About Us

  • The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation is a critically acclaimed all-volunteer non-profit organization. We are a small but dedicated team from the music industry and academia who passionately believe Jewish history is best told by the music we have loved and lost. In order to incite a new conversation about the present, we must begin by listening anew to the past.



    We do this in a number of ways:

    • Re-releasing lost classics and compilations like Mazeltov, Mis Amigos, and carefully curated compilations like Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations and Songs for the Jewish-American Jet Set: The Tikva Records Story 1950-1973, complete with deeply researched liner notes in a thoughtfully designed package.
    • Filming the story of every musician we can find across the country to build a digitally-based archive of the music and the artists who created it in order to preserve their legacy for future generations.
    • Curating museum exhibits that showcase the stories behind the music, like “Jews on Vinyl”, which is traveling the nation, and “Black Sabbath,” the longest running museum at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
    • Creating concert showcases like “Mazeltov Mis Amigos” at Yoshi’s and Lincoln Center and “Jews on Vinyl Revue” at the Skirball Cultural Center.
    • Building interactive digital apps to complement the albums and allow a deeper dive into the music and stories.
    • Bringing the world’s first ever 1950’s pop-up Jewish record store to San Francisco for a month, featuring exhibits, nightly musical performances, oral histories, and lectures. The Tikva Records store drew over 25,000 visitors.



    All of this work is driven by the passion and energies of our volunteer supporters and donors across the country who share the belief that music creates conversations otherwise impossible in daily life. Our work has lifted the past into the present, from the pages of the New York Times, to the NPR airwaves, and the stage of Lincoln Center.

    The Idelsohn Society was founded by Roger Bennett, Courtney Holt, David Katznelson and Josh Kun. We are named for Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, legendary Jewish musicologist and writer of everybody’s favorite classic, “Hava Nagila.” Idelsohn devoted his life to studying, gathering, and classifying Jewish music in all of its forms in order to better understand the very nature of Jewishness itself.



    The Idelsohn Society is a project of Reboot, incubator of Jewish arts and culture and inventive network, which engages some of the most talented young creatives in the arts, technology, politics, literature and media fields in the examination of generational changes in identity, community, and meaning.

    Reboot affirms the value of Jewish traditions and creates new ways for people to make them their own.

    Inspired by Judaism’s embrace of the arts, humor, food, philosophy, and social justice, we produce creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community. Among our productions are events, exhibitions, recordings, books, films, DIY activity toolkits, and apps.

    Since our inception, 480 network members, 700 organizational partners, and hundreds of thousands of people have looked to Reboot to rekindle connections and re-imagine Jewish lives full of meaning, creativity, and joy.

    Projects include The National Day of Unplugging/Sabbath Manifesto,Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life, Beyond Bubbie, and Unscrolled

    To learn more, please visit Rebooters.net.



    We are dependent on the support of those who believe in our mission–we make every dollar count. Please make a donation here.

    The Idelsohn Society is a project of Reboot, a 501c3, and all gifts are tax deductible. We are possible due to the generous support from: Reboot, the Koret Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund, and the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life.

    We also grateful for the support from partners like the Judaica Archives at Florida Atlantic University, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, the Skirball Cultural Center, Tabletmag.com, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum.