Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Primo Levi Fellowship

Research Topic

A Spark of King David: Rabbi Israel Najara, Past and Present


Edwin Seroussi is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology and the director of the Jewish Music Research Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He researches North African and Eastern Mediterranean Jewish music, Judeo-Islamic relations in music, and Israeli popular music. A pioneer in the study of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical cultures and traditions, Seroussi was awarded the 2018 Israel Prize in the music category. He has also won the Joel Engel Prize for Life Achievement in Jewish Music Research, Tel Aviv Municipality.

Seroussi received his PhD in Music from UCLA. He has held visiting professor and fellowship appointments across the globe, including at the University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, and Harvard University. He has previously served as president of the Israel Musicological Society, and as the president of the Israel Committee of the International Music Council, UNESCO.

Selected publications

  • with Joan Goodnick Westenholz and Yossi Maurey, Music in Antiquity: The Near East and the Mediterranean (De Gruyter and Hebrew University Magnes Press, 2014)
  • “Singing Modernity: Synagogue Music in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Italy” in Acculturation and Its Discontents: The Italian Jewish Experience between Inclusion and Exclusion, ed. D. Myers, M. Ciavolella, P. Reill, and G. Symcox (University of Toronto Press, 2008)



Delving into the meaning of modernity beyond the European, American, and Israeli contexts, looking instead to North Africa, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Central and South Asia.