Jewish Storytelling Coalition

Monday, December 4, 2017


The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA) has just received a magnificent recognition to be included in the "Memory of the World" Register from UNESCO.

Folklorist/Author Yoel Perez writes:
The IFA was recognized by UNESCO as an international tradition site. It is a great honor and a good sign for the future. Here is the link so everyone can read about this well-deserved honor:

The IFA was founded by the distinguished folklorist Dov Noy in 1955 and now has collected over 21,000 folktales from the various ethnic communities in Israel. The IFA is housed at the Haifa University where the folktales are classified according to tale types and motifs. It was the work and passion of Dov Noy, through his creation of these Israel Folktale Archives, that successfully put Jewish folktales on the world folklore map!

 Dov Noy's name and legacy have been blessings for us all. We all wish that Dov could be with us to enjoy this world recognition.

Israel Folktale Archives

Documentary heritage submitted by Israel and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2017.
The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA), named in honor of its founder Prof. Dov Noy, is a unique, rich collection of more than 21,000 folk tales, based on Jewish oral tradition and Israeli folk narratives, and collected from more than 5,000 narrators from 70 ethnic groups in several languages, with documents dating from 1956 to 1999. The IFA folktale collection capture the essential features of various cultures: including the customs, beliefs, norms and values of Jewish immigrants from around the world, as they were shaped over the hundreds of years spent in the Diaspora, as well as the folk narratives of other ethnic groups currently living in Israel, including Bedouin, Christian, Muslim and Druze, in an attempt to encourage an open dialogue between the diverse cultures and ethnicities in Israel. The collection was completed after the large waves of immigration from Ethiopia and the USSR. Following this period, the digitization process of the collection began, Which includes typing, scanning, indexing the stories and rendering them accessible. In order to transform the collection into an international asset, an archive website was also created, to provide researchers and critics from all over the world with access to the collection. 

Folklorist and Author/Storyteller Barbara Rush writes:

Dov Noy loved people-and he truly believed that every person is his or her own story.  So he set out to collect and preserve them.Today the IFA is a unique and invaluable resource for people worldwide, layman and academic alike, to gain insight into the hearts and minds of the Jewish people,  Because of Prof. Noy's work, the value of story, as a reflection of the human condition, has been established---and will live on.

 Storyteller and Author Cherie Karo Schwartz writes:

The Israel Folktale Archives is the single most important index of stories in the world. The Jewish tales cross boundaries of religion, ethnicity, time and place to form an ageless, timeless treasure trove of tales. The stories are an invaluable resource for storytellers, educators, rabbis, and anyone working with the diverse Jewish worldwide cultures. By the careful cross-referencing of tale types and motifs, they form a unique and enriching bridge to all of the cultures and places in which the People of the Book (The People of the Story!) have lived and shared stories. I am blessed by and rely upon these stories for inspiration, source material, and tales to tell with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, as do storytellers worldwide.