Rabbi Jeffrey A. Summit

Rabbi Jeffrey Summit

Contact Info:
Department of Music
Granoff Music Center,
20 Talbot Avenue
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617-627-3242
Personal website

Office Hours:
By appointment

Research Professor of Music

Rabbinic ordination and an M.A.H.L., Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion 
M.A. and Ph.D., Tufts University, Ethnomusicology, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program

Jeffrey A. Summit, Ph.D. holds the appointment of Research Professor in the Department of Music and in the Judaic Studies program at Tufts University. He is a Senior Consultant for Hillel International and is currently directing an Innovation Lab at Hebrew College. He holds emeritus appointments at Tufts as Emeritus Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel and Emeritus Jewish Chaplain.

Together with the leadership of the Abayudaya community in Uganda, he founded and runs the "Abayudaya College Scholarship Project" which has raised and administered funds to send more than 40 students to colleges and universities in Uganda from 2001-present. In conjunction with his work as Executive Director of Tufts Hillel, he ran the Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust and Genocide Education and was one of the founders of IMAGe (Tufts Initiative on Mass Atrocity and Genocide). 

Research Interests
Music and identity, music and spiritual experience, music and advocacy, and the impact of technology on the transmission of tradition.


  • Singing God's Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism (Oxford University Press, 2016)
  • The Lord's Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary Jewish Worship (Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • Co-author of Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda (Abbeville Press, 2002), with photojournalist Richard Sobol.


  • Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. This CD was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for best album in the category of Traditional World Music.
  • Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Interfaith Harmony in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) examined the role of music in peace building in a Muslim, Jewish and Christian Fair Trade coffee cooperative and was awarded Best World Music CD by the Independent Music Awards.