Dan Ben-Amos (1934-2023)

In Memoriam, News from the Field
headshot of dan ben-amos, who wears a suit jacket and white collared shirt
Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Jewish Film and Media at

AFS Fellow and Professor of Folklore & Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) Dan Ben-Amos died on March 26, 2023. Ben-Amos received the AFS Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award in 2014.

Dan was 88, and still holding to his vow never to retire, thereby, as Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett put it, holding “the folklore flame at the University of Pennsylvania to the very end.” His signature, pivotal contributions to the field are legion, but it is the chance of running into Dan in a corridor at Penn or an AFS meeting, and the ensuing exchange – both jocular and erudite – that I grieve and want to celebrate.

Mary Hufford, President of the AFS Fellows

AFS offers sincere condolences to Dan’s wife Batsheva Ben-Amos and their family, as well as friends and colleagues worldwide who are grieving a tremendous scholar in our field and beyond.

Funeral Service Details

Dan Ben-Amos’ funeral was held on Thursday, March 30 at 11:00 am at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 215 Belmont Ave, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.  The funeral was open to all. The shiva began following the funeral at the Ben-Amos home from 1:30 – 6:00 pm on Thursday, Friday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.

We will share further news when it is available and are working with others to write his In Memoriam. Check back here for updates.

Learn more about Dan Ben-Amos’ life and work.

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