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Folk Music

Tziporah H. Jochsberger

Having escaped the Holocaust on the strength of her musical talents, Tziporah H. Jochsberger went on to use music to instill Jewish pride in her students.

Dorothy Lerner Gordon

Dorothy Lerner Gordon used radio and television to give children access to literature, music, and news of current events.

Mama Cass Elliot

A folk singer with a gift for turning formerly up-tempo tunes like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” into unforgettable torch songs, Cass Elliot helped define the sound of her generation as a member of the Mamas and the Papas.

Corinne Chochem

Corinne Chochem helped popularize Israeli folk dance as a choreographer, dance teacher, and the driving force behind albums of folk-dancing music.

Sophie Maslow

Sophie Maslow blended classical, modern, and folk traditions in her dance and choreography and drew inspiration from politics and modern folk music to create vibrant new pieces that engaged audiences in new ways.

Alma Gluck

Alma Gluck began her career as an opera singer, but it was her love of American folk songs that made her a bestselling musical artist.

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman’s music transformed prayers for Jews across the movements.

Debbie Friedman

Debbie Friedman was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, who recorded more than 20 albums. Friedman’s music is living Judaism, teaching children and adults to love prayers that might otherwise have remained strings of foreign words, unrelated to their lives.

Making Family Stories into Art

This weekend I was lucky enough to see two talented Jewish women make memorable art from their family stories. On Friday night, I went to Club Passim, the legendary folk venue in Harvard Square, to hear one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Lucy Kaplansky. Her set mixed old favorites with songs from her new CD, “Reunion.” The title track tells the story of two family reunions. The first in 1971, when she was 11, began at her grandmother’s bakery and continued at a fancy restaurant. The second “40 years on,” moved her to write “Here we are together/our fathers gone/ just daughters and sons.”

Dear Aly: I could nevah hava (nagila) 'nuff of you!

Dear Aly,

Though you’re ten years my junior, you inspire me. At five feet two inches, you are strong—in body and spirit; you are open and kind; you are level-headed and take things as they come.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Folk Music." (Viewed on December 14, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/folk-music>.

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