publications

“Jewish Music from Jerusalem to Jerusalem: The Mediterranean Timeless Music,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies 21.2 (2012).  

Singing for Survival: Songs of the Lodz Ghetto, 1940–1945 (University of Illinois Press, 1992).



This year is 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.