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Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad

Research Fellow

Co-Principal Investigator for the 'Living in Harmony' Project

Profile

Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad is a musicologist who specialises in all types of Arabic and Middle Eastern music - prevalent among Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities across and outside the Middle East. She focuses on the interaction of this music with issues of identity, nationalism, and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, in their wider historical, religious, and cultural contexts. Merav sits as a Chair Trustee on the Board of 'The Cambridge Junction' which is a professional Music and Arts Venue in Cambridge, she is often invited to give lectures in both academic and public events in the UK and abroad, and she has been awarded numerous prizes and grants in the UK, USA, and Israel.

Merav speaking on Eli Amir's work (The Center for Media and Law and The Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, Bar Ilan University)

As the Co-Principal Investigator for the 'Living in Harmony' project, Merav leads a line of research that heavily relies on authentic material in both Hebrew and Arabic and on the living experience and knowledge of members of these communities.

Merav's PhD research was on the Paraliturgical Song of Babylonian Jews in the context of Arabo-Islamic culture and religion, in the Faculties of Music and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, and St Edmund's College, under the supervision of Ruth Davis and James Montgomery. She undertook her MA studies (BA, Magna cum Laude) on textual and melodic aesthetic features in the songs composed by Muḥammad 'Abd al-Wahhāb for Umm Kulthūm, in the Music Faculty at Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of the late Professor Habib Hassan Touma (Berlin).

Previously, Merav was a Research Associate, in both Royal Holloway and the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, and a Research Fellow, in Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, New York. She has been a Visiting Scholar at St Edmund's College, Cambridge, since she completed her PhD studies, and taught at both the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Muslim College.


Prior to her academic career, Merav was a senior economist and a lecturer at the United Mizrahi Bank, Tel Aviv, for eleven years; a nationwide bursar of fifty musical conservatoires at the Israeli Ministry of Education, for three years; and an author of music programmes for schoolchildren, aimed at developing values of peace between Jews and Muslims in Israel.

Publications
Book

2019 Judaism and Islam One God One Music: The History of Jewish Paraliturgical Song in the Context of Arabo-Islamic Culture as Revealed in its Jewish Babylonian Sources, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.





Listen here to Merav's interview about the book on Hala London Visual Radio Station (12 February 2020)

Book Chapters

2020 'Judaism and Islam in the Paraliturgical Song of Babylonian Jews, as Reflected in the Genre's Text and Music, and the Identity of its People'. in Shaul Regev, ed., The Babylonian Jews: Culture and Society in Modern Times, Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press. In Hebrew. (Forthcoming)

2017 '"There on the Poplars [Arabs] We Hung Up [Rely On] Our Lyres [Jewish Music]" Rabbi Ovadyah Yosef's Halakhic Rulings on Arabic Music', in Yousef Meri, ed., Muslim-Jewish Relations in Past and Present: A Kaleidoscopic View, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp.172-205.

2011 'Mishaf al-Shbahot – The Holy Book of Praises of the Babylonian Jews: One Thousand Years of Cultural Harmony between Judaism and Islam', in Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev, eds., The Convergence of Judaism and Islam: Religious, Scientific, and Cultural Dimensions, vol.1, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, pp.241-7.

In Preparation (book chapters)

2021 'I Shall Sing Unto the Lord a News Song: Religious Songs and Leadership of Hakham Yosef Hayim of Baghdad', in Tina Frühauf, ed., 2021 Oxford Handbook of Jewish Music, Oxford University Press.

2021 'On Iraqi Jewish-Muslim-Christian Coexistence in London', in Brahim El Guabli, ed., Refiguring Loss: North African and Middle Eastern Literature and Film Remember Jews, Penn State University Press.

Recent Academic and Public Lectures

May 2020 Seminar: 'Ramadan and Muslim-Jewish Relations: Collective and Individual Histories', at Graduates and Undergraduates Seminar of Theology in the World, The Center of Islamic Theology, University of Tubingen.

April 2020 Webinar: 'On Mimounah, Music and Jewish-Muslim Coexistence In and Outside of Morocco', A Remembrance of Mimounah, a webinar organised by Prof. Barhim El Guabli (Williams College) with an audience of academics from Princeton University, Berkeley, Rabat University, Morocco and members of the Kol Tsedek Synagogue, Philadelphia.

February 2020 Pre-concert talk: 'Omar Bashir and His Oud: The Magical Sound of Bridging Between Western and Middle Eastern Music' (In Arabic translated into English), Aḥabbab Festival, Cambridge Junction.

February 2020 Lecture: 'From Baghdad to London: On Iraq Jewish-Muslim-Christian Coexistence', Yallah Judeo-Arabic Music Workshop and Conference, SOAS, University of London.

October 2019 Seminar: 'Songs, Memories and Nostalgia', Music Faculty, University of Cambridge

July 2019 Public lecture: 'On Arabic Culture, Arabic Music and in Between: Text, Subtext and Context in Eli Amir's Na'ar Ha'ofanayim' (In Hebrew), Bar Ilan University, The Center for Media and Law and The Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv.

May 2019 Paper at international conference: 'Judaism and Islam in the Paraliturgical Song of Babylonian Jews, as Reflected in the Genre's Text and Music, and in the Identity of its People' (In Hebrew), Bar Ilan University, International Conference: The Babylonian Jews: Culture and Society in Modern Times

May 2019 Public lecture: 'On Arab-Jews, Arab-Muslims and their Shared Culture and Music: Past, Present and Perhaps Future?', Dublin City University, School of Theology, Philosophy and Music.

April 2019 Paper at international workshop: '"When the Jews left Iraq they took the music with them": On the Reappearance of the Jews in Contemporary Iraq', Williams College, Massachusetts, International Workshop: Refiguring Loss: Jews Remembered through Arabic Cultural Memory.

March 2019 Lecture: 'Religion and Music in the Middle East: Jewish-Muslim Coexistence', Liverpool Hope University, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies Department, Seminar: Religious, Art and Conflict.

February 2019 Introduction and interview with artists: 'Arabic Music and Culture of Iraqi Jews before and After their Emigration', SOAS London, Concert 'The Woolf of Baghdad'.

February 2019 Introduction and interview with artists: 'Arabic Music and Culture of Iraqi Jews before and After their Emigration', The Cambridge Junction, Aḥabab Festival, Concert 'The Woolf of Baghdad'. 

November 2018 Lecture: 'Jewish and Islamic Recitation in the Middle East', Uppsala University, Music Faculty, Seminar: World Music.

Videos on YouTube

June 2019 Arabic Music in Jewish Worship: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Mosheh Ḥabushah – the Internationally Renowned Arab-Jewish Cantor and Musician. A special interview with Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad (with English subtitles).

May 2019 Judaism and Islam in the Paraliturgical Song of Babylonian Jews, as Reflected in the Genre's Text and Music, and in the Identity of its People (In Hebrew).

2018 Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad Interviews Mosheh Habushah on the Occasion of his 40th Anniversary as a Cantor and Musician (In Hebrew).

2016 Jewish and Islamic Harmonious Coexistence at the Western Wall Recited to the Voice of the Most Famous Cantor Mosheh Ḥabushah: Facts and Thoughts behind the News Headlines, the Jewish Music Institute, SOAS, University of London.

Podcast Presentations on YouTube

May 2020 The Middle Eastern Judaism and Islam: Music, Culture and People Series: Podcast No. 4: The Muwashshah in Islamic and Jewish Traditions

December 2019 The Middle Eastern Judaism and Islam: Music, Culture and People Series: Podcast No. 3: The Qasīdah in Islamic and Jewish Traditions

May 2019 The Middle Eastern Judaism and Islam: Music, Culture and People Series: Podcast No. 2: The Maqām in Jewish and Islamic Worship.

March 2019 The Middle Eastern Judaism and Islam: Music, Culture and People Series: Podcast No. 1: Arabic Music in Middle Eastern Worship.

Other Video and Podcast Presentations

2017 'Maqām and Makān: The Sound and Space of Jewish and Islamic Worship', A Public Lecture and Recital performed by Rabbi David Menahem (Jerusalem), Sacred Sounds: Lectures-Recitals Series, the Institute of Musicology and the Centre for Islamic Theology, University of Tübingen. See the poster here.

2015 'Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad (University of Cambridge) discusses music, the Middle East and Venice in the 18th Century with Richard Tognetti (director & violin) and Joseph Tawadros (oud)', The Grand Tour: Venice and the Mediterranean, Music, the Middle East, and Venice in the 18th Century, the Academy of Ancient Music. Recorded live at Milton Court Concert Hall, London.

2009 Welcoming Speech delivered in English, Arabic, and Hebrew, with special greetings to HRH Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal and HRH Princess Marvat of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at the International Conference, 'Jews of Arab Culture', Woolf Institute, the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, Amman Jordan, Cambridge. Listen to the audio format of the speech.  

2009 'Jewish Religion and Arabic Culture: A Religio-Cultural Portrait of Israeli Orthodox Jews Originating in Arab Countries and Their Religious Songs', 'Jews of Arab Culture, 1948-2009', International Conference, Woolf Institute, the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, Amman Jordan, Cambridge. Listen to the paper here.



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