Posts tagged: Jewish education

Celebrate Purim with Music from the Jewish Education Committee of New York

By , March 1, 2018 6:19 pm

Songs for Tu Bishvat and PurimLooking for music to enjoy with family and friends this Purim? Here at the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries, we would like to highlight the voices of William Wolff and Joan Mey one of several artists available in the Purim Collection off the album, Songs for Tu Bishvat and Purim.

This album was produced by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, in 1965 and was compiled by Harry Coopersmith to help engage youngsters in the customs and traditions of the Jewish religion. These recordings reflect a time in American history when Conservative Jewish educators sought to spirtually bind Jews together through song.

To listen to this album, click here.

To view other recordings by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, click here.


Discover over 20 other recordings for you to enjoy with family and friends in the Purim Collection.



Interested in past posts related to Purim, click here.

Gladys Gewirtz: Pioneer of Jewish Children’s Music Dies

By , April 18, 2012 1:28 pm

Gladys Gewirtz circa 1965

Gladys Gewirtz  touched the lives of thousands of people who never met her. Her recordings were among the first that were digitized and played on the JSA website (  Over  60 years ago, Gladys Gewirtz, had the idea of creating recordings for young Jewish children. Together with her sister, Roz Grossman who wrote the lyrics and patter between songs, she produced recordings based on familiar fairy tales and nursery rhymes. The simple sing-along tunes are endearing and bring back early childhood memories to many listeners.

Gladys attended Julliard and Columbia University. She was music director of the first Camp Ramah, and taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she  inspired a generation of music teachers and counselors.

The sisters’ songs deal primarily with Jewish customs and holidays, and also celebrate the newly established State of Israel. Miriam Brosseau writes, “in Gewirtz’s record Mother Goose Songs for Jewish Children and Holiday Play Songs, she and narrator Eve Lippman inject Jewish themes into familiar American children’s songs; Little Boy Blue, for instance, cannot watch over his sheep on Shabbat–he is in shul, of course. The young boys on the cover all sport kippot and Mother Goose is pictured in a matronly shawl, with a prominent Star of David around her neck.”

Through the pioneering work of Gladys Gewirtz and her sister, Roz Grossman,  Jewish life and customs became songs that even pre-schoolers could understand.  It is only now, after so many years, that we can truly appreciate the powerful influence that these simple tunes had in fostering Jewish identity and education for  generations of Jewish children.

Gladys spent a number of years at Kol Yisrael (The Voice of Israel) as a music producer.  She was married to the District Attorney of Jerusalem, Ezra Hedaya.

Together with her brother, Shimon (cantor). and his wife, Ilana (flutist and soloist), Gladys established and directed the first music service at the Hebrew Music College in Jerusalem. She also wrote various cantatas and oratorios on biblical themes. Gladys and her brother Shimon again combined their talents to write a musical  based on The Book of Ruth. entitled Your People are Mine.

Gladys was 84 when she passed away on April 14, 2012. Shimon and Roz are currently living in Israel.  All of us at the Judaica Sound Archives are saddened by her passing and offer sincere condolences to her family. Her memory is a blessing to all who knew her. Her music legacy will not be forgotten.

Click here to listen to all eight (8) of her albums from the JSA Collection.

Where has all the Jewish music gone?

By , September 4, 2009 2:25 pm

JSARS logoWhere has all the Jewish music gone?  Ever wondered what happened to all the Jewish music of days gone by?  Voices of the great cantors of the past.  Music from Yiddish theater. The Judaica Sound Archives may not have all the old Jewish music, but with tens of thousands of audio recordings it is well on its way.

The Judaica Sound Archives – Research Station (JSA-RS) was developed at FAU Libraries to provide a digital resource of recorded sound, containing tens of thousands of audio tracks from the archival collection of the JSA. The original source materials available through the JSA Research Station are 78 rpm recordings produced as early as 1901, LPs, 45 rpm recordings, cassette and 8-track tapes, and CDs.

Along with this wealth of audio recordings, JSA Research Stations allow access to discography and other pertinent information such as label and jacket scans which will greatly enhance a researcher’s ability to study this material. This includes the ability to search for and see listings of all recordings in the JSA archives, whether or not they have been digitized. Therefore, faculty and other researchers can conduct real-time, online research using the JSA-Research Station. Currently the JSA-Research Station accesses 19,000 songs from 2,000 different audio albums and 2,322 songs originally recorded on 78rpm. This library will be expanded throughout the coming year.

There are now 13 official JSA-Research Station sites in the USA, Canada, Israel and England. They are:

  • American Jewish University Library, Bel Air, CA
  • Florida Atlantic Univesrity, Wimberly Library, Boca Raton FL
  • Gratz College Library, Melrose Park, PA (near Philadelphia)
  • Hebrew Union College Library, New York City, NY
  • Jewish Music Institute Library and School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, London, England
  • Jewish Public Library of Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • National Library of Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  • National Yiddish Book Center, Amherst, MA
  • Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago, IL
  • University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • University of Pennsylvania Library, Philadelphia, PA
  • University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Washington University of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

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