About Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance

Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance

Leading Judaica publisher Wayne State University Press (http://wsupress.wayne.edu) produced this remarkable art-size anthology on the diversity of dance in Judaism and in Israel in June 2011. The expert contributing writers come from Israel, Europe and the United States; their essays reflect the diverse views of dance historians, critics, ethnographers, sociologists and dancers illustrated with 182 remarkable photographs. The authors include Gaby Aldor, Felix Fibich, Zvi Friedhaber, Jill Gellerman, Ayalah Goren-Kadman, Yehuda Hyman, Judith Brin Ingber, Naomi M. Jackson, Elke Kaschl, Sara Levi-Tanai, Dawn Lille, Giora Manor, Josh Perelman, Dina Roginsky, Janice Ross, Barbara Sparti, Nina S. Spiegel, and Shalom Staub.

See the Facebook group for related content, upcoming events and updates about Jewish and Israeli dance.

View a few of the illustrations for Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance.

View full description, including contributing writers, for Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance.

The Jewish Daily Forward sat down with Brin Ingber to discuss her book and to look through the dozens of photos and illustrations that accompany the stories. View video»

Comments about Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance

"After many years of planning and research, Judith Brin Ingber has completed a masterful book on Israeli and Jewish dance."

-Mordecai Specktor, "A Dance to Jewish Life," The American Jewish World, July 20, 2011.

"Brin Ingber's edited volume Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance offers a wide-ranging collection of studies of the encounter between Jewishness and dance. In the course of examining religious Jewish dances, Israeli folk dances and theatrical dances created in Israel, the contributors arrive at some surprising conclusions regarding the interde- pendence between Jewish and Israeli characteristics. The anthology also poses some essential questions regarding dance research, such as that of the boundaries between folk dance, social dance and theatrical dance."

-Einav Rosenblit in Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues, (Number 24, Spring 5773/2013, pp. 163-166). Published by Indiana University Press, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem; The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute

"Judith Brin Ingber has assembled in one volume a wealth of information and ideas. She and the sixteen other contributors to Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance probe such diverse, yet profoundly related subjects as dancing in Judaic ceremonies and the creation of folk dances in the newborn nation of Israel. Dancing springs to life on the page—illuminating how cultural roots yield new blooms when transplanted into different soil. The reader will be stimulated by conflicting views about such topics as women's participation in traditional Jewish dances throughout history and the ways in which contemporary folk and theatrical dancing in Israel have honored memory and culture, even as they have altered the image of the Jewish body and what it means to be a Jew."

-Deborah Jowitt, dance critic and historian, author of Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance

"Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance is work of great originality and importance, not only to the world of dance, but to the study of global Jewish culture and the arts. Its scope and depth are remarkable, and its combination of photography and scholarship is nothing short of thrilling."

-Riv-Ellen Prell, Professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota and editor of Women Remaking American Judaism

"Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance is at once both cinematic and diasporic. It is part academic travelogue, part historical manifesto and part home movie, if "home" was all of Jewish culture across all of history. It intermingles the religious and secular practices of dance into a hybrid and fluid Jewishness: one with porous boundaries and a shifting sense of self, identity and purpose. In this collection of original and sometimes daring research, dance is framed as celebratory and artistic, decorative and efficacious, a kind of both/and construction which the authors liberally mine for its essential Jewishness and its contribution to the central issues surrounding Jewish identity, as both a part of and apart from the State of Israel. Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance will undoubtedly inspire debate, critique and hopefully the publication of other texts that further explore dance in the frame of an ever-shifting Jewish identity."

-Douglas Rosenberg, professor and director of the Conney Project on Jewish Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison

See Critical Reviews for additional information about Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance.

Travels for Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance


Interest continues in the book; it was featured at the International Conference "Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World"  when Judith gave the conference sponsored illustrated talk at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, on Oct. 11, 2018.

At the Conney Conference,USC,  University of Southern California, her book was displayed in the March, 2015 gathering.

Judith also gave an illustrated book talk at the Jewish Museum in Prague in December 2014.

The book was chosen for the prestigious Jewish Book Council Tour the year it was published. She appeared at the Houston JCC Book Fair and Houston's Temple Beth Tikvah on Nov. 7 and 8, 2011; the University of Nevada and the Las Vegas JCC on November 11; the Atlanta JCC Book Fair on Nov. 13 and at the Detroit JCC.

Special Book Launches

January 15, 2012 she had a full house at the 92Y book launch in New York along with author Judith Chazin-Bennahum. See photos of her book signings and travels in the Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dancefacebook group .

Israel Dance Library in Tel Aviv on December 18, 2011 with contributing writers Ayalah Goren and Gaby Aldor

Seeing Israeli & Jewish Dance book cover

Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance.

Do you want to find out about:

  • the Hora,
  • Jewish wedding dances,
  • Shorashim, or the roots of Jewish folk dance,
  • Jewish modern dancers in Europe or America,
  • mitsveh dances, or mitsveh tans,
  • Batsheva Dance, and
  • Ohad Naharin (inventor of Gaga)?

Get expert information and writing about these subjects and more in Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance.

Leading Judaica publisher Wayne State University Press (wsupress.wayne.edu) produced Judith's remarkable art-size anthology on the diversity of dance in Judaism and in Israel in June, 2011. The contributing writers, experts from Israel, Europe and the United States, reflect in their essays the diverse views of dance historians, critics, ethnographers, sociologists and dancers. The essays are divided into unusual visual, dance-minded chapters including, "In the Spotlight," "Zoom in and Then Pan, " Cut Back to Europe;" "Going Live" and "Split Screen," illustrated with 182 remarkable photographs.

The authors and their essays include:

  • Gaby Aldor ("Naming It Jewish: The Dichotomy Between Jewish and Israeli Dance");
  • Felix Fibich ("The Unwitting Gastrol: Touring the Soviet Union, France, the United States, Canada, Israel, South America, Europe and Back to Poland);
  • Zvi Friedhaber ("The Bride and Her Guests: The Dance with the Separating Kerchief");
  • Jill Gellerman ("Rehearsing for Ultimate Joy Among the Lubavitcher Hasidim: Simchas Bais Hasho'eva in Crown Heights);
  • Ayalah Goren-Kadman ("Feet on the Ground: Experiencing Kurdish Jews Through Their Dance");
  • Yehuda Hyman ("Three Hasidic Dances: a Personal Journey");
  • Judith Brin Ingber ("Introduction: Coming into Focus" ; "Shorashim: The Roots of Israeli Folk Dance"; and "Vilified or Glorified? Nazi Versus Zionist Views of the Jewish Body");
  • Naomi M. Jackson ("Searching for Moving Metaphors: Jewishness in American Modern and Postmodern Dance");
  • Elke Kaschl ("Beyond Israel to New York: How to Perform ‘Community' Under the Impact of Globalization";
  • Sara Levi-Tanai ("From Street Urchin to International Acclaim: A Personal Testimony");
  • Dawn Lille ("Ethiopians in Israel: Their History and Their Dance from Ethnic to Contemporary");
  • Giora Manor ("Extending the Traditional Wedding Dance: Inbal Dance Theatre's Yemenite Wedding and the ‘Dance of the Beggars' in Habimah National Theatre's Dybbuk);
  • Josh Perelman ("'I'm the Everybody Who's Nobody, I'm the Nobody Who's Everybody': How Sophie Maslow's Popular Front Choreography Helped Shape American Jewish Identity");
  • Dina Roginsky ("The Israeli Folk Dance Movement: Structural Changes and Cultural Meanings");
  • Janice Ross (("Jewish Culture and Identity in the Russian Ballet: The Case of Leonid Jacobson");
  • Barbara Sparti ("Jewish Dancing-Masters and ‘Jewish Dance' in Renaissance Italy: Guglielmo Ebreo and Beyond");
  • Nina S. Spiegel ("Cultural Production in Tel Aviv: Yardena Cohen and the National Dance Competition of 1937"); and
  • Shalom Staub ("Wedding Dances of a Yemenite Jewish Village in Israel: Repertoire, Values, and Social Meaning").

Judith Brin Ingber with Naomi Jackson Judith Brin Ingber with Dawn Lille

Judith with Naomi Jackson

Judith with Dawn Lille

Judith with Jill Gellerman

Judith with Janice Ross

Judith Brin Ingber with Wayne State University Press's Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wildfong, at the Association of Jewish Studies Conference. Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance is available through Wayne State Univ Press and also Amazon for less than $40.00.

Judith with her editor, Wayne State University Press's Editor-in-Chief Kathy Wildfong, at the recent book exhibition of the Association of Jewish Studies Conference.

For further information, including photos, see the page for Judith's book, Seeing Israeli & Jewish Dance.

Special Programs

  • Jacob's Pillow "Pillow Talk" July 7, 2012 with Judith interviewed, bookending two Israeli dance company performances at Jacob's Pillow with book signing

Judith Brin Ingber with Dr. Ruth, at Jacob's Pillow.

Judith Brin Ingber with Norton Owen, director of Jacob's Pillow Archive, at Jacob's Pillow.

Judith Brin Ingber with Noa Wertheim, director of Vertigo Dance Company, at Jacob's Pillow.

Judith Brin Ingber and her book in Jacob's Pillow bookstore.

  • "I Danced Because I wanted to Say Something: American Jews and Dance" at the new National Museum of American Jewish History along with other artist/writers featured in her book, including Jill Gellerman and Doug Rosenberg. Also included was a performance of Anna Sokolow's "Kaddish" by dancer Hadassah Segal, followed by a book signing event on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 at the remarkable new building at Independence Mall East, Philadelphia.

Judith Brin Ingber speaking at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Colleges and Universities

  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Carleton College
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Nevada at Las Vegas
  • Wayne State University
  • Hebrew University in Jerusalem
  • Tel Aviv University's Dept of Theatre Studies
  • The Western Galilee College in Akko
  • Orot Women's College
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of Southern California
  • HAMU, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

Academic conference presentations based on the book

  • The Conney Conference on Jewish Arts and the Diaspora in April, 2013 at University of Wisconsin

    Judith Brin Ingber with Karen Goodman after their Dance Lab at the Conney Conference

  • "Dance Theater and Cultural Identity: A Multi-Media Conference on the Anniversary of 100 Years Since Sara Levi-Tanai's Birth" at Tel Aviv University, Dec. 25-26, 2011
  • The Conney Conference, University of Wisconsin, April 6, 2011
  • The Congress on Research in Dance's Philadelphia conference Nov. 18, 2011
  • The "Modern Jewish Experience Through the Lens of Dance" conference at Ohio State University, Feb. 13-14, 2011
  • The Association for Jewish Studies International Conference in Boston, Dec. 21, 2010.

Synagogue Programs featuring the book

  • Nahalat Shalom, November, 2012 (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Hevreh at Southern Berkshires (Great Barrington, MA)
  • Beth El, Temple Israel and Adath Jeshurun (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Mount Zion Temple (St. Paul, MN)
  • Temple Beth Tikvah (Houston, TX)
  • Congregation Beth Shalom (Napa Valley, CA) on March 17, 2013
  • Jewish Communty Center (Sonoma County, CA) on March 18, 2013

Booksigning at the Birchbark Book Store, Minneapolis, MN on September 15, 2011.

V Paul Virtucio and Judith Brin Ingber at her autumn book program and signing at the Birch Bark Book Store in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Judith Brin Ingber with Katherine Wildfing, Editor-in-Chief, Wayne State University.

Wednesday evening, August 31, 2011 at 7:00pm, book signing in the beautiful Berkshire mountains at Hevreh, 270 State Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230.

At the summer Hevreh South Berkshires book program and signing with sponsor Laurie Freedman; Jacob's Pillow archivist Norton Owen; Judith and her husband Jerome and arts patron Bruce Kelly.

During a mini book tour in Napa Valley, at Congregation Beth Shalom and the Sonoma JCC in Santa Rosa. Judith visited Judd's Hill Winery, owned by presenter Bunnie Finkelstein. Left to right: David Brin (Judith's brother), Dr. Nina Schwartz, Bunny Finkelstein and Judith Brin Ingber.

See photos of her book signings and travels on her Facebook site.