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The Atlantic Jewish Council

Visiting Scholar – Dr. Judith Cohen

Event Details

Dr. Judith Cohen, ethnomusicologist, singer, and storyteller, will “sing stories and tell songs” from many traditions, especially the Sephardim, or the Jewish people expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492. Follow Judith through the mini-labyrinths of the stories of the people she learned them from, adding her own stories of traveling and singing. She often accompanies herself with traditional string and/or percussion instruments.

Monday Sep. 16 at 7:00–9:00 PM at the Local Women’s Council House at 989 Young Avenue. Admission: Pay what you can; $15 recommended.

Dr. Cohen is known for her work in Sephardic music, and related traditions. Her ethnomusicological work and her life as a performer are intertwined. Village songs of Spain and Portugal, narrative ballads and stories in English and pan-European traditions, Balkan singing, songs of French Canada, Yiddish – and music of Medieval Europe are among her performance and workshop repertoires, and as an ethnomusicologist, besides her signature work in Sephardic music, she is known for her many years of fieldwork and research on music in the lives of Portuguese Bnei Anusim, often known as Crypto-Jews, direct descendants of the Jews who maintained their identity throughout the centuries of the Inquisition. She is the consultant for the Spanish Recordings (1952) of the legendary Alan Lomax collection, and is preparing an edition of Lomax’s Spain diary with her own follow-up fieldwork for the University Press of Mississippi.

Learn more about Judith’s work and find videos, audio and podcasts at

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