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Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

“Sound of Ecstasy” Honors Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-ShalomiThe Program in Jewish Studies,  the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries Archives and Special Collections, the Department of Religious Studies and the College of Music are presenting “Embodied Judaism: The Sound of Ecstasy” on Thursday, October 17 from 4:15-6:30PM on the CU Boulder campus. A light reception precedes presentations which will begin at 4:45PM. The inaugural Embodied Judaism project, which includes a symposium and exhibit, highlights the life and work of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and his role in shaping Jewish Renewal, the newest movement in Judaism, examining it as a religion, social movement and philosophy of spiritual transformation in America from the late 1940s to the present. The free symposium that launches the series is open to CU Boulder faculty, staff, students and a limited number of guests. RSVPs are required and can be made via email to Meghan.Zibby@colorado.edu or calling the Program in Jewish Studies at 303.492.7143. Location provided at the time the RSVP is confirmed. Additional information can be found at jewishstudies.colorado.edu.

The Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Collection in the University Libraries Archives and Special Collections anchors the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Archive, a collaborative project between the Libraries and CU’s Program in Jewish Studies. Judaism is often considered a religion of the mind defined by the study and practice of Jewish law, but it also has rich traditions as a religion of the body, engaging sights, sounds, emotions and feelings of spirituality. The Embodied Judaism series will use materials housed in the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Archive to trace the importance of the body and soul to contemporary Jewish practice by examining how new movements of Judaism, sparked by the thinking and practices of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, emphasize song, prayer, and movement alongside study, learning and law. “The Sound of Ecstasy,” the first in the series, will focus on the importance of using music to awaken the spiritual.

The exhibit, “Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and the Origins of Post-Holocaust American Judaism,” is based on photographs, papers, audio recordings and artifacts located in the Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi Collection.  The exhibit will be located on the southeast landing of the 2nd floor in the Norlin Library on the CU Boulder campus. It opens to the public on October 17 and is available for viewing during regular library hours, which can be found at ucblibraries.colorado.edu/hours/index.cfm. The display features a historical depiction of Schachter-Shalomi’s life and accomplishments including his role in the establishment of Jewish Renewal, the spiritual eldering movement, and his contributions to engaged interfaith dialogue. Tours, guided by staff of CU Libraries Archives and Special Collections, will be available immediately after the symposium on October 17.

The October 17 symposium is unlike a traditional academic gathering. It will bring together scholars, musicians and religious practitioners to highlight the role music plays in Judaism. The program features Tufts University’s Rabbi and Professor Jeffrey Summit and CU College of Music and Program in Jewish Studies Professor Yonatan Malin, who will present scholarly work, combining their diverse expertise in the area of Jewish music. Musician and CU Boulder Lecturer in Hebrew, Eyal Rivlin will be joined by Cantor Michelle Wolf and Joe Lukasik, who will accompany the presenters as they perform musical selections that illustrate the sounds of ecstasy. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and his wife, Eve Ilsen, will open the event. The symposium will be videotaped and broadcast on the University of Colorado Libraries YouTube channel. Please visit jewishstudies.colorado.edu for more information on when this will be available to the public.

Tufts Univeristy's Professor and Rabbi Jeffrey SummitSummit, Research Professor in the Department of Music and the Judaic Studies Program at Tufts University, is the author of The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary Jewish Worship. He is currently writing on the meaning and experience of the performance of biblical chant in North America to be published by Oxford University Press. He has also recorded, compiled and annotated a CD for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings entitled Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda, which was nominated for a GRAMMY Award. His new CD, Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Interfaith Harmony in Uganda, presents the music of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim coffee farmers of the Delicious Peace Fair Trade Coffee Cooperative in Mbale.

Malin,Yonatan_B&WMalin, Associate Professor in the College of Music and affiliated faculty member of the Program in Jewish Studies at CU Boulder, teaches courses in music theory and analysis and is the author of Songs in Motion: Rhythm and Meter in the German Lied. His current research includes a study of music and text in Jewish liturgical music. Professor Malin is also the editor of Music Theory Online, a journal of the Society for Music Theory. 

 To learn more about this series or the Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi Collection housed within the Post-Holocaust American Judaism Archive at the University of Colorado Boulder, please visit jewishstudies.colorado.edu

About Jamie Polliard

Assistant Director of the Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder

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