Feldman Samet

Tel Aviv University
Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellowship

Research Topic

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


Hadar Feldman Samet is a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s department of Jewish History, where she teaches the history of Jews in Muslim contexts. Since completing her doctorate at the Hebrew University in 2018, she has held several postdoctoral fellowships, including at Katz Center, as a Harry Starr fellowship at Harvard University, and at the Scholion Interdisciplinary Research Center at the Hebrew University. Her research focuses on Jewish life in the Eastern Mediterranean Muslim world, particularly of the Sephardi diaspora in Ottoman society. She studies the entangled histories of Jews and Muslims, interfaith encounters, the relation between daily life and revolutionary practices, and how expressive culture and performative dimensions of historical phenomena—primarily music and embodied devotional practices—reveal diverse and multifaceted representations of people of the past. 

Selected publications

Sabbatian Songs of Faith: Ritual, Community, and Interreligious Encounters in the Late Ottoman Empire (Hebrew; Magnes Press, forthcoming). 

“Intergenerational Memories on Sabbatian Women’s Private Sphere in the Late Ottoman Era” with E. Almas, in Longing and Belonging: Jews of the Modern Islamic World, ed. N. Berg and D. Danon (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming;). 

“Ottoman Songs in Sabbatian Manuscripts: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on the Inner Sources of the Ma’aminim,” Jewish Quarterly Review 109.4 (2019). 



Delving into the meaning of modernity beyond the European, American, and Israeli contexts, looking instead to North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central and South Asia.


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.