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Folk Music

Dorothy Lerner Gordon

Dorothy Lerner Gordon—musician, broadcaster, author—dedicated her talents to the entertainment and education of children and young people.

Edith Gerson-Kiwi

World-renowned musicologist, a pioneer in the research of the music of the Jewish communities in Israel, Edith Kiwi was born in Berlin on May 13, 1908.

Rosa Eskenazi

Roza Eskenazi, arguably the greatest and most renowned Greek diva, was born in Constantinople and named Sarah Skinazi. Roza’s exact date of birth is not known. In her autobiography Auta Pou Thimame (What I Remember) she states that she was born in 1910. Published in 1982, the autobiography is based on interviews Eskenazi gave in 1972. Apart from being forgetful by then, she appears to have deliberately concealed her age, as she probably had done since the 1920s. The Greek musicologist Panayiotis Kounadis is among those who believe that Eskenazi was born between 1883 and 1887, whilst others maintain that she was born between 1890 and 1900.

Ruby Daniel

Ruby (Rivka) Daniel lived for more than half of her life in [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:342]kibbutz[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] Neot Mordekhai in the Upper Galilee, but her book Ruby of Cochin: An Indian Jewish Woman Remembers richly illuminates Jewish life in Kerala, a green land of tropical abundance and religious tolerance on India’s southwest coast. Born in December 1912, Daniel spent the first half of her life in the ancient Jewish community of Cochin, where she developed her gifts as a compelling storyteller. She was the first Jewish girl who left the neighborhood to continue her education, and the first to complete high school and attend college. After working as a government clerk and serving in the Indian Navy, she was among the first in her community to make [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:293]aliyah[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], in 1951, and to join a kibbutz. She was also the first Cochin Jewish woman to write a book.

Cochin: Jewish Women's Music

For many centuries, Cochin Jewish women have been singing Jewish songs, both in Hebrew and in the Malayalam language of Kerala, their ancient homeland on the tropical southwest coast of India.

Chava Alberstein

Chava Alberstein is a singer-songwriter (both lyricist and composer) who by the end of 2004 had recorded over fifty albums, not including singles and song collections.

Arise, Arise: A New Wave of Jewish Women Musicians

Yesterday I attended a workshop on themes of social justice in Jewish music. I was given a music packet that included songs by Bob Dylan, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary), Pete Seeger, Jeff Klepper, the stud-of-a-Jewish-Rockstar Rick Recht, and E18hteen (the modern Jewish rock band founded by Dan Nichols). "E18hteen" sings that catchy song "Kehilah, Kedoshah" which is all the rage in Reform Jewish camps (I'm not going to lie -- I dig this song despite its cheesiness).

Emma's Revolution!

It's unlikely that Emma Goldman predicted her legacy would inspire the name of an activist folk music duo, but perhaps she did. Over the weekend, I had the delight of seeing Emma's Revolution, a "musical uprising of truth and hope from award-winning, activist songwriters" perform with feminist folk music pioneer Holly Near.

Klezmer, Ladino, and New Music Fusion

I always have an ear out for new music, especially music that brings together sounds and styles from different parts of the world. Two of my favorites include the music of the Afro-Celt Sound System and Rebbe Soul, both of which are quite innovative and energizing.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Folk Music." (Viewed on December 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/folk-music>.

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