History and mission


The European Centre for Jewish Music (EZJM) is an institute belonging to the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media (HMTMH). Founded in 1988 by Professor Andor Izsák in collaboration with the University of Augsburg, the EZJM has been based in Hanover since 1992. Professor Izsák was the Head of the EZJM until his retirement in 2012.

Since October 2015, Prof. Dr. Sarah M. Ross has held the professorship of Jewish Music Studies with a special focus on synagogue music. At the same time, Professor Ross became Director of the EZJM.

Villa Seligmann

Villa Seligmann (Photo: Dr. Heiko Jacobs)

The EZJM is located at the Villa Seligmann. This mansion of the Jewish former director of the Continental-Werke was completed in 1906. It is one of the few testimonies of the Jewish bourgeoisie in Hanover before the Shoa. Villa Seligmann, property of the Siegmund Seligmann Foundation, sees itself as a forum for Jewish music in Hanover.

The second floor – where the servants used to do the laundry, where they sewed and ironed – is today the workplace of the EZJM team and you will also find the library there.

Documentation, research, teaching

As one section of musicological research and teaching at the HMTMH, the EZJM is dedicated to research on, reconstruction, documentation and teaching of Jewish music in all its manifestations, ranging from synagogue chants and para-liturgical traditions to secular music traditions of Jews in various cultural contexts and eras.

Comprehensive research on how Jewish music has become an integral part of Jewish life in all its complexity throughout the ages to this day, both in Europe and in non-European countries, is at the heart of the centre’s work. The various research projects based at the EZJM and teaching as part of the new focus subject “Jewish Music Studies” within the Master’s programme on “Music Research and Music Education” will bring together areas of knowledge in which very little research has to date been done on the full range of Jewish music. For this reason, interdisciplinary dialogue with other music and cultural sciences and with Jewish Studies is of major importance, both in research and teaching.

Research Data Management

The European Centre for Jewish Music is working on the relatively new field of research data management, incorporating the following bases and definitions:

  • Furthermore, the EZJM ist a member of the consortium NFDI4CULTURE funded by the German Research Foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact the staff member for IT and Digital Humanities.


The European Centre for Jewish Music partners with the following institutions:

  • Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe, Brunswick
  • Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
  • Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Institute of Musicology, University of Bern
  • Jewish Music Research Centre, Jerusalem
  • The National Library of Israel, Jerusalem
  • Department for Cultural Studies and European Ethnology, University of Basel
  • Tel Aviv University


    Europäisches Zentrum für Jüdische Musik
    Villa Seligmann
    Hohenzollernstraße 39
    30161 Hannover
    T. +49-(0)511-3100-7121
    F. +49-(0)511-3100-7127
    E-mail: EZJM

    Last modified: 2022-03-29

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