The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center and Museum
Ben-Zvi Institute for The Study of Jewish Communities in The East
Ethnography and Folklore Pavilion, Eretz Israel Museum Folklore Research Center
Folklore Research Center
The Habermann Institute for Literary Research
The Jerusalem Center for Anthropological Studies
The Center for Folk Tales and Folklore
Misgav Yerushalayim: The Center for Research and Study of The Sephardi and Oriental Jewish Heritage


Folk Dancing

(Merkaz Moreshet Yahadut Bavel ve-Muzeon Yahdut Bavel)
For further information look at: The Babylonian Jewry Heritage Center Home-Page
Address: 83 Hahagana Street, P.O.B. 151 Or-Yehuda 60251, Israel
Tel: +972-3-5339278/9 Fax: +972-3-5339936
Chairman: Mordechai Ben-Porat
Research institute Director: Zvi Yehuda
Founded; Early 1970s; Museum opened 1988.
Purpose: To preserve and perpetuate the cultural heritage of Babylonian Jewry. Activities include the preparation of material for use in schools and universities; the organization of conferences and study days for the general public; the collection of archival material, manuscripts and cultural artifacts for scholarly research.
Collections: Tape recordings of Babylonian musicians and story-tellers, traditional Babylonian liturgical music; personal papers of key individuals in Babylonian Jewish history; a photographic archive with over 5000 catalogued photographs; oral history archive with taped and documented interviews on folklore and community history; video recordings archive.

(Makhon Ben-Tzvi Leheker Kehilot Yisrael Bamizrah)
For further information look at: Yad Ben-Zvi Home-Page
Address: Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East P.O.B 7660, Jerusalem 91076, Israel.
Tel: +972-2-639204 Fax:+972-2-638310
Director:Avraham Grossman
Founded: 1947
The Ben-Zvi Institute of Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded by Izhak Ben-Zvi in 1947, for the purpose of studying documents, manuscripts and printed material relating to the history, communal life and culture of the Jewish communities under Islam and in other countries of the Middle East and Asia; for initiating and supporting research on these subjects; and for publishing monographs and texts reflecting the history and cultural activity of these communities. The activities of the Institute are supported by the Center for Integration of the Oriental Jewish Heritage of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Institute's library, situated at 13 Ibn Ezra Street, Jerusalem, has a rich collection of manuscripts and rare books.
Research Projects: (click here for further information.):Oriens Judaicus-Sources for the History of the Jews in Muslim Lands; Ethiopian Jewry Project; The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain; Byzantine Jewry; The Karaite Jews; The Writings of Rabbi Itzhak Luria; The Writings of Nathan of Gaza.
Recent Publications: (click here for further information.)
Publications: Pe'amim, Studies in the Cultural Heritage of Oriental Jewry; Sefunot, Studies and Sources on the History of the Jewish Commlmities in the East.

(Formerly Ha'aretz Museum)
Address: 2 Haim Levanon St. Tel Aviv 69975 Israel
Tel: +972-3-6415244 Fax:+ 972-3-6412408
Curator:Nitza Behrouzi
Founded: 1963
The Ethnography and Folklore Pavilion was initiated by the members of The Ginza Society for Jewish Art who, in the early 1950s, undertook the mission of preserving the heritage of the Jewish People by collecting items of Judaica and promoting awareness of this art form through exhibitions and lectures.
In 1963, the collections of the Ginza Society were transferred to their permanent home in the Eretz Israel Museum (then the "Haaretz Museum"). Over the years, traditional costumes of Israel 's various communities were amassed and added to the Museum's collection.
Both religious and secular objects shed light on the ways of life and special styles of the Jewish communities in many countries.
Collections: The permanent exhibit of the Ethnography and Folklore Pavilion is divided into three sections:
    • The Yearly Holiday Cycle:A separate showcase is dedicated to each of the JewishHolidays. In it are displayed religious and ritual articles from various Jewish communities.(Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; Succot (Feast of Tabernacles); Pesach (Passover);Shavuot (The Feast of weeks);Hanukkah; Purim; The Sabbath).
    • The Torah and its Decorations:Two Torah scrolls exhibited together, one from Germany and the other from Italy, demonstrate both the differences and the similarities between the square Sephardic script and the angular Ashkenazic writing.
    • The Circle of Jewlsh Llfe: The collection contains many articles connected with ceremonies and family events in the cycle of human life.
  1. Illuminated Marriage Contracts: The Pavilion's collection contains many examples of the ketuba (marriage contract).
  2. Ark of the Trino Vercellese Synagogue, Italy, 18th Century: Brought to Israel in 1973, the ark was installed in a hall built especially for it in the original style of the Italian synagogue
Special Exhibition:Paper Cut: by Yehudit Shadur,"Jerusalem from generation to generation."winter 1995-6 (including catalogue).

(Hamerkaz Leheker Hafolklor)
Address: The Hebrew University,Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem Israel.
Tel: +972-2-883946 +972-2-881339 Fax:+972-2-322545
Director: Dov Noy (e-mail:
Research Coordinator: Galit Hasan-Rokem
Founded: 1968
The Hebrew University Folklore Research Center collects and preserves folklore material of scholarly interest from orally and visually performed sources and tradition
Recent and current projects include: Folklore of Ethiopian Jews; Rumanian Jewish traditions; Kurdish-Jewish lamentation poetry; and Georgian Jewish proverbs (the latter in the process of computerization).
The center has been financed partly by the Center for the Integration of Jewish Oriental Heritage of the Ministry of Education and Culture and has therefore become involved in supplying information and source materials to primary and secondary schools interested in teaching and collecting Jewish Oriental oral history and cultural data. Other funding has been received from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.
Publications: Folklore Research Center Studies.

Address: 20 King David Blvd. P.O.B. 383, Lod 71103, Israel
Tel: +972-8-9244569 +972-8- 9229384 Fax:+972-8-9249466
Directors: Zvi Malachi, Michal Saraf
Founded: 1985
The Haberman Institute for Literary Research, in the town of Lod (Lydda), devotes itself to research in the field of the literature and the folklore of the Jewish communities in the world, with special attention to North African Jewry.
Among the institute's belongings is a library which is particularly rich in the field of folklore, e.g. folk tales, customs, fables and sayings, popular beliefs, as well as manuscripts treating of remedies and amulets, traditional cures, etc.
The institute has a Museum of Jewish Heritage which includes many folkloristic items.
Publications: Mahut- Journal of Jewish Literature & Art.
  1. Tales from Beita Israel (Aethiopa)
  2. Folk tales from Morocco
  3. Legends from Tunisia in the books by dr. Michal Saraf: Tz'midei Hazahav, Ayelet Khishki Klilat Yoffi, Kandil (french);popular poems about WWII in her book The Hitler Scroll of North Africa (English, Hebrew)
  4. Tales and popular poetry from Djerb: Yalkout Zikhronot by Boaz Chaddad, as well as collections and studies in "Mahut" concerning, folk tales from Georgia, Tunisia, Saloniki (dr. Tamar Alexander )
  5. Proverbs from among the jews of Tunisia (in preparation)
  6. Studies and folkloric texts by the institite's researchers (dr. Zvi Malachi) have also been published in severel periodicals and anthologies (eg Yeda-'Am)
  7. Royal Banquet, by Yoel Shaloml Peretz, an anthology of legends from disparate sources, compiled by the man who tells them compellingly on the stage
  8. Professor Yaakov Kabakov: Naphtali Herz lmber, 'Baal Hatikva'' Monography about the author of the Israeli national anthem within the wider context of Khibat Tzion poetry
  9. Michal Saraf: Nehorai - Rabbi Nehorai Garmon of Tunis and his Poetry(18th century hebrew with summary in english)

Address: 39 Hatikva Street, Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem 94103, Israel
1185 Sheridan Road, Glencoe, IL 60022 U.S.A.
Tel: (Jerusalem) +972-2-244931 (Glencoe) 312-835-0724
President: Edgar E. Siskin
Founded: 1975
Purpose: To describe and record the cultures of the ethnic and religious communities in Isreal before the distinctive elements of these cultures are lost in the general patterns of Israeli life; to seek an understanding of the requirements needed for achieving a durable modus vivendi among Jews, Arabs, Christians and other groups living in Israel; to provide opportunities for anthropologists in Israel and other countries to conduct field studies and research in Israel.
Research Projects: Grants awarded 1987-88: Sociological and Anthropological meaning of the pilgrimages to Moroccan tombs by Jews of Moroccan origin living in Israel (Andre Levy, Hebrew University); Hare Krishna in Israel (Nurit Zitman-Dvir, University of Haifa); communication and courtship among Israeli singles (Mottie Benozio, Bar-llan University); anthropology of blindness (Shlomo Deshen, Tel Aviv University); effect of changing religious values on the perceptions of community and authority in 17th century New England and its implications for contemporary Israel (Adam Seligman, Hebrew University); mental disorders among ultra-Orthodox Jews (Leah Weil, Hebrew University); impact of technology on rural women in Israel (Naomi Nevo). Grants awarded 1988-89: Adaptation of Jewish Ethiopian students to life in Israel (Rafael Yungman, Hebrew University); study of Kokhav Yair, A Modern Israeli New Town, (Samuel Cooper, Barllan University); masculine gender identity on the kibbutz (Seymour Parker, University of Utah).
Lectures: Sponsors public lectures and seminars by American and European anthropologists. Recent lectures by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (New York University) and Michael Silverstein (University of Chicago) in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
Publications: Newsletter. In addition, the Center has facilitated the publication of manuscripts of anthropological interest.

The Center is situated in Moshav Yodfat in the Western Galilee in Northern Israel.
Address: Yoel Perez, Moshav Yodfat,P.M. MISGAV, 2O18O ISRAEL.
Tel: During office hours- +972-4-98OOO55; At evening- +972-4-99O1541
Director: Yoel Perez (e-mail: )
Purpose: The Center was founded through the initiative of people in the academic and educational world in order to spread knowledge, and to encourage public interest in this field.
The Aims of The Center
Research Projects: Today we have a pool of stories representing the different Jewish communities of Israel, and also a wide selection of Bedouin folk tales. These stories have been recorded in Arabic from most of the tribes in the Galilee, translated into Hebrew, and are intended for computer storage. In addition there is activity in the area of the traditional Turkish Shadow Theater - "Karagoz".
Publications: We published two Hebrew collections of Folk Tales for adults:
  1. Royal Banquet.
  2. Wedding Offering.
Both are available from the Center.

Address: The Faculty of Humanities, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Tel:+972-2-883962 Fax:+972-2-322545 or +972-2-883687
Director:Amnon Shiloah
Founded:The idea of establishing a research institute devoted to the study of Sephardi and Oriental Jewry was conceived by the late Elie Eliachar (1899 - 1981) - one of the most prominent leaders of the Sephardim in Israel. Misgav Yerushalayim's foundation in 1972 was a joint venture of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The World Sephardi Federation and The Council of the Sephardi and Oriental Communities in Jerusalem.
Purpose:To further our knowledge on the history and culture of Sephardi and Oriental Jewish communities in the last five centuries, a field of studies which was quite neglected up to the last two decades- This aim is attained by promoting research, issuing publicaions on relevant subjects and holding seminars and conferences, where scholars from various disciplines present their work and discuss it with their colleagues. Indeed the first projects undertaken by Misgav Yerushalayim during the 70's may be considered as a pioneering effort. Even now, when the study of Sephardi and Oriental Jewish culture and heritage is no longer a marginal field, there are still many subjects left for thorough investigation.
Publications: (click here for further information.)
Misgav Yerushalayim's publications are most varied with regard to both subject matter and discipline. They include books dealing with history, literature, art, music, folklore, philology, philosophy etc. The span of the communities dealt with is also very wide and encompasses Jewish communities in Spain and Portugal ,the former Ottoman Empire, North Africa, Iraq, Yemen and Bukhara. There are also a number of proceedings volumes, based on papers delivered during the four international Congresses held so far.
Lectures, Seminars and Conferences: In addition to an annual lecture in memory of Misgav Yerushalayim's founder - Elie Eliachar - there are regular seminars for school teachers and an international congress which takes place every four years. Four such congresses were held so far, the last of which took place in June 1992 and was appropriately devoted to "Hispano- Jewish Civilization after 1492" in commemoration of 500 years since the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The next congress is scheduled for June 1997 in conjunction with The World Congress for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University.


Hebrew University of Jerusalem
For further information look at: Jewish Music Research Centre Home-Page
Address: P.O.B. 34165, Jerusalem 91341, Israel
Tel: +972-2-6585059 Fax:+972-2-611156
Director: Israel Adler (e-mail:
Founded: 1964
The work of the center encompasses two main areas: ethnomusicology, which deals with the recording of oral traditions, and historical documentation and studies. The main work consists of collecting and studying documents relating to the musical traditions and the musical life of Jewish communities during their historical development, and the fostering of publications in these fields. The staff of the center works in close cooperation with the Music Department and the National Sound Archives of the Jewish National and University Library, and with the University's Institute of Jewish Studies and Department of Musicology.
Research Projects and Publications:(click here for further information.) Inventory of Jewish Music Sources; Recordings and computer-aided cataloguing of the collection; The Lachmann Collection Restoration Project; Jewish Oral Traditions-an Interdisciplinary Approach; Anthology of the Liturgical Music Traditions of Ethiopian Jews; The Musical Traditions of the Jewish Communities in Bordeaux and Bayonne; The Liturgical and Para- Liturgical Musical Heritage of the Jews of Djerba; Cancionero Sefardi.
Other Projects:(click here for further information.)
Subjects of Current Research:(click here for further information.)
Publications(For further information on the items below click here)
Anthology of Musical Tradirions in Israel (records): 6 albums, CDs and cassettes already published.
Yuval: Studies of the Jewish Music Research Center: 6 volumes to date, published by Magnes Press.
Yuval Monograph Series (ed. I. Adler): 9 volumes to date, published by Magnes Press.
Yuval Music Series (ed. E. Seroussi). 4 volumes published.

The Jewish National and University Library
Address: The Hebrew University, P.O.B. 34165, Jerusalem 91341, Israel.
Tel: +972-2-6585060 Fax:+ 972-2-611156
Director: Gila Flam (e-mail:
The Music Department inlcudes a books, music, and collections (personal collections mainly). The Music Department has about 100 archives of composers and Jewish communities. A large collection of Israeli folksong - including the Wachs Noy Archives of Israeli and Yiddish song of 40,000 Israeli folksongs. It also holds the Jacob Michael collection of Jewish music that came to the National Library in 1964 from the USA and has rare material of Jewish music.

The Department includes the National Sound Archives that collects and preservs Jewish (and non Jewish) oral traditions - focusing on music. The NSA has 6500 reels, 1000 cassettes, 300 discs, 12,730 records, and more -mainly music.

The National Sound Archives(Hafonoteka Haleumit)
The National Sound Archives (NSA) were established in 1964 by Israel Adler, founder and director of the Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University, as an integral part of the Music Department of the Jewish National and University Library. The NSA strive to collect and preserve the musical heritage of Jewish communities in Israel and throughout the world, and of non-Jewish communities (Muslims, Christians Samaritans, Druzes, Beduins, etc.) residing in Israel.
Since their inception, the NSA have absorbed recordings from several extant sources, amongst which are: the Archive of Oriental Music of the Hebrew University founded in 1935 by Robert Lachmann, including recordings by Abraham Zvi Idelsohn; the Jacob Michael Collection of Jewish Music (New York); the Israel Institute for Sacred Music, whose director, Avigdor Herzog, presided as the NSA's first director; the private collections of pioneer Jewish ethnomusicologists such as Edith Gerson-Kiwi (who continued Lachmann's work following his death in 1939), Leo Levi and Johanna Spector.
Since 1964 the NSA have continuously expanded its holdings by promoting new recordings. Field work and recordings at the NSA studio are conducted in close cooperation with the research staff of the Jewish Music Research Centre. LikeWiset the NSA take part in organizing extended field trips in collaboration with the Centre and Musicology Departments of Israeli universities. The Archives have also been enriched by purchases and donations of tapes and records from private and public resources. The holdings include analog and digital tapes, records, cassettes and videtapes.
The NSA serve a wide and varied audience of scholars, educators, performers, film and television producers and composers from Israel and around the globe. The holdings are open to the public at the NSA listening room; selected copies of recordings can be obtained by institutions and individuals upon request.
To make recordings easily accessible, the holdings of the NSA are catalogued in scrupious detail. During the 1980s a computerized cataloguing system was devised which will enable the retrieval of individual items according to subject, title, opening Iyrics, name of performers and collectors, ethnic affiliation and geographical location.

Folk Dancing

Address: Beit Ariela, 25 Shaul Hamelech Blvd, Tel Aviv 64367, Israel.
Tel: +972-3-6910141 Fax:+972-3-6965645
Director: Gila Toledano
Founded: 1975
The Dance Library of Israel is the one and Only central library for dance in Israel, and Serves the whole courltry. The Dance Library is localised as a section of the Shaar Zion Library, Beit Ariela, which is the main Library of the Municipality of Tel Aviv - Yafo .
The Library consists of thousands of books in different langauges; magazines, video films, slides; archives. The collections cover all aspects of dance and movement frown all over the world.
Established in the Dance Library is the archives, unique and the only one in the world that documents dance in Israel from the very beginning until the present day, it covers the artistic dance, its different styles, activity movement in folk dancing, religious ceremonies and events; ethnic Israeli folklore .
The Library holds lectures, and also helps by offering advice and direction in preparing study work. It is open to the public on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during the hours of 14.00 to 18 .00 and on Tuesday from 10.00 to 14.00.

Address: The Histadrut House, The Cultural Department, The Foundation of Ethnic and Arts, 93 Arlozerov St. Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Tel:+972-3-6921702/251 +972-3-6921259 Fax:+972-3-6961279
Director:Rina Meir, Yael Solomon Director (The Cultural Department in The Histadrut.)
The Foundation of Ethnic Dancing and Arts in The Histadrut is the first of it's kind which consciously devoted itself to exposure, encouragement and inspiration of cultural traditions in Israel. The Foundation gathers together and preserves traditional dance and ceremonies of the various ethnic groups and encourages individuals and groups to develop their folklore in dance, song and music. The Ethnic Art Foundation assembles meetings, seminars, events and shows which combine all of the different folklore in Israel.

"Archive of Jewish Dance"; Director: Dr. Zvi Friedhaber.
75, Harishonim St, Kiryat Haim 26302; Tel: +972- 4- 728369

Karmiel Folk Dance Festival; Artistic Director: Yonatan Karmon,
Karmiel 20101; Tel:+972-4-9987951. fax:+972-4-9983514

Publications:Israel Dance Annual; Rokdim

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