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Date: 2012
Abstract: A unique moment in Sephardic music is emerging in the Republic of Serbia. Since 2000, a small but vibrant Sephardic music scene has been formed through the efforts of a small group of individuals. The scene keeps alive a repertoire that has survived many upheavals: the Holocaust and the near-total extermination of Sephardic sacred music practitioners from the region; a half-century of religious suppression under the Yugoslav government; and the political turmoil of the 1990s and the establishment of the Republic of Serbia from what was once Yugoslavia. Each of these major socio-political shifts had an impact on how today's musicians learned and contributed to the creation of Sephardic music. Since 2000, the maintenance and reworking of the Sephardic music scene in Belgrade has taken place almost entirely because of small group individuals. The Sephardic music scene that has emerged is now made up of one concert stage ensemble, Shira u’tfila [Song and Prayer], and a collection of synagogue singers. Though the scene comprises only a small number of musicians, these individuals exercise considerable power in determining how broader categories like Sephardic and Jewish are represented and contribute to the civic, state, and international public imagination. The expression of being Serbian, Sephardic, and Jewish is shaped and transmitted by this small group of musicians as they actively engage in a variety of discourses. These discourses concern the role of technology in the transmission of their practice, historical consciousness and nostalgia, and personal and social identities. By looking at how musical and social domains are established and promoted through performance, I show how personal taste and individual creativity play a role in representing Jewish culture in Serbia and Serbian-Jewish culture to an international audience. Ultimately, Shira u’tfila helps redefine ideas of Serbian Jewishness, and articulates an understanding of music in Jewish life as behavior that embraces both sacred and secular, both Jewish and non-Jewish, repertoire.
Author(s): Wiens, Kathleen
Author(s): Kosmin, Barry A.
Date: 2016
Abstract: Launched by the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee’s International Centre for Community
Development (JDC-ICCD), and conducted by a research
team at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut, USA)
between June and August 2015, the Third Survey of
European Jewish Leaders and Opinion Formers presents
the results of an online survey administered to 314
respondents in 29 countries. The survey was conducted
online in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German
and Hungarian. The Survey of European Jewish Leaders
and Opinion Formers is conducted every three or four
years using the same format, in order to identify trends
and their evolution. Findings of the 2015 edition were
assessed and evaluated based on the results of previous
surveys (2008 and 2011).
The survey posed Jewish leaders and opinion formers a
range of questions about major challenges and issues that
concern European Jewish communities in 2015, and about
their expectations of how communities will evolve over
the next 5-10 years. The 45 questions (see Appendix) dealt
with topics that relate to internal community structures
and their functions, as well as the external environment
affecting communities. The questionnaire also included
six open-ended questions in a choice of five languages.
These answers form the basis of the qualitative analysis
of the report. The questions were organized under the
following headings:
• Vision & Change (6 questions)
• Decision-Making & Control (1 question)
• Lay Leadership (1 question)
• Professional Leadership (2 questions)
• Status Issues & Intermarriage (5 questions)
• Organizational Frameworks (2 questions)
• Community Causes (2 questions)
• Jewish Education (1 question)
• Funding (3 questions)
• Communal Tensions (3 questions)
• Anti-Semitism/Security (5 questions)
• Europe (1 question)
• Israel (1 question)
• Future (2 questions)
• Personal Profile (9 questions)
Author(s): Sion, Brigitte
Date: 2016
Abstract: The goals of the Foundation in conducting this survey were manifold:
we aimed to generate a comprehensive picture of the Jewish museum
landscape across Europe, and to identify the most pressing issues,
challenges and needs faced by these institutions. We wanted to learn about
the mission, philosophy and methodology of Jewish museums, and better
understand their role and position in the cultural and educational realm at
large. We were also interested in the level of professionalization of Jewish
museums, both in staff training, collection preservation and cataloguing,
management, and the ways in which Jewish museums communicate and
arrange partnerships with one another. With a better understanding of
these issues, we want now to assess the resources needed and the funding
priorities for the next five to ten years.

The questionnaire was sent to 120 institutions in 34 countries and we
received 64 completed forms from 30 countries. The questions addressed
eleven broad topics: organisation, collections, permanent and temporary
exhibitions, facility, visitor services, public programmes, visitor
demographics, marketing and PR, finances, future plans and needs.

This diverse sample enabled us to get, for the first time, a quasicomprehensive
picture of the Jewish museum landscape in Europe, from
small community museums to landmarks of “starchitecture;” from
institutions boasting thousands of rare objects to others mostly text
panels- or technology-based; from museums employing scores of
professional staff and interns to synagogues-turned-exhibition halls run by
volunteers for a few hours a month. That was precisely the challenge: the
large and numerous discrepancies between institutions, depending on their
location, their financial and human resources, their political and economic
context, the type of visitors they receive, and other contextual
considerations.

The results point to four major findings:
1. Transition from museums to multi-purpose hubs;
2. Lack of collaboration and partnerships;
3. Tension between particularistic and universalistic missions;
4. Increasing need to serve a diverse audience.