Folktales of Israel

Center for Israel Studies Presents a Festival of Jewish Storytelling Honoring Peninnah Schram on November 6

Yeshiva University’s Center for Israel Studies will present “Folktales of Israel: A Festival of Jewish Storytelling” on November 6, 2011. The festival, co-sponsored by Stern College for Women, the Yeshiva University Museum and the American Zionist Movement, is free and open to the public and will take place at the YU Museum, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Peninah Schram
Peninah Schram, renowned Jewish folklorist and storyteller will be honored at the Nov. 6 festival.

Bringing together internationally renowned story tellers and scholars, the festival will be dedicated to the art of storytelling in and about the Land of Israel. The festival will highlight the beauty of Israel and its peoples, presenting through scholarship and performance some of the ways that storytellers have transmitted their love of Israel through the ages.

The festival honors Peninnah Schram, a world-renowned Jewish folklorist and storyteller who is professor of speech and drama at YU. Schram is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Award for Outstanding Jewish Educator (1995) and has been awarded the National Storytelling Network’s 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award “for sustained and exemplary contributions to storytelling in America.”

“There is power and beauty in shared stories,” said Schram, who has authored ten books of Jewish folktales. “Since storytelling is a dialogue, it creates more understanding and community between people serving as a thread between hearts. This event will celebrate the stories of Israel that are so connected to each of the storytellers and the keynote speakers. I feel blessed to be honored by this magnificent festival.”

Featured storytellers at the festival include: Arthur Strimling, Barry Bub, Cherie Karo Schwartz, Ellen Frankel, Goldie Milgram, Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff, Laura Simms and Noa Baum. Keynote presentations will be given by Dan Ben Amos, professor of folklore & Asian and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Pennsylvania; and Rabbi Saul Berman, associate professor of Jewish Studies at Stern College.

“Folktales of Israel brings together scholars and performers, students and rabbis to celebrate all that is good about Israel,” said Steven Fine, director of the Center for Israel Studies and professor of Jewish history. “At this moment in Israel’s history, telling Israel’s stories is an act of hope and promise.”

For more information, to view the full schedule or to register for the festival, visit

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