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Yiddish Research: Folklore

Yiddish research guide covering general resources, article and books, folklore, genealogy, linguistics, literature, music and dance, oral history, theater, film, radio, translation and student resources.

Reference Books


Ben-Amos, Dan. "Jewish Folklore". Oxford Bibliographies Online. Accessible with a Library card and PIN.


ElswitSharon. The Jewish Story Finder: A Guide to 363 Tales, Listing Subjects and Sources. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Company, 2009.
Folktales are listed by theme. Each story is summarized, variant versions noted, and detailed bibliography given. A story title index allows another way to search.


Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore. Raphael Patai, founding editor; Haya Bar-Itzhak, editor. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2013. Includes some Yiddish folklore, although coverage and transliteration is uneven.



Image: Peacock cigarette card. NYPL Digital Collections.


Gottesman, Itzik. Defining the Yiddish nation : the Jewish folklorists of PolandDetroit : Wayne State University Press, c2003.

Study of folklore and ethnography in Poland; includes bibliographical references and index.


NigalGedalyahLeksikon ha-Sipur ha-Hasidi. Jerusalem: ha-Makhon le-heker ha-sifrut ha-hasidit, 765/2005.
Comprehensive Hebrew-language encyclopedia of Hasidic literature, authors, characters, tales, ritual concepts, places, and works.


Weinreich, Uriel and Beatrice. Yiddish Language and Folklore: a Selective BibliographyGravenhage: Mouton, 1959.


Weinreich, Beatrice, ed. Yiddish Folktales. Trans. Leonard Wolf. New York: Pantheon Books/YIVO, 1988.
Folktales arranged thematically; includes a bibliography, glossary of Yiddish words, and scholarly introduction.


Yassif, Eli. Jewish Folklore: an Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1986.

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Image: Photo of Molly Picon and Sam Levene in Paris is Out! 1970, NYPL Digital Collections.