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Judah Cohen named associate vice provost

By Office of the Provost

April 25, 2022

Judah Cohen Judah CohenJudah Cohen, the Lou and Sybil Mervis Professor of Jewish Culture and professor of musicology at the IU Jacobs School of Music, was named associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. He’ll step into the role July 1.

Beth Gazley, co-founder of the IU Environmental Resilience Institute and co-principal investigator on IU’s Prepared for Environmental Change Grand Challenge research program, will return to the faculty after her three years of service in this position.

“I am thrilled that Judah will be joining us as associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs,” said Eliza K. Pavalko, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. “He brings a wealth of experience supporting faculty and students, including serving on the Bloomington Faculty Council, on the Faculty Board of Review and as director of the Borns Jewish Studies Program.

“I also want to thank Beth Gazley for the outstanding support she has given to faculty — both in overseeing the Campus Promotion Advisory Committee, and in leading and participating in many key initiatives, including the creation of the Guidelines for Promotion Reviews for Research, Teaching and Clinical Ranks; the Best Practices for Peer Assessment of Teaching; Recommendations for Proctoring Online Exams; and many more.”

Cohen will complete his service as director of the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences when he begins the associate vice provost role in July. His research interests include music in Jewish life, American music, musical theater, popular culture, Caribbean Jewish history, diaspora and medical ethnomusicology.

“Since my arrival at IU more than 15 years ago, I have seen the crucial role this office has played in the lives of Bloomington’s faculty,” Cohen said. “In joining the OVPFAA, I am honored to work with Eliza, Kim Geeslin and the fantastic office team to continue this important mission.”

Throughout his research, Cohen has focused on the idea of Jewish cultural expression as a dynamic and ever-changing process, created and re-created over time by artists, religious leaders, philosophers and activists. He has aimed to understand this idea largely through the prism of sound and its relationship to ideas of Jewish identity.

He received the IU Trustees Teaching Award in both 2008 and 2011, and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network Award for Excellence in 2011 for his book “Sounding Jewish Tradition: The Music of Central Synagogue.”

Cohen earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from Yale College.