A Jewish Musical Journey in Los Angeles: The Archives of Sinai Temple

Mark Kligman
UC Los Angeles

This project opens up the music archive of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles to new publics, challenging the perception of Jewish music as a primarily East Coast experience, while showcasing how immigrant musicians and cantors arriving to the West Coast contributed to Jewish liturgical sacred sound in the United States during twentieth century. Sinai Temple, the longest surviving Conservative synagogue in Los Angeles, was founded in 1906 by a group of German Jewish immigrants, and over a century since its founding, musical life remains a core feature of Sinai Temple’s institutional identity. In collaboration with Cantor Marcus Feldman, organist Aryell Cohen, and Sinai Temple leadership, the project brings the musical history of Sinai Temple to wider publics, establishing an ongoing partnership between UCLA’s Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music at the Herb Alpert School of Music, the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair of Jewish Music, and Sinai Temple. This collaboration includes participation from graduate students to catalog and scan documents in the archive, as well as a public concert-lecture program for the Sinai Temple congregation, featuring the music of the archive.