American Society for Jewish Music

The American Society for Jewish Music traces its roots back to the Society for Jewish Folk Music of St. Petersburg, Russia (1908-18).   After the Bolshevik Revolution, members of the group published their compositions under the imprint of JUWAL, Publication Society for Jewish Music (later called JIBNEH) with offices in Tel Aviv and Berlin.  Among these members were three composer-musicologists,  Joseph Achron, Solomon Rosowsky and Lazare Saminsky, who emigrated to the United States, where, along with Abraham W. Binder and others, they founded Mailamm (Makhon Eretz Yisraeli L’-Mada’ey ha-Musika), an  organization with chapters in several American cities (1932-39).  From 1939 to 1962, this was refashioned by  A.W. Binder as the Jewish Music Forum, which in turn became the Jewish Liturgical Society of America (1963-74).  In 1974, the latter group was reorganized as the American Society for Jewish Music, Inc., under the direction of its first president, Albert Weisser.


  • To serve as a broad canopy for all Jewish music professionals and interested lay people.
  • To publish a peer-reviewed scholarly journal devoted to Jewish Music, Musica Judaica. Timely publication of reviews in our MJOR (Musica Judaica Online Reviews) website.
  • To present concerts covering a wide range of Jewish music: sacred, secular, folk, concert and theater.
  • To present lectures and periodic conferences on Jewish music by experts in their field through the Society’s scholarly arm, The Jewish Music Forum
  • To encourage, through commissions and by example, a high standard of composition and performance in all aspects of Jewish music.
  • To promote the composition of new Jewish music through the Society’s Cantor Aaron Kaplowitz Jewish Music Composition Contest.
  • To establish links and to present programs in cooperation with similar institutions in Jewish communities throughout the world, and to secure ties with student and faculty members at American universities and seminaries.

In addition to the programs presented by the Society, to which the general public is invited, the ASJM encourages seminars, workshops and master classes at which students may benefit from the musical expertise of the Society’s members.  The ASJM is a non-profit, 501[c]3 tax-deductible organization funded through membership dues, grants and contributions.

Last meetings
Last events were a four-Sunday Psalm Conference beginning November 1, and a Kristallnacht Program on November 9, 2020.  Today (January 24, 2021)  we are co-sponsorship of a Virtual 40-Anniversary Celebration of the Klezmer Conservatory Band with the Yiddish Book Center and other important organizations.

Current projects
Publication of Volume 23 of Musica Judaica; MJOR (Musica Judaica Online Reviewes); Virtual concerts and Jewish Music Forum programs in this coming winter, spring and fall.

200+ paid members. Mostly domestic US, but some around the world. Communication is by email.

What are your goals for the next three years?
Publish two issues of Musica Judaica a year instead of one; expansion of Jewish Music Forum offerings; development of podcasts and other online programs.

Who runs your organisation?
The Society has a Board of Governors; an Executive Committee of Officers; an Academic Committee that advises the Jewish Music Forum Executive and Associate Executive Directors; and a Concert Committee.

Name and email of the coordinator of your organisation
Michael Leavitt, President. Email: