Singing Diplomats: The Hidden Life of a Russian-speaking Choir in Jerusalem

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In a rundown hotel straddling the Green Line in southeast Jerusalem, a group of elderly Russian-Israeli immigrants, long-time residents of the hotel, gathers to sing. Through a portrait of the everyday musical activities of the Diplomat Hotel choir, this article explores the ways in which the choir's activities mediate and reconfigure the immigration experience of those involved. Four case studies illustrate how music affords a rich expressive space within which personal and group identity narratives are framed and re-framed for personal, interpersonal and outside consumption. Through their musical activities, choir members articulate a complex awareness of the issues and challenges they face as immigrants and their own agency in addressing such challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-190
Number of pages26
JournalEthnomusicology Forum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • JEWS
  • EMIGRATION & immigration
  • CHORAL music
  • Amateur Choral Music
  • Identity
  • Immigration
  • Israel
  • Jews
  • Russia


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