Jim Loeffler speaking at Jewish Music Forum

On Thursday, March 24th at 7 PM, in conjunction with YIVO, the Jewish Music Forum will present The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire, the title of a fascinating new book by Dr. James Loeffler, the Founder and first Executive Director of ASJM’s Jewish Music Forum.

Quoting from the book jacket below gives you additional details about this wonderful evening which will have live musical examples. Providing these music examples for Dr. Loffler’s talk, we are very grateful to have performers from YIVO’s Krum Young Artist Series. A reception and book singing will follow:

“No image of pre-revolutionary Russian Jewish life is more iconic than the fiddler on the roof. But in the half century before 1917, Jewish musicians were actually descending from their shtetl roofs and streaming in dazzling numbers to Russia’s new classical conservatories. At a time of both rising anti-Semitism and burgeoning Jewish nationalism, how and why did Russian music become the gateway to modern Jewish identity? Drawing on previously unavailable archives, this book offers an insightful
new perspective on the emergence of Russian Jewish culture.

This event, which will be held in the auditorium at the Center for Jewish History, is free and open to the public, however, because of limited space attendees are requested to make online reservations for seats: www.yivo.org/reservations

The Jewish Music Forum is an organization devoted to the study of music in Jewish life in all of its historical and contemporary diversity. Founded in the fall of 2004 under the auspices of the American Society for Jewish Music, with the support of the American Jewish Historical Society and the Center for Jewish History, the Jewish Music Forum seeks to provide a thriving habitat for interdisciplinary dialogue and scholarly exchange in the growing academic field of Jewish musical studies as well as a critical intellectual resource for specialists across a spectrum that includes cantors, composers, performers, students, educators, artistic directors, journalists, and others from the fields of musicology, anthropology, literature, Jewish studies, and American studies. By linking together members of these communities, the Forum serves as an academic professional network and intellectual resource for all who are interested in the role of music in Jewish life.