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Marsha Bryan Edelman, Ed.D.

Adjunct Professor of Music and Education

Division: Graduate Studies, Undergraduate Studies, Jewish Community High School, Adult Jewish Learning
Program: Jewish Education (Graduate), Jewish Education (Undergraduate), Gratz Scholars Program

Personal Statement

Music is present in every area of Jewish life, from synagogue ceremonies to home-based rituals to life-cycle celebrations. It is also a living reflection of the evolving identities and values of Jewish people themselves, and so, not easily quantified or defined. In my teaching, I try to present examples from the vast repertoire that has been produced throughout the centuries, so that we can appreciate the intellectual quality, the emotional quotient, and the historic continuity that has sustained our musical tastes across generations and denominations. It is my hope that my students, and their students, whether as professionals who will present the music, or audience members who will experience it, will be able to make thoughtful choices that will help to inform the Jewish music of the future.


Dr. Marsha Bryan Edelman is Adjunct Professor of Music and Education at Gratz College.
Dr. Edelman is a native Philadelphian, and was educated at both the Philadelphia High School for Girls and the High School Department of Gratz College. She studied at New York University and Barnard College, from which she received a B.A. in Music in 1975. In that same year Dr. Edelman also received a Bachelor of Hebrew Literature degree (majoring in Jewish history and education) and a Bachelor of Sacred Music degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. She earned her Master of Sacred Music from the Seminary the following year, and a Master of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1978. Her Doctorate in Music and Music Education was awarded by Columbia University in 1982.

Prior to her appointment to the faculty of Gratz College in 1985, Dr. Edelman spent 15 years as a music educator and consultant to various day and supplementary schools and summer camps. Her wide-ranging experiences in Jewish music education and administration have included stints as Director of the Department of Music Resources of the Central Agency for Jewish Education of Greater Philadelphia; Coordinator of the Jewish Music Network of the Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education (CAJE); and service as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Jewish Music. Dr. Edelman has also been active as a choral singer, and as conductor of various vocal and instrumental ensembles. She is currently Administrator of the Zamir Choral Foundation, Inc.

Marsha Bryan Edelman has been acclaimed for her extensive knowledge and the popular appeal of her presentations before adult audiences throughout the United States and Israel. She is also the author of numerous articles on Jewish music and Jewish education, and program notes attendant to concert and recorded performances of Jewish music. Her book, Discovering Jewish Music, was published by the Jewish Publication Society in June, 2003.