The Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Committee has designated Dr. Mark Kligman book, Maqam and Liturgy: Ritual, Music, and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn, as a 2009 Notable Selection in the category of Jews and the Arts. In recognizing his book, the committee stated:
Through extensive ethnography in a culturally very distinctive community of Jewish-Americans, Kligman finds a Judeo-Arab cultural synthesis at the very heart of these Syrian immigrants’ religious practice--the performance of liturgy--and as a vital component of their identity. Intersecting anthropology, ethnomusicology, community studies, and liturgy, the book clearly and cogently lays out a remarkable story that "transcends time and place" to offer an unexpected perspective on ritual as a space of expressive and communal choice. The rich accompanying CD allows readers to partake of the actual sounds of the service.
Dr. Kligman’s achievement will be recognized at the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Reception, to be held Sunday, December 20, 2009 at the Association for Jewish Studies conference in Los Angeles.
Dr. Kligman is Professor of Jewish Musicology at HUC-JIR/New York where he teaches in the School of Sacred Music. Educated at New York University and California State University, he earned his doctorate in Musicology with and emphasis on Ethnomusicology at NYU in 1997. Dr. Kligman specializes in the liturgical traditions of Middle Eastern Jewish communities and has published several articles on the liturgy of Syrian Jews. His work also extends to historical trends in the liturgical music of Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions. Another area of research is contemporary Jewish music since the 1970s.