Rebecca Carmi, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change
The purpose of this research was to explore the power of a personal and ethnic Jewish musical tradition to develop identity, impart wisdom, and facilitate historical healing in an age fraught with ethnic misunderstandings, racial hatred, and religious intolerance. This autoethnography, coupled with performative inquiry, examined the personal experience of the author as a young child, music student, cantorial student, professional clergy member, international performer, and finally as an organizer of diplomatic missions involving bringing music back to sites of genocide perpetrated against Jews as a bridge to reconciliation. The importance of Jewish music in the author's life was examined through a series of autoethnographic vignettes that were paired with an accompanying piece of recorded music. Thus this dissertation is comprised of both written text and a studio-made CD. The autoethnograhic data support the use of honoring endemic forms of music as a key strategy in countering the ever-prevalent racist and even genocidal practices across the globe, advocating for the recognition of shared values and humanity as embodied by unique musical traditions, while telling a singular and particular story of the successful experience and transmission of a tradition and its usefulness in peace work.
Key words: Autoethnography, performative inquiry, Jewish music, music for peace work.