SOAS University of London

Geraldine Auerbach

Geraldine Auerbach was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from SOAS in 2008 for her work in introducing and promoting Jewish music and culture to people around the world. She founded the Jewish Music Institute, which is now based at SOAS, to help facilitate the study and performance of Jewish music.

Geraldine Auerbach is a founder director of London's pioneering, month-long Jewish Music Festival, held biennially from 1984 to 2000. She was responsible for setting up a record label for Jewish music, including establishing a distribution network. She inaugurated the first Jewish music lectureship - the Joe Loss Lectureship - at City University in 1991. This Lectureship later moved to SOAS, where the Jewish Music Institute is based. At SOAS she has developed popular summer schools and has set up the Mildred Loss Scholarships to enable students to study Jewish music. At the same time the Jewish Music Institute Library has become one of Europe's most significant collections on the subject.

Her involvement continues with the annual Klezfest music festival, which is held at SOAS, the West London Synagogue and in London's Royal Parks, as well as Simcha on the Square - the Jewish culture celebration in Trafalgar Square. In 2000, Geraldine Auerbach was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to music.