Academic Departments


The Hebrew University

Tel-Aviv University

Bar-Ilan University

University of Haifa

Ben-Gurion University

The Hebrew University(Jerusalem)

The Degree Programs

Jewish and Comparative Folklore Program
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem , The Faculty of Humanities , The Institute of Jewish Studies.

The Program is devised to supply students with a basic education in the modes communication and creativity characteristic to folklore. We teach the following areas of folklore studies: Folk literature, both oral and written, especially in various languages of the Jews, Folk art and material culture in Jewish societies, Folk belief, Folk religion, customs and rituals in Jewish culture.

The program combines theoretical and descriptive aspects as well as field work techniques such as interviewing, observation and audio-visual documentation and archiving.

The folklore program serves students studying for the BA degree in Folklore and may be studied in combination with any other field taught at the faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences. MA Studies may be pursued at an individual program at the Faculty of Humanities. The Hebrew University also has a doctoral program in Folklore, at the Faculty of Humanities.

Folk Literature may also be studied as a partial requirment of the Department of Hebrew Literature.

In addition to the teaching program there is a Folklore Research Center at the Faculty of Humanities. Some of the active programs at the center at the present are: The Israeli Proverb, The History of the Hebrew Proverb. The Center houses some valuable collections among them an extensive collection on Israeli Humor.

The Institute of Jewish Studies also publishes the Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, an annual publication in Hebrew, with English abstracts. Subscription at the Magnes Press, The Hebrew University.

The University also has The Max and Margaret Grunwald Chair of Folklore.
Incumbents: Prof. Dov Noy (emeritus); Prof. Galit Hasan-Rokem.

Our administrative staff consists of Ms. Ariela Avni and Ms. Varda Schwartz.


Prof. Dov Noy Professor Emeritus
Prof. Galit Hasan-RokemSenior Lecturer
Prof. Olga Goldberg-Mulkiewicz Senior Lecturer
Dr. Shalom Sabar Head of Program
Dr. Issachar Ben-Ami Senior Researcher (retired)
Dr. Esther Schely-Newman lecturer
Dr. Hagar Salamon lecturer
Dr. Ilana Rosen
Dr. Nili Arye-Sapir
Dr. Hagit Matras
Ms. Ester Juhas
Ms. Carmela Avdar

Galit Hasan-Rokem
Born 1945, Helsinki; Ph.D. 1978, Hebrew Univ.; Lect. 1978; Sen. Lect. 1984 Assoc. Prof. 1993.

Research Interests:
Folk-literature, especially proverbs. Folk narrative in Midrash and the theory of folklore.

Research Projects:

  1. The indexing of Israeli proverbs. Funding: The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (New York); Ministry of Education and Culture; Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
  2. The interpretation of folklore in Midrash.
  3. Jewish motifs in folklore.
  4. The history of the Hebrew proverb in its cultural context. Funding: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. (see also: Georgian Proverbs of Dialogue and Dialogue of Proverbs in Israel .De Proverbio,vol 2-no2-1996)

Olga Goldberg-Mulkiewicz
Born 1933, Gorlice (Poland);Immigrated to Isrsel- 1967.

M.A. The Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland, 1955.
Ph.D. The University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, 1967.

Professional Career:
Polish Academy of Sciences, Institut of Art, Cracow, Poland
Assistant, Senior Assistant 1955-1961.
The University of Lodz, Poland, Lecturer,1961-1967.
The Hebrew Univesity of Jerusalem, Israel, 1969-
Lecturer 1969-1984, Senior Lecturer 1984-.

Other Appointments:
Visiting Professor, The Jagiellonian University. Cracow 1988, 1993.
The University of Lodz, 1994.
Awards - Warburg Prize -1969, Memorial Foundation for Jewish
Culture - Grants 1970,1972.
International Society for Ethnology and Folklore - Israel
Representative. Finish Academy of Sciences and Letters Network of Folkloristis- An Associate Member.

Research Interests:
Jewish Folk Arts and Crafts, specially Paper-Cuts, Traditional Jewellery specially of Oriental Jews . Traditional Culture of East Europian Jews, Mutual Penetration of Jewish and Polish Motifs in that Region.

Research Projects:

  1. The traditional "shtetl" in the contemporary memory of Jews and Poles.
  2. Traditional Jewish jewelry: its form and functions, with special reference to the jewelry of Yemenite and Iraqi Jews.
Shalom Sabar
Born 1951, Zacho (Iraq); Ph.D. 1987, Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles; Lect 1987.

Research Interests:
Jewish folk art in Europe and in Islamic lands since Talmudic times till the present. Approaches to the image and tangible objects among Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities. Illuminated manuscripts among the Sephardim and the Jews of North Africa; the illuminated marriage contract among Jewish communities around the world. Hebrew script in Renaissance and Baroque art (Christian); image of Jerusalem and the Temple in folk and high art of the three monotheistic religions.

Research Projects:

  1. A catalogue raisonne of the marriage contracts (ketubbot) at the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Funding: Jewish Theological Seminary (New York).
  2. Midrash and legendary sources in Jewish folk art.

Issachar Ben-Ami
Born 1933, Casablanca; D.Phil. 1967, Univ. of Gottingen; Sen. Lect I973.

Research Interests:
Customs, folk-beliefs and folk-life patterns among Jews. Saint veneration among the Jews of North Africa. Folk-medicine. Marriage and birth celebrations. Magic rites. Popular festivals.

Research Projects:

  1. Magic in the modern Jewish society of Israel.
  2. A traditional Jewish healer: a monograph.
  3. Burial customs among the Jews of North Africa.

Esther Schely-Newman
Department of Communication and Journalism
Degrees: MA: The Hebrew University (1987); Ph.D: The university of Chicago (1991)

Research interests:
verbal folklore; personal narratives; historical/nostalgic narratives; women's folkltales; folklore and communication; performance - mainly linguistic aspects.

Recent publications

  1. "The Woman who was shot: a communal tale"JAF 106 (1993): 285-303.
  2. "Sweeter than honey: discourse of reproduction among North African women" Text and Performance Quarterly 15:3 (1995): 175-188.
  3. "Role changes of Tunisian women in Israel," in Active Voices: Women in Jewish Culture. Edited by Marie Sacks. University of Illinois Press, 1995. pp. 157-170.
  4. "Looking backward with a forward view: Stories that make sense," in Rural Cooperatives in Socialist Utopia: Thirty years of mosahv development in Israel. Edited by Moshe Schwartz, Susan Lees and Gideon Kressel. Praeger, 1995. pp. 83-96.
  5. "The peg of your tent: Narratives of North African Israeli women," in Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jews in Modern Times: Historical and Anthropological Studies. Edited by Harvey E. Goldberg. Indiana University Press, forthcoming 1996.

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Tel-Aviv University

The Degree Programs

The academic study of Jewish folklore is conducted in the university under two frameworks:

Department of Hebrew Literature: An introductory course: Introduction to the Hebrew Folktale (Elements of folkloristics and a wide survey of the Hebrew folktale from the Bible to Modern Israel).
A variety of advanced courses on special themes in Jewish folklore, including seminars for B.A. and M.A., and Ph. D. program.

The second framework is the program on Jewish folklore in the department of General Humanities. The study in this program include: Theoretical introduction to folkloristics; Introduction to anthropology; modern Jewish folklore; the culture of Israel; ethnic relations in Israel; Jewish folk-art, and a variety of courses from the departments of sociology and anthropology, Hebrew literature, Jewish history; faculty of arts.

One of the best collections of Jewish folklore is preserved and studied in the Museum of the Diaspora of Tel-Aviv University. Jewish art, architecture; folk costumes, sacred artifacts; Jewish names and their origins; the art of booklore; synagogues all over the Jewish diaspora are presented and studied here, and are a most important source for folkloric material and studies.


Prof. Eli Yassif Hebrew Literature
Prof. Nurit Canaan-Kedar Art
Prof. Shlomo Deshen Anthropology
Prof. Moshe Shokeid Anthropology
Prof. Joseph Sadan Arabic Literature
Prof. Ron Barkai Medieval History
Dr. Michal Oron Hebrew Literature

Eli Yassif
( For further information see his Homepage at: )
Prof. Of Hebrew Literature and Jewish Folklore, Tel-Aviv University.
Born: 1946.
Ph. D.: The Hebrew Universtiy, Jerusalem, 1977.
Post Doctoral studies: University of Californian Los Angeles 1979-80.
Prof. of Jewish folklore, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel, 1975-1995 (Chairman of the Department of Hebrew; Vice dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences).
Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and Prof. at University College, London University, 1986-1987.
Visiting Prof. University of California, Berkeley, 1991.
Fields of Interest: History of folkloristics; the history of Jewish folklore; folk-narrative; Jewish studies.

Scientific Publications

  1. The Sacrifice of Isaac: Studies in the Development of a Literary Tradition. With a Prolegomenon and Bibliography, Makor Publishing, Jerusalem, 1978, 300pp.
  2. The Tales of Ben Sira in the Middle-Ages: A Critical Text and Literary Studies, The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1984, 320pp.
  3. The Study of Jewish Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography, Garland Folklore Series (General Editor: Alan Dundes), New York and London, 1986, 342 pp.
  4. Haim Schwarzbaum, Jewish Folklore: Between East and West., Edited with an introductory essay: "The Contribution of H.Schwarzbaum to Folklore Studies", The Ben Gurion University Press, 1990, 397pp.
  5. R. Yehuda Yudle Rosenberg: The Golem of Prague and other Tales of Wonder. Selected Stories with introduction and notes, Jerusalem, Mosad Bialik, 1991,260pp.
  6. Haim Schwarzbaum, Roots and Landscapes: Collected Studies in Folklore, edited by Eli Yassif, Ben-Gurion University Press, 1994, 220,pp.
  7. The Hebrew Folk-Tale:History, Genre, Meaning. Mosad Bialik, Jerusalem, 1994, 720pp. (The English Translation: Indiana University Press, due:1997)

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Bar-Ilan University

The Degree Programs

Courses in Themetology and Folklore.
The researchers of Themathology present courses which include folkloristic matterial. 2 courses in Thematology for B.A. students (given by Dr. R. Kushelevsky and Dr A. Lipsker) present also versions from IFA. A seminar for advanced students (gIven by Prof. Y. Elstein) deal with the methods of Wesselski, Propp, Thompson and Dundes. These courses are based on 2 simester system.

Special Projects

Thematological Encyclopedia of the Literature of the Jewish People
Tne thematology of the literature of the Jewish people uncovers the major themes of Jewish literary culture in its organic totality, by isolating, tracing and analysing the homogeneous narrative series that run through it from its early beginning in the past biblical period up to modern Hebrew literature.

These thematic series, each revolving around one single narrative, lend themselves to a thorough investigation along the dimension of change and invariability, with far-reaching discoveries about the consistent and continual development of Jewish literature across time and place.

This thematological perspective shifts the research emphasis in the following way:

  1. The research orientation regards the very process which produces the entire series as a valuable object of research per se.
  2. Every manifestation of this sequence in any given period is rigorously examined.
The specifically designed thematological methodology that is employed in this research is based on several key-concepts, each corresponding to a different levei of emphasis, forming an ascending hierarchical order. They are: the motif (corresponding to the level of the material [stoff]): the motifeme (corresponding to the level of function); the constanta (corresponding to the level of structure); and the telos (corresponding to the level of ideas and poetic convention).

Thts research seeks to cover this literary sequence both historically and geographically, i.e. to gather, classify and analyse a wide range of narrative versions which were widespread among the Jews living in different communites. Some of these versions were initially created in different communites themselves while others had originated elsewhere, but were later modified and assumed a distinct character of their own in response to the ever-changing influence of the surrounding environment.

The heads of research carried out in Israel are ,Prof. Y. EIstein and Dr A. Lipsker, supervising procedures concerning the Iiterary material in Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish, the literature of the Minhagim and the Midrashim, and the literature of the Responsa.

The head of the German team, Prof. Dr Ch. Daxelmuller supervised the collection and analysis of material in the following areas: the Zeitschrift literature; Jewish-German literature; Calendar Tales in the 19th century; Jewish Youth Movement literature; Family magazines as well as the Midrashic literature and the literature of the Minhagim, which are written in Jewish-German and Yiddish.

The present research covers 12 sample themes:

  1. "Three Gifts of Elijah"' (Die drel Brueder);
  2. "Ben Sabar and the Angel of Death";
  3. "Joshua B. Levi and the Angel of Death";
  4. "Sussana and the Elders";
  5. "A Treasure under the Bridge";
  6. "The Seven Good Years";
  7. "The Coffin of Rabbi Amram"
  8. "The Jew, The Muslim and the Christian: The Best Dream";
  9. "Pope Elchanan'
  10. "The Jars of Honey" (Die Honigkruege);
  11. "Nahum Ish Gimzu" (Der Herr ist mit seinem Boten);
  12. "R. Akiba and the Wandering Dead".
Future expansion of this pilot study will eventually result in a comprehensive thematological encyclopedia containing approximately 250 entries. This thematological research is expected to shed light on the diffusion and distribution of literary phenomena and the intercultural contacts between tne Jews and their host anviroments.

Furthermore, the findings of this research will be of considerable value to scholars of Folklore, Comparative Literature and to those interested in the History of ideas.


Prof. Yoav Elstein

Selected Publications



  1. "The Midrash as a Hidden Substrata in Agnon's Stoy "Tale the Goat", in Samuel Yosef Agnon- Selected Papers on his Work, ed. Hilel Barzel,Am Oved, Tel-Aviv, 1982, 521-531 (reprint from Ha'Poel Ha'Tzair, 39,1968,23-30).
  2. "The Gregorius Legend: Its Christian Versions and Its Metamorphosis in the Hassidic Tale", Fabula, 27, heft 3/4 (1986), 195-215.
  3. "Morphology and Symbolism in Hasidic Tales Based on the Theme 'A Single act can save one's soul ' ",Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, 11-12 (1989-1990), 18-45.
  4. "'The Dancing Paupers': A Medieval Story in Hasidic Garbs", Y. Ratzhaby's Jubileum Volume, ed. J. Dishon and E. Chazan, Bar-Ilan University Press, Ramat-Gan, 1990,353-364.
  5. "'A Pearl Inside a Snake's Mouth - On the Function of a Motifeme of Gnostic Origin in Rabbinic Aggadah and in 'The Tale of Three and Four', Second Version, by Bialik", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, 13 14 (1991-1992), 181-203.
  6. The Ba'al Shem Tov's Birth Tales- A Forgery or Literary Creation?", Chulyot. 2. (Summer 1994), 51-68.
  7. " 'He who Prays for the Rains'" A Thematological Study of a Jewish-Oriental Version (in Y.S. Parhi's 'Oseh Pele') and a Hasidic Version (in A.Y. Soibelman's 'Sippurei Zaddikim he-Hadash). Criticism and Interpretation 30 (August 1994), 65-97.
  8. (With Avidov Llpsker) "The Homogenous Series in the Literaure of the Jewishl People: A Thematological Methdology", In Thematics Reconsidered, Essays in Honor of Horst S. Daemrich, ed. by Frank Trommler, ("Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft " series), Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam 1995, 87-116
  9. "Magical and Mystical Components in Tales of Healing in the Book 'Shivhei Ha'Besht ' ", in Da'at 34 (1995), 131-149.
  10. "The Mythic Element ln the Hasidic Tale as Producing an Ecstatic Awareness",Myth and Jewish Thought, ed. by H. Pedaya Ben-Gurion University Press Beer-Sheva. 15 p. (in print, to be published in 1996)
  11. (With Ariela Krasny) "The Ma'aseh Book", an entry in Encyclopedie des Maerchens, (in print)
  12. (With Avidov Lipsker) "'Joseph Who Honor the Sabbath': A Themathological Test Case", Fabula (1996) (in print), 30 p,
  13. "The Mytopoeoic Element ln 'The Tale of the Goat ' by S.Y. Agnon 'The Two She-Goats from Shebreshin' (IFA 532)" (A manuscript ),

Dr. Avidov Lipsker

Relevant Publications

  1. "The Bride and the Seven Beggars--Telos Shifts as a Change in Cultural Values: On sources of the Narrative Framework of the ' Tale of the Seven Beggars'" (in Hebrew). Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 13-14 (1992): 229-248.
  2. "The Fluctuations in the Iconic Shaping of the Zaddik's Halo as Related to Their Historical-cultural Context: A Study of Four Thematic Series" ( in Hebrew). In Sippur Okev Sippur: A Collection of Studies in the Thematology of the Literature of the Jewish People. Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press. 40 pp. (in print).
  3. "The thematology of the literature of the Jewish people. Horizons and Boundaries" (with Y. Elstein; in Hebrew). In Sippur Okev Sippur. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 40 pp . ( in print ) .
  4. "Mystical and Ecstatic Initiation into the Holy: On the Legendary Background of the Novel "Katharina" by Aaron Appelfeld" ( in Hebrew). 02: Journal of Literature and Art 1, ed, Yig'al Schwarz (Jerusalem, 1953) 87-98.
  5. "The Thematology of the Literature of the Jewish People: A Theoretical Introduction" (wltlh Y. Elstein; in Hebrew) . Bikkoret U-Parshanut 30 Bar-llan University Press (1994) , pp.7-14.
  6. "A Tapestry of Life, A Tapestry of Death: A Narrative Theme Transferred to European and Hebrew Poetry" (in Hebrew). Bikkoret U-Parshanut 30 (1994), pp. 197-217
  7. "On a Lost Midrash in the Novel Mar Mani by A. B. Yehoshua" (in Hebrew). In Sefer Mar Mani, ed. Nitzah Ben Dov Hakibbutz ha-Me'uhad, 1994, pp.247-271
  8. "On the Meaning of an Expository Motifeme in the Tale of "The Jewish Pope" in the 1602 edition of the Ma'aseh Buch, (in Hebrew). Chulyot: Journal of Yiddish Research (Haifa, University).3 ( 1994), 30 pp. (in print)
  9. "The Homogeneous Series in the Literature of the Jewish People: A Thematological Methodology" ( with Y. Elstein). In Frank Trommler (ed.), Thematics Reconsidered, Essays in Honor of Horst S. Daemmrich, Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp.86-116

Dr. Rella Kushelevsky
Classification: Midrash, Aggadah, Thematology, Hebrew Literature.


  1. "Aaron' s Rod: An Exploration of One Creterion for Establishing a Thematic Series", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 13-14 (1991-92): 249-259.
  2. "The Yearnings for the Land of Israel in the Theme of Moses' Death", Alei-Siah 31-32 (1992): 189-196.
  3. "The Tanna and the Restless Dead: Jewish of Non-Jewish Legend?", Criticism and Interpretation 30 (1994): 41-63
  4. Moses and the Angel of Death (Themes and Motifs in Literature Series, ed. H. S. Daemmrich, vol. 4), Peter Lang, New-York at al 1995 .
  5. "Some Remarks on the Date and Sources of Sefer ha-Massiyyiot", Kiryat-Sefer (1996), in print
  6. "The Death of Moses: ms Parma 327", Kiryat-Sefer (in print).
  7. "Mythical Elements in 'ben-Sever and Shefifon ben-Layish': The Development of a Medieval Story", Dapim le-Mehkar be-Sifrut (in print).
  8. "The Legend of 'ben Durdea': A Monotheistic Reply to a Mythical Approach", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore (in print)
  9. "Between Life and Death in Medieval Ashkenazi Literature: a Discussion of ms de-Rossi 563", Aschkenas, (accepted for print)
  10. "The Tanna and the Restless Dead", The Encyclopedia for Narrative Themes (in print)
  11. "Rabbi Joshua ben Levi and the Angel of Death", The Encyclopedia for Narrative Themes (in print)
  12. "Ben Sever and Shefifon ben Lyish", The Encyclopedia for Narrative Themes (in print)
  13. "From 'Geniza to Death': A Dianamic Preception of the theme of 'Moses' Death", Sipur okev Sipur (in print).

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University of Haifa

The Degree Programs

Folklore Studies. Head of Folklore Studies: Dr. Haya Bar-Itzak
Purposes: To provide the students knowledge and understanding of Folkloristics, as well as in the various areas of Jewish folklore in Jewish ethnic groups in Israel and Israeli contemporary folklore: folk culture, beliefs and customs, folk literature, art, etc.
To create an interdisciplinary meeting-point for different areas of knowledge: history, literature, anthropology, sociology, communications, education and art.
To train students to carry out field work in folklore and to initiate and conduct folklore research in Israel.

Courses offered in the Department: Introduction to Folk literature, Communicative Aspects of Folklore, Jewish Magic, Women and Womanhood in Folklore, Jewish Folk Songs, The Folk Literature of the Slavic People, Studies in the Historical Legend.


Dr. Haya Bar-Itzhak Folk literature folklore and communication
Prof. Tamar Katriel The ethnography of communication
Prof. Dov Noy Folk literature
Dr. Larisa Fialkova Slavic folklore
Ms. Idit Pintel-Ginsberg symbol and magic
Ms. Galya Shenberg Folk literature
Prof. Aliza Shenhar Folk literature (in vacation)

Haya Bar-Itzhak
( For further information see her Homepage at: )
The area of my research is the Jewish folk narrative, with my work combining the ethnographic and poetic aspects of the subject. The ethnographic aspect is manifested in the recording of folk narratives in their natural environment, while examining the storytelling event, narrator-audience relations, the narrative as a communicative process, and the performance itself. In the area of poetics, I have examined various poetic elements, using concepts from literary theory and adapting them to the field of folk narrative. I have studied such poetic aspects as character, space, and narration and the components of communication, among others. These studies have been carried out while relating to various genres, such as wonder tale and legends of different types. My research emphasizes different research approaches, examining their contribution to interpreting and gaining an understanding of the text.

Among my recent publications:



  1. "Israeli Reality in the Traditional Narrative of Yemenite Jews", Tema, Journal of Judeo-Yemenite Studies, 3, 1993, pp. 130-143. (Hebrew)
  2. Bar-Itzhak, H., A. Shenhar, "Processes of Change in Israeli Society as Reflected in Folklore Research: The Beit-She'an Model", Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Review, 15, 1993.
  3. "Jewish Morrocan Cinderella in Israeli Context," Journal of Folklore Research, 30, 2/3, 1993, pp. 93-125.
  4. "Comments on the Hagada of the Bund", Chuliyot Journal of Yiddish Research, 2, 1993, pp. 255-271. (Hebrew)
  5. "From Beginnings to Destruction - Synagogues in Poland as Reflected in the Folk Narrative", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, 1994, 16, pp. 67-96. (Hebrew)
  6. "Narration and the Components of Communication in the Jewish Folk Legend", Fabula, 35, 3/4, 1995, pp. 261-281.
  7. "Non Verbal Communication and Genre Description of The Jewish Folk Narrative", in J. M. Foley and M. Caspi (eds.), Oral Tradition and the Hispanic World: Essays in Honor of Samuel G. Armistead, Albert B. Lord Studies in Oral Tradition Series, Garland Publishing Inc., 1995.

Larisa Fialkova
Born in 1957 in Kiev (Ukraine). Doctorat 1985, Tartu (Estonia): "Gogol's Tradition in the Russian Fantastic Prose at the Beginning of the 20-th Century". In Israel from April 1991. Works at the University of Haifa from October 1991 (at the present time at the Division of Jewish Folklore, the Department of Jewish HIstory and in Israel Folktale Archives). Teaches in Hebrew different courses from 1992, for example: "Slavic folklore", "Demonology in the Russian folklore and literature","Woman in the Russian folklore and literature", "Utopia and antiutopia in the Soviet literature","Russian modernist prose at the beginning of the 20-th century".

International conferences and seminars (from 1991):
1. 1992, Jerusalem. A.Bely and his time. Delivered a paper: "The structure of the fantastic image in Bely's novels "Petersburg" and "Moskow";
2-3. 1994, 1995. Kiev. International seminar on "Jewish civilization and Jewish Thought. Delivered papers: "Folkstories from Ukraine in IFA", "Oleksa Dobush and Jewish Culture".
4. 1994.San-Diego. AATSEEL conference. Delivered a paper: "The Image of the City in Bulgakov's Writings".

Publications in Folklore

Publications in Israeli's newspapers in Russian:

Tamar Katriel
The ethnography of communication.


  1. Talking Straight: "Dugri" Speech in Israeli Sabra Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1986.
  2. Communal Webs: Communication and Culture in Contemporary Israel. Albany: SUNY Press, 1991.
  3. Performing the Past: Cultural Production in Israeli Settlement Museums. N.J.: Erlbaum, in press.

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Ben-Gurion University

The Degree Programs

One of three sections of the Department of Hebrew Literature is dedicated to Hebrew folklore. The section's teachers are Dr. Tamar Alexander, Dr. Luis Landau, Dr. Ilana Rozen and Mrs. Hagit Rapel.
A varied range of BA and MA courses is offered, some dealing with themes of exclusively folkloric character, others interrelating with Aggadic literature and modern Hebrew literature.

The H. Schwarzbaum Folklore Research Institute, is another center of folkloric activity. The institute, managed by Dr. Tarnar Alexander, consist of H. Schwarzbaum vast personal library and the extensive collection of field-works supplied by the department's students.


Tamar Alexander
Born Israel
Ph.d.: 1977, UCLA; Senior Lect. l993.
Research Interests: Folk Literature: Theory of genres; Story telling as a performing art; Judeo-Spanish folk traditions. The Hebrew story in the Middle Ages; Ethnic identity.
Research Projects: Judeo-Spanish folk traditions (Tales and proverbs).

Abstracts of Current Researcsh
Judeo Spanish: The aim of this project is to examine Judeo-Spanish folk traditions as an expressions of ethnic identity, through defining de different literary genres, and the unique performance of the tellers. The project includes three stages: recording material; interviews with the narrators; literary analysis and publication of research conclusions.

Recent Publications

  1. Erase una Ves Maimonides, Cordoba 1988. 105 Tales about Maimonides, broud introduction and notes to each tale.
  2. The Treasure of our Fathers, 100 Judeo Spanish Tales, With D. Noy, Jerusalem, 1989. Broad introduction and notes to each tale.
  3. The Pious Sinner, Ethics and Aesthetics in the Medieval Hasidic Narrative, Tuebingen, 1991.
  4. The Seven Wonderful Walnuts, Folktales for children, Tel-Aviv, 1992
  5. Forever After Studies on the Art of the Folk Narrator, Tel-Aviv, 1993, (ed).
  6. At This Time, A Judeo - Spanish Folk Drama, from Salonika, Tel - Aviv, 1994.
  7. Jewish Folk tales from Ethiopia, Tel - Aviv, I996.
Editor of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore,with G. Hasan-Rokem. Since 1981.
70 Published papers in refree journals about the above mentioned subjects.

Key Words: Folk Literature; Judeo-Spanish traditions; Performance, Ethnicity; Medieval Folk-Literature.

Luis Landau
Born 1936, Argentina.
Ph.D.: 1980, Hebrew University, Senior Lector. 1989.

Research interests: The literature of the Sephardim after the expulsion of 1492. Folkloric aspects in modern Hebrew Literature. Spanish and Latino- american literature and the points of contact with Hebrew Culture and Folklore.
Research Projects; Literary and folkloric aspects in Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra

Recent Publications

  1. LANDAU, L. Folkloric models and their destruction in " Maaglei Zedek" by S. J. Agnon, in A. Komen (ed) Issac Bacon Volume, Ben-Gurion University Press, Beer-Sheva; 241-251 (H)
  2. LANDAUI L., 'Fruhe Sepharad (Judeo-spain) Erzahlungen ' in Enzyklopaedie des Marchens, Berlin- New York: 699-701.
  3. LANDAU, L., ' Sources and pseudo-sources of Ve-hahia He-akov Le-mishor. in Y. Friedlander (ed.) Essays on Agnon Novels, Bar llan University Press, Tel-Aviv 1993: 147-164 (H.)
  4. LANDAU, L., 'Epilogue' in M. de Cervantes Saavedra- El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (traduced by Beatriz Zakroiski Landau and Luis Landau) Hakibutz Hameuhad, Tel-Aviv vol 2, 1994: 417-431.
Key words: Folklore, Hebrew and Spanish Literature.

Ilana Rosen
Ph.D.: 1994, Hebrew University.

Research Interests:Subjects of study and teaching: oral Holocaust memories, the personal narrative, folklore fieldwork and methodology, theoretical approaches to folklore, children’s lore, women’s narratives.


  1. "The Holocaust and the Study of Folklore: Diaries, Memoirs, and Letters in History, Literature, and Folklore", The 12th Conference for the Study of Folklore: "Folklore as Discipline and inter-Discipline", The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 16-17, 1993 [Hebrew].
  2. "The Memory of the Holocaust as Lament - Life Histories of Two Female Holocaust Survivors Mourning Their Fate", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, vol. 16 (1994), pp. 97-1 1 1 [Hebrew].
  3. "The Memory of the Holocaust in Folk Literature: Diaries, Memorial Books, and Oral Testimonies", Paper presented at The Yad-Vashem Auditorium, Jerusalem, March 2, 1994 [Hebrew].
  4. "The Personal Narrative and its Meaning", conference of "Art for the People" Association, Ministry of Education, Tel-Aviv, April 25, 1994 [Hebrew].
  5. "The Myth of the 'Jewish Genius' and its Reflections in the Life Histories and World-Outlook of Holocaust Survivors in Israel and Hungary", The 13th Conference for the Study of Folklore: "Jewish Myths and Israeli Myths", Haifa university, April 25, 1994 [Hebrew].
  6. Therapeutic Aspects in the Life History of a Female Holocaust Survivor", Ken - Ktav-Nefesh - Therapy and Creative Education Quarterly, vol. 4, Aug. 1994, pp. 43-46 [Hebrew].
  7. "Life History as Political Expository Discourse", Papers of the XIth Congress of the International Societyfor Folk Narrative Research (Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages, 1995), vol. 11, pp. 1-10.
  8. "The Study of Folklore at the Service of Nazi Ideology", Review Essay, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, vol. 17 (1995), pp. 119-127 [Hebrew].
  9. . "Metonymic and Metaphoric Space Compositions and their Meaning: The Function of Synagogues in the Life Histories of Two Male Holocaust Survivors from Hungary", The 14th Conference for the Study of Folklore: "Folklore as a Shaper of Culture", Bar-Ilan University, June 1, 1995 [Hebrew],
  10. The Holocaust at the Center of Life: A Folkloristic Analysis of Life Histories Told by Hungarian Spealang Holocaust Survivors, Thesis Submitted for the Degree "Doctor of Philosophy" to the Hebrew University Senate, Hebrew University Central Library, 1994 [Hebrew].
  11. "Frontier and Metropolis: Images of Self and Other in the Lore of The Jews of Subcarpathian Ruthenia", The 15th Conference for the Study of Folklore: "The South - Center and Periphery in Oral Lore", Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, June 4-5, 1996 [Hebrew].

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