Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad

Merav is a leading scholar in the new and fast-developing field of Judaeo-Arabic studies. She is a historian musicologist, at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Cambridge, who specializes in the history, religion, culture, and music of the Jews who lived or have their origins in the Arab-Muslim world. Here, she explores all types of Arabic music prevalent among Jewish, Muslim and Christian societies, across and outside of the Middle East and focuses on the interaction of this music with issues of identity, nationalism, and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, in their wider historical, religious, political and cultural contexts.

Merav is currently leading a research project that documents and explores the Judaeo-Arabic history, music and culture of the Jews of Baghdad and Ḥalab (Aleppo) during the first half of the twentieth century, while focusing on the living memories of the last generation of Jews to live in these cities. She is also working with Professor Geoffrey Khan on a research project that explores the Jewish oral reading traditions of Biblical Hebrew. Additionally, Merav sits as a Trustee on the Board of The Cambridge Junction where she promotes values of coexistence through the arts.

She has been awarded numerous prizes and grants both in and outside of the UK, and she is often invited to give both academic and public lectures in the UK, Europe, the USA, and Israel. 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.

Selected Publications: 

“‘We Shall Sing Songs and Praise to the LORD Who Created Us Last in the World:’ Ḥakham Yosef Ḥayyim of Baghdad, Leadership with Poetry and Music.” In The Oxford Handbook of
Jewish Music Studies, ed. Tina Fruhauf, 91-115 (Oxford University Press, 2023)

“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 The Babylonian Jews: Culture and Society in Modern Times, eds. Shaul Regev, Mosheh Gat and Zvi Yehudah (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2023), in Hebrew

Judaism and Islam One God One Music (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2019) 

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

“Miṣḥaf al-Shbaḥot – The Holy Book of Praises of the Babylonian Jews One Thousand Years of Cultural Harmony between Judaism and Islam.” In The Convergence of Judaism and Islam: Religious, Scientific, and Cultural Dimensions, eds. Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev, 241−271 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011)

Selected Lectures, Interviews & Speeches:

2023 Mosheh Ḥabushah Talks with Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad on The Central Jewish Penitential Prayers Event at the Western Wall https://youtu.be/mmcbW46vo8g?si=_7xPPOPgvruw2hSC (Hebrew)

2022 Mosheh Ḥabushah Talks with Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad on Muḥammad ‘Abd alWahhāb https://youtu.be/3IDweC4OKvY (Hebrew)

2022 Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad, on The Interfaith Space of Music and Poetry: The Case of the Babylonian Jews https://youtu.be/5sblHpoQ-fU (English)

2021 Judaism and Islam One God One Music: International Book Launch https://youtu.be/M6mDun5ttBQ (English)

2018 Dr Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad Interviews the Eminent Cantor Mosheh Ḥabushah https://youtu.be/dMIqQgyuhO8 (Hebrew); https://youtu.be/hKMCj4Mnss4 (English subtitles)

2016 Jewish and Islamic Harmonious Coexistence at the Western Wall https://youtu.be/74jwY2yvT1g (English)

2009 Welcoming Speech with special Arabic greetings to HRH Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal and HRH Princess Marvat of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Video & Audio: Welcoming Speech
by Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad – Metadata (cam.ac.uk) (English, Hebrew and Arabic)