Jewish Liturgical Music Conference and Shabbaton (2019)

Shabbaton: March 8-9
Conference: March 10-11
2019 in Chicago

  • The conference program booklet  is available here.
  • The Shabbaton schedule is available here. (Please note that you will need to scroll quite far to the right in order to see the entire schedule.)
  • To purchase tickets for the Sunday evening concert only, at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation, please click here.
  • If you are driving, please be aware that parking is limited.  On Sunday, some street parking is available on the Midway Plaisance and on side streets.  However, drivers should consider parking in the covered parking structure at the intersection of 55th Street and Ellis Avenue.
  • A non-exhaustive map showing hotels within five miles of the University of Chicago campus is available here. (Please note that we are not making any representations as to quality or price.)
  • A non-exhaustive list of places to eat relatively near the University of Chicago campus is available here. (Again, we are not making any representations as to quality or price.)

We are honored to dedicate this conference and Shabbaton to the memory of the gifted Jewish musicologist Dr. Judith Kaplan Eisenstein (1909-1996), z”l.

The Mordecai M. Kaplan Center for Jewish Peoplehood, The University of Chicago Divinity School, and The Mervis Chair in Jewish Culture at Indiana University are delighted to invite you to attend a conference titled Hallel v’Zimra: Jewish Liturgical Music, Present and Future,” to be held at The University of Chicago on Sunday and Monday, March 10-11, 2019.  Additional sponsors currently include the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University, the Cantors Assembly, the American Conference of Cantors, the Women Cantors’ NetworkReconstructing JudaismKAM Isaiah IsraelCongregation Rodfei ZedekMishkan Chicago, and The University of Chicago Newberger Hillel Center, and Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

This two-day conference – preceded by a Shabbaton – will bring together leading scholars, prayer leaders, and musicians to explore and reflect upon the rich and complex Jewish conversation among music, liturgy, and ritual.  Some of the enormously talented people we expect will be joining us are:  Nancy Abramson, David Berger, Philip Bohlman, Gerald Cohen, Judah Cohen, Richard Cohn, Gordon Dale, Galeet Dardashti, Shefa Gold, Esteban Gottfried, Jeff Klepper, Mark Kligman, Elli Kranzler, Ebn Leader, Miriam Margles, Brian Mayer, Deborah Sacks Mintz, Alberto Mizrahi, Hankus Netsky, Vanessa Ochs, Eden Pearlstein (ePRHYME), Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, Rachel Rosenberg, Joyce Rosenzweig, Sarah Ross, Pavel Roytman, Basya Schechter, Benjie Ellen Schiller, Azi Schwartz, Edwin Seroussi, Jeffrey Summit, Yoel Sykes, Ramón Tasat, Samuel Torjman Thomas, Benjamin Warschawski, Josh Warshawsky, Joey Weisenberg, Margaret Moers Wenig, and Naomi Cohn Zentner.

Music and liturgy hold a rich and often complex relationship in Jewish life.  Each seeks to reflect the values and needs of contemporary Jewish religious communities.  Each relies on the other to deepen its own connection to ideas of tradition.  Each has developed its own specialists and fields of study.   And each stands at the center of debates about enriching the Jewish present and assuring the Jewish future.

The conference, with a mix of panel discussions, workshops, master classes, and other sessions intended to appeal both to professionals in the field and to interested non-professionals, will be held at two locations in Hyde Park.  It will begin on Sunday morning, at Swift Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1025 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, running that day from 10:00 a.m. to about 6:15 p.m.  On Monday, we will be at Congregation Rodfei Zedek, 5200 South Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60615, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at about 4:30 p.m.  We will also be offering a concert Sunday evening, at KAM Isaiah Israel, 1100 East Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60615, beginning at 8:00 p.m.  Kosher box lunches (and snacks, but no other meals) will be provided on both days.

A Saturday evening musical program, on the north side of Chicago, will feature Joey Weisenberg, Mishkan Chicago musicians, and more.  That program will begin at 8:00 p.m., at Wilson Abbey, 935 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640.

The Shabbaton will begin Friday evening, March 8, on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park, with both traditional egalitarian and liberal services and a kosher catered dinner.  (An Orthodox minyan will also be available.)  The liberal services, which will take place after dinner at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, will feature an extraordinary program of American liturgical music.  On Saturday, March 9, we will be at Congregation Rodfei Zedek in Hyde Park, from 9:30 a.m. through Mincha (afternoon) services, ending about 4:30.  We will offer multiple minyanim in the morning.  (Orthodox services will be available nearby.)  Programming for children and teens also will be offered.  We will provide a kosher catered lunch.  After lunch, we will have an afternoon of learning and singing, and yoga and other activities as well.

For more information about the conference or the Shabbaton, please contact Dan Cedarbaum, at (preferred) or at 847-492-5200.

We hope to see you in Chicago in March.