FAU Libraries Receive Gift in Memory of Barry Serota, Executive
Director of Chicago-based Institute for Jewish Sound Recording
BOCA RATON, FL. Florida Atlantic University recently received a
gift in memory of the late Barry Serota, an attorney, record producer and executive
director of the Chicago-based Institute for Jewish Sound Recording. Serota was
widely known for his deep knowledge of Jewish music and produced more than 100
recordings of Jewish sacred and secular music. His productions at the Institute for
Jewish Sound Recording included choral, instrumental, folk and art music.
Serota s mother, Blanche, donated 1,500 LPs, more than 700 78-rpm discs, 100 digital
audio tapes and 1,443 audio reel-to-reel tapes to the Judaica Sound Archives (JSA)
at FAU Libraries in honor of her son. The collection includes rare record masters
and pre-production one-of-a-kind recordings.
Barry Serota devoted his life to collecting great Jewish music and producing
high-quality recordings, said Maxine Schackman, Ph.D., director of the Recorded
Sound Archives at FAU Libraries. Although we knew this was a wonderful donation to
the JSA, we really couldn t be sure what treasures we would find. Many of these
recordings are legendary in the world of the cantorial arts.
Blanche Serota became acquainted with the FAU Libraries when Ben Roth-Aroni, JSA’s
sound technician, called to offer his condolences following Barry’s death. During
his youth, Roth-Aroni worked for Serota as a tape editor and greatly admired his
expertise in the field of Jewish music. Roth-Aroni encouraged Blanche to visit FAU
Libraries, and during her February 2011 visit, she arranged to donate her son s
treasured collection to the JSA. She wanted to honor his memory, said Schackman.
It comforted her to know that
what he loved so much would find a warm welcome and a permanent home at the JSA.
The JSA has digitized and compiled a collection of 56 albums produced by Barry
Serota. The recordings can be heard on the JSA website at
For more information on the JSA at FAU Libraries or to volunteer, contact Maxine
Schackman at 561-297-0080 or email@example.com, or visit www.library.fau.edu/rsa.