The World Centre for Jewish Music in Palestine, 1936-1940: Jewish Musical Life on the Eve of World War II

By Philip V. Bohlman | Go to book overview

5
Financial Endeavours
of the WCJMP

THE ambitious goals of the WCJMP demanded an abundance of two resources: capital and voluntary contributions of time. It is a measure of the success of the organization that it was able to inspire substantial amounts of the latter. Participants in both Palestine and Europe worked diligently for the World Centre, and in a few cases the willingness of volunteers even resulted in an embarrassment of riches, for example, when several individuals attempted to organize WCJMP committees in the same country. Many voluntary activities remain undocumented, although their traces abound in the archives. It was necessary for someone or even several people to prepare translations of the letters in languages that neither Levi nor Swet commanded, and sometimes to compose letters in those languages. Of the individuals with whom I have conferred about the WCJMP, no one remembers who these in-house translators were, but without their efficient work, the exchange of ideas marked by the WCJMP documents would have been totally impossible; the organization's fundamental activity would have ceased.

Earning sufficient capital, however, was a different matter entirely. Indeed, the failure to establish a sufficient base of capital may have been one of the precipitating factors during the organization's decline and eventual cessation in 1940. Not only did the slim financial resources of the WCJMP complicate daily operations, but it also made it impossible to offer concrete jobs to potential co-workers trying to immigrate. If the WCJMP could not secure a position for a potential immigrant in another institution, for example at the radio (cf. the letters of Joachim Stutschewsky in this book), it stood no chance of convincing the British Mandate to issue an immigration certificate.

The documents in the archive of the World Centre suggest that Salli Levi launched the organization without a clear account of how he would finance some of its major projects. He probably did not realize how quickly the WCJMP would take shape; nor did he realize the increasing pressures on the organization at the moments of its greatest successes. In 1937 most WCJMP projects were still in the planning stages, but by

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The World Centre for Jewish Music in Palestine, 1936-1940: Jewish Musical Life on the Eve of World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements xiv
  • Contents xvii
  • List of Illustrations xxiv
  • List of Abbreviations xxv
  • Glossary xxvi
  • Note on the Translations xxix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - European Roots 23
  • 1 - Organizing the Wcjmp in the Diaspora 25
  • 2 - Organizing the Wcjmp Abroad 54
  • 3: Social Conditions for Jewish Musicians in Germany and Europe 78
  • Part II - The Search for Fertile Soil in a New Homeland 113
  • 4 - History of the Wcjmp 115
  • 5 - Financial Endeavours of the Wcjmp 136
  • 6 - Musica Hebraica 158
  • Part III - Toward a New Musical Culture in Palestine and Israel 173
  • 7 - Musical Life in Palestine During the 1930s 175
  • 8 - Aesthetics of Jewish Music 204
  • Epilogue the Music History of the Wcjmp: 'Clues to a Puzzle, a Meaning to the Meaningless' 237
  • Appendix 261
  • Bibliography 275
  • Index 287
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