The Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section sponsors the Raphael Patai Travel Grant of up to 300 USD for a student of Jewish folklore and ethnology to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Folklore Society.
How to apply: see the AFS Review for the most recent information. Contact the section conveners with questions.
Prior to 2019, the Raphael Patai Prize was awarded for the best student paper in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology; past prizes have been bestowed to:
Kate A. Reyes for her essay, “Demonology and Magic Ritual Texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” completed at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. The paper was part of her Honours dissertation under the supervision of Professor James R. Davila. Ms. Reyes graduated with an MA in Biblical Studies and Hebrew. Honorable mentions are awarded to Matthew Singer, doctoral candidate in American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, for his essay “Folk Art from the Peddler’s Bed: The Creative Legacy and Historic Context of Jewish Fraktur Scriveners Justus Epstein and Martin Wetzler,” under the supervision of Professor Simon J. Bronner and Tsila Zan-Bar Tsur, who recently received her Ph.D. in folklore and traditional Jewish culture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for her essay “The Bathhouse and the Mikveh: Transformative Spaces in the Life of Jewish Women in Afghanistan,” under the supervision of Professor Hagar Salamon, 2013.
Magdalena Luszczynska (University College London) for “Father-Son Relationships in Medieval Ashkenaz” and Amy Milligan (Penn State Harrisburg) for “Wearing Many Hats: Head Covering Practices of Orthodox Jewish Women.” (see vol. 4 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series), 2011. Jillian Gould (folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland) for “Shiva as a Creative Ritual in an Institutional Home” (see vol. 3 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series), 2009. Gabrielle Berlinger (folklore, Indiana University) for “770 Eastern Parkway: Brooklyn Brownstone, Sacred Space” (see vol. 2 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series) and Irit Koren (gender studies, Bar-Ilan University) for “The Power of Discourse: Issues of Gender and Social Control Regarding Changing the Jewish Wedding Ritual” (see vol. 3 of theJewish Cultural Studies Series), 2007.
Eve Jochnowitz of New York University for “Dining Out in Russian-Jewish New York.” (see The Restaurant Book: Ethnographies of Where We Eat ), 2005.
Elly Teman (cultural anthropology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) for “The Red String,” a study of the visual symbolism of red strings worn by contemporary Jewish Israelis (see vol. 1 of the Jewish Cultural Studies Series), and Roni Weinstein (Jewish history, Hebrew University, Jerusalem) for “Marriage Rituals Italian Style: A Historical Anthropological Perspective on Early Modern Italian Jews,” a study of the distinctive Italian Jewish formation of a rite of passage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (see Marriage Rituals Italian Style, 2004), 2003.
For information on contributing to the endowment fund for the Raphael Patai award, please contact the AFS Office.