Noy, Dov

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NOY, DOV (1920– ), scholar in Jewish folklore. Born in Kolomyja, Poland, he graduated from a Polish secondary school, and then immigrated to Palestine where he began his academic studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He interrupted his studies to volunteer for military service in the British Army Royal Engineers during World War ii, returning to the Hebrew University to complete his master's degree in Talmud, Jewish History, and Bible studies in 1946. He directed educational and cultural activities in the Cyprus Detention camps of Jewish refugees and worked there until the camps' liberation in 1948. For the next three years he served as editor of the leading Israeli children's weekly, Davar le-Yeladim.

Returning to his studies, he received his post-graduate education in folklore, comparative literature, and anthropology at Yale University and at Indiana University, from which he obtained his doctorate in 1954, studying under Stith Thompson.

In 1955 he began his teaching career at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he taught aggadah, folk literature, general folklore, and Yiddish. He became professor and incumbent of the Chair of Folklore and Hebrew Literature. Noy's contribution to Jewish folklore has been pioneering. He founded and directed the Haifa Ethnological Museum and Folklore Archives (1956–82) and edited the Israel Folktale Archives Publications series until 1981. He founded the Israel Folklore Archives, the largest treasure of Jewish folktales recorded in Israel. He was director of the Hebrew University Folklore Research Center from 1968 and edited Studies, its journal. He served as the Encyclopaedia Judaica departmental editor for folklore. He also trained a generation of researchers and students to tape and collect folk stories from all the various Jewish ethnic groups. He started the folklore section at Haifa University within the department of Hebrew Literature. From 1985 to 1992, he served as professor of Yiddish Folklore at Bar-Ilan University. In 1992–93 he served as professor of folk literature at Ben-Gurion University and in 1995–96 professor of folklore at Haifa University. In addition to teaching in Israeli universities, Noy devoted himself to spreading Jewish folk culture all over the world. He also wrote and edited about 60 books, covering a wide range of Jewish folklore: European, North African, Yemenite, and others. In 2004 he was awarded the Israel Prize for literary research.

[Elaine Hoter]