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American Society for Jewish Music (ASJM)


AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR JEWISH MUSIC (asjm ), organization founded in New York in 1974. Its precursors included the Makhon Eretz Yisraeli le-Mada'ei ha-Musikah (mailamm; 1932–39), established in 1932 by Miriam Zunzer and which, in 1934, became affiliated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and the Jewish Music Forum (1939–63), created by Abraham Wolf Binder and which reemerged as the Jewish Liturgical Music Society of America (1963–74). Evolving from the latter, the asjm earned increasingly greater international stature under the leadership of Albert *Weisser, its first president, who envisioned much wider goals for the society – expansion into folk, popular, and art music as well as the publication of a scholarly journal, Musica Judaica (issued almost annually since 1975), which he and Israel J. *Katz coedited. The asjm's membership includes cantors, composers, educators, musicologists, performers, and interested laymen. The society presents a variety of annual public programs, sponsors seminars and workshops at which scholars and composers discuss and analyze works in progress, and organizes concerts, recitals, and conferences relating to cantorial issues and other music of Jewish interest. Upon Weisser's untimely death, Paul Kavon succeeded him as president (1982–91), followed by Jack Gottlieb (1991–97), Hadassah Markson (1997–2003), and Michael Leavitt (2003– ). Following Katz as editor of the journal were Neil Levin and Alexander V. Knapp (vols. 11–13), Irene *Heskes (vol. 14), and Israel J. Katz and Arbie *Orenstein (vols. 15– ).


M. Leavitt, "President's Greetings," in: Musica Judaica, 17 (2003–04), iv–vii.

[Israel J. Katz (2nd ed.)]

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