The Jewish Music Research Center (JMRC) is an academic institution fully dedicated to the documentation, research and publication of scholarly materials about Jewish music. Founded in 1964 by Prof. Israel Adler, the JMRC functions as one of the research centers of the Faculty of Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Located in the building of the Jewish National and University Library (JNUL, at the Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram), and in the Itzhak Rabin Building for the World Center of Jewish Studies (Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies), the staff of the JMRC works in close cooperation with the Music Department and the National Sound Archives of JNUL, and with the Hebrew University’s Institute of Jewish Studies and Department of Musicology.
The main task of the JMRC consists of collecting and studying oral and written documents pertaining to the musical traditions and the musical life of Jewish communities. The work of the JMRC encompasses ethnographical research of extent oral traditions, as well as historically-oriented research focusing on the interpretation of Jewish musical cultures in the past and the present. All the recorded and written documents gathered by the JMRC staff are deposited for conservation at the Music Department of JNUL. Research at the JMRC is carried on with the understanding that a full appreciation of the Jewish musical traditions is impossible without reference to the musical cultures of the non-Jewish societies with whom the Jews were in close contact for the past two millennia. Thus many projects are carried on in conjunction with colleagues and institutions from around the world who expand the vistas of JMRC researchers on co-territorial musical cultures.
The results of the JMRC projects appear in four series of publications: Yuval – Studies of the JMRC; Yuval Monograph Series; Yuval Music Series (mainly scores and source materials); and the Anthology of Music Traditions in Israel (CDs).
The JMRC also maintains a comprehensive Thesaurus of Jewish Music, with areas specifically devoted to bibliography, Sephardic music on record, music and kabbalistic literature, etc.