Joel Engel (1868—1927) was a music critic, composer and one of the leading figures in the Jewish art music movement. Born in Russia, and later moving to Berlin and then to Palestine, Engel has been called "the true founding father of the modern renascence of Jewish music."As a composer, teacher, and organizer, Engel inspired a generation of Jewish classical musicians to rediscover their ethnic roots and create a new style of nationalist Jewish music, modelled after the national music movements of Russia, Slovakia, Hungary and elsewhere in Europe. This style - developed by composers Alexander Krein, Lazare Saminsky, Mikhail Gnesin, Samuel Rosowsky, and others - was an important influence on the music of many twentieth-century composers, as well as on the folk music of Israel. His work in preserving the musical tradition of the shtetl - the 19th-century Jewish village of eastern Europe - made possible the revival of klezmer music today.