The liturgical singing of the Ethiopian Jews: an Israeli destiny

Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 7pm, at the "Centre d'Art et de Culture de l'Espace Rachi" (39 rue Broca - 75005 Paris)

A musical lecture by Simha Arom and Olivier Tourny
Organized by the European Institute of Jewish Music
As part of the 18th edition of the Festival of Jewish Cultures

In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Ethiopian Jewish community massively migrated to Israel, fulfilling their ancestors’ dream of a Return to Jerusalem. However, because of religious beliefs and practices considered as archaic, they were invited to join a normative Judaism more adapted to the context of contemporary Israel. Under these conditions, Simha Arom launched a program to study, record and safeguard this heritage, involving a team from both the French Research Center in Jerusalem and the Hebrew University. This program would produce a large number of works and publications, including an anthology The Liturgy of Beta Israel – Music of the Ethiopian Jewish Prayer published in 2018 by the Jewish Music Research Center of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some thirty years later, what happened to the singing of the Ethiopian Jewish community? This presentation will detail its fate



Emeritus research director at the CNRS, Simha Arom is a founding member of the Société française d’ethnomusicologie, the Société française d’analyse musicale, the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (ESCOM), and the European Seminar in Ethnomusicology. He is also a member of the Société française de musicologie and of the Board of Directors of the project The Universe of Music (UNESCO)

Simha Arom was awarded the Prix Antoine Bernheim in 2014 by the Fondation du Judaïsme Français.

Director of research at the CNRS, Olivier Tourny is an ethnomusicologist specializing in ritual and liturgical music from Ethiopia and Jerusalem. Director of the “Ethnomusicology of Ethiopia” program, then director of the French Research Center in Jerusalem, he now works at the Institut d’Ethnologie Méditerranéenne, Européenne, Comparative of Aix-Marseille University.

Moderator: Hervé Roten, Director of the European Institute of Jewish Music


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