Milken Archive of Jewish Music


Founded in 1990 by Lowell Milken, chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, The Milken Archive of Jewish Music is committed to preserving and presenting music of the American Jewish experience; music that reflects the scope and variety of Jewish life in America, and also demonstrates the universality of the Jewish experience and its relevance to all faiths and backgrounds.

The Milken Archive has grown to encompass 700 recorded works—500 of them world-premiere recordings— more than 800 hours of oral history videos, and a database of approximately 50,000 photographs.  Its new virtual museum website makes this content available to educate and inspire people of all cultures.

The foundation for the Archive was built in the 1980s, when Lowell Milken’s passion for synagogue music and music inspired by the American Jewish experience led him to commission the composer Michael Isaacson and his mentor, the renowned German-born composer and conductor Samuel Adler, to assemble some 14 hours of music under the heading: “The Milken Family Archive of 20th Century American Jewish Music.”

The historical sweep of the Milken Archive, coupled with the power of the virtual museum to make unexpected connections between different genres and time periods, is of value not only to those within the Jewish community, or with an interest in its affairs. For the music contained within the Archive is not only intrinsically valuable as art; it is also a roadmap of the complex, winding relationship that has evolved between Jews and American society over the past several hundred years, a relationship that has much to teach us all.

For more information, please visit



“In every endeavor, people make the difference, and just one person has the power to make a profound difference in the lives of so many people.”


Recent Video

think about this
Think About This: Progress Report on the State of American Education

In The News

ArtCenter College of Design Receives $2 Million Gift

June 11, 2017
Philanthropy News Digest