Welcome to the Website of the International Forum for Jewish Music Studies (IFJMS)

The Forum is a meeting place for communication, information and discussion for, and also endorsed by, scholars, practitioners and archivists in all aspects of Jewish music. Established in June 2020, this Forum is a platform for ongoing activity.

Conversations on Zoom 

The Forum has initiated Conversations on Zoom which launches on 23 June 2020. Members engage in dialogue with a colleague about their special interests and approaches to the work they are each doing, and all members may join the discussion.

Conversations on Zoom take place on Tuesdays (09:00 Los Angeles; 12.00 New York; 17:00 UK; 18:00 Hannover; 19:00 Jerusalem time). Zoom Log-in details here (this link might not work if you are not a member of HC. If you want to become a member, see below how to join.) The room will open 15 minutes early for greetings and socialising.

23 June 2020
Dr Naomi Cohn Zentner, Head of the MA program in Jewish music at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in dialogue with Professor Eliyahu Schleifer, Professor Emeritus of Sacred music and former director of the School of Sacred music at Hebrew Union College’s Institute of Religion, Jerusalem.
Their conversation will be about Sailing Through Long Liturgical Texts: Ashkenazi Cantorial Renditions of Malchuyot, Zichronot, and Shofarot on Rosh Hashanah. When they have explored this together, they will invite discussion from all who have tuned in to listen to the conversation.

30 June 2020
Cantor Matt Austerklein,
Beth El Congregation, Akron, Ohio with Cantor Abraham Lubin, Past-President of the Cantors Assembly
Join as Cantor Matthew Austerklein engages in dialogue with his mentor and friend, Cantor Abraham Lubin, talking about his sixty-five years as a cantor across three continents. Cantor Lubin is a graduate of Jews College (UK) under Leo Bryll, B.A. from Cincinnati Conservatory, M.A. from DePaul University, and an AbD from University of Chicago studying Cantor Salomon Sulzer. His unique and expansive cantorial career has included scholarship, musical performances across all Jewish movements, and leadership in the Cantors Assembly, where he served as President and successfully advocated for the admission of female cantors. Cantor Lubin will also engage with Cantor Austerklein on the modern cantorate, and the latter’s research and hopes for the profession in a transforming world.

7 July 2020
Professor Jehoash Hirshberg and Composer Tzvi Avni
will talk about Tzvi Avni’s compositions.

Tuesday 14 July 2020
Jeremiah Lockwood, PhD candidate at Stanford University Graduate School, in dialogue with Dr Hankus Netsky, Multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher and scholar, founder-director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band.
They will talk about historically informed performance of Ashkenazi Jewish music: myths, fantasies and embodied research agendas. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher and scholar, Hankus Netsky is the founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble. Netsky has previously taught Jewish music at Hebrew College and Wesleyan University, and has lectured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Several of his essays on klezmer music have been published by the University of California Press. Jeremiah Lockwood is a PhD candidate at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education Concentration in Education and Jewish Studies. He is the 2019-20 recipient of the YIVO Kremen Memorial Fellowship in East European Arts, Music and Theater and a 2019-20 American Jewish Archive Fellow. He is currently completing a PhD dissertation on the work of liturgical musicians in the Brooklyn Chassidic community. His band The Sway Machinery seeks inspiration from diverse realms of experience related to the cultural geography of New York City.

21 July 2020
Malcolm Miller
and Malcolm Singer: The Composer in Lockdown: Malcolm Singer’s Jewish Works
Malcolm Miller, musicologist and pianist, is Associate Lecturer at the Open University, UK and lecturer at the City Literary Institute and Morley College. Malcolm Singer is a composer and conductor, he was Director of Music at the Yehudi Menuhin School 1998 – 2017 and was Musical Director of the Zemel Choir 1983 -1993.

28 July 2020
‘What’s on your Mind? 4 presenters in 15 minute slots with discussion.
Deborah Katchko Grey, Alex Klein + 2 others .

04 August 2020
Mark Kligman with Baruch Cohon

11 August 2020
David Fligg with Eva Fox Gal
About Hans Gal and Gideon Klein, artistic/creative fracture as a result of the Holocaust, and repositioning of Jewish composers in recent years.

18 August 2020
Cantor Mimi Sheffer with Pianist Ofra Yitzhaki

25 August 2020
Rachel Adelstein with Danielle Padley

01 September 2020
Mark Kligman with Samuel Adler (tbc) 

08 September 2020
Dr Jerry Glantz with partners on the Night Project

15 September 2020
Yaacov Fisher, Alex Jacobs, Andrew Hopkins: Musical Theatre that Illuminates the Jewish Experience

22 September 2020
‘Composers in Focus’ tbc

29 September 2020
no session this week

06 October 2020
Mark Kligman with Joel Rubin and Joshua Horowitz: Naftali Brandwein

13 October 2020

20 October 2020
Alexander Knapp with Charles Heller: The Death of Nusah and hazzanut – the loss of a World Music Art Form

27 October 2020
Cantor Jalda Rebling with Cantor Jack Kessler

03 Novenber 2020
Lorry Black with Gila Flam  

10 November 2020
Alex Klein with Cantor Sol Zim

17 November 2020
Ofer Ben-Amots with Rakefet Bar-Sadeh “Music Composition as Midrash.”

24 November 2020
High Holidays reflections and impact for the future Curated by ECA

To book your own Conversation on Zoom’, pick a date, and a partner and get in touch with Geraldine (geraldine[at]canors.eu) to fit this in to the weekly Tuesday COZ programme.   

We look forward to ‘seeing’ you at COZ
Mark Kligman, Sarah Ross, Martha Stellmacher and Geraldine Auerbach

Established at a time of Coronavirus lockdown, this Forum is pleased to initiate new and immediate ways of connecting and sharing the interests and works of scholars, practitioners, and curators of collections from around the world. IFJMS looks forward to collaborating and working with other Fora or organisations who have very similar goals.

How to join

If you are a involved in the field of Jewish music and you want to become a member, create an account at the Humanities Commons website. Click the “Register” button in the upper right corner. (You must enroll to be a Humanities Commons member before you can join the group.) If you need more help, there is a detailed description how to register, as well as a general guide to Humanities Commons

If you are having trouble logging in, make sure you: (1) remember which email address you used to sign up and (2) click on the link in the confirmation email you’ll get once you’re done with the registration process. You will need to click on the link to authenticate your credentials, choose a username, and select a log-in method. 

Then proceed to join the group:
(1) Search for Jewish Music in the directory of groups or search using the global search in the top right and filter by groups.
(2) Visit the group page. By clicking “Join Group”, you become a member.
(General instructions for joining groups can be found here.)