Galit Hasan-Rokem
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Galit Hasan-Rokem

Galit Hasan-Rokem
Galit Hasan Rokem.jpg
Galit Hasan-Rokem in 2008
Born (1945-08-29) 29 August 1945 (age 75)
Helsinki, Finland
EducationPhD, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
EmployerHebrew University of Jerusalem
Known forParemiology, folklore in Israel
Freddie Rokem

Galit Hasan-Rokem (Hebrew: ? ‎, born 29 August 1945) is the Max and Margarethe Grunwald professor of folklore at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Author and editor of numerous works, including co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Folklore (2012), her research interests include proverbs, folklore and culture of the Middle East, and folklore genres and narratives. She is also a published poet and translator of poetry, and a Pro-Palestinian activist. The Jerusalem Post has called her "a figure of some prominence in Jerusalem intellectual circles".[1]

Early life and education

Galit Hasan-Rokem was born in 1945[2] in Helsinki to Jewish parents who were also natives of Finland.[3] She attended the Helsinki Jewish day school from 1952 to 1957.[4] In 1957, at the age of 12, she immigrated with her family to Israel.[3][5][6]

Following high school graduation, she completed her compulsory military service and enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the late 1960s.[3] After attaining her undergraduate degree, she participated in an exchange program at the University of Finland's Department of Finnish and Comparative Folklore, where she studied under Professors Matti Kuusi and Lauri Honko, solidifying her desire to become a folklorist.[2][3] She earned her doctorate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1978, studying under Professor Dov Noy.[2][6] She became a full professor of folklore at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1984.[6]


Hasan-Rokem's research interests include proverbs, folklore and culture of the Middle East, and folklore genres and narratives, including folklore in rabbinic literature.[2][7] She has produced several major works studying proverbs in Israel and the proverbs of Georgian Jews in Israel.[7]

Hasan-Rokem displays a "conscious feminism" in her work.[1] Her interdisciplinary approach to folklore, including the feminist aspects of her research, are frequently quoted by other authors.[8][9][10] Books and other works by Hasan-Rokem have been published in more than eight languages.[2]

Other activities

Hasan-Rokem founded the Proverb Indexing Project at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Folklore Research Center.[2] She assisted her mentor, Professor Noy, in developing the Hebrew University's Folklore Program into a full undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree program.[2] She co-founded the annual Israeli Inter-University Folklore Conference in 1981.[2] She is also credited with elevating the recognition of Israeli folklore studies to the international level.[2] She has lectured as a visiting professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago, and engages in teaching and research cooperation with scholars in the United States, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Palestinian Authority.[2]

She has been the associate editor of Proverbium, the yearbook of international proverb scholarship, since 1984.[2] She is a regular contributor to the Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales, published by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.[6]

From 2001 to 2004 she headed the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[5]



Men poets have muses
Wrapping them in soft affection
Calling them with gentle voices, Fondling
And I have you, poetical pimp
Sending me to the street corner
Dressed in light, cheap clothes
Tyrannizing me, selling me
Upon my return, stealing my wages
Hitting me so that I'll know
Driving my heart mad
Making a laughingstock of me
Sometimes offering me the grace of a moment

No man will get this from me.

Galit Hasan-Rokem[1]

Hasan-Rokem is a published poet and translator of poetry.[2] She has produced three volumes of poetry in Hebrew, some of which has appeared in translation. She translated a selection of Swedish-language poems by Finnish poet Edith Södergran (1892-1923) into Hebrew for her second book of poetry, Voice Training: Poems (1998).[1] In 2013 she translated the complete poems of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer into Hebrew.[11][12]

Pro-Palestinian activist

Hasan-Rokem is a founding editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal[2] and a long-time pro-Palestinian activist. She is a strong supporter of the two-state solution and the division of Jerusalem into the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.[13][14] As a visiting scholar at Rutgers University in 2014, she claimed that Israeli street signs exhibit bias against Arabic-speaking residents, since the Hebrew text is more prominent and the Arabic translation is often a phonetic version of the Hebrew.[15]


Hasan-Rokem served as president of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research from 1998 to 2005.[2][5] She is a member of the Folklore Fellows international executive committee and advisory board since 1993,[2] and a member of the King Gustav Adolf Academy for Folk Culture in Sweden since 2007.[6] She has been awarded two fellowships from the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, in 2003-2004 and 2015-2016.[16]


Hasan-Rokem is married to Freddie Rokem, the Emanuel Herzikowitz Professor for 19th- and 20th-Century Art at Tel Aviv University and a published author in theatre studies.[17][18] They have three children. Their son, Amitai, died in a hiking accident in 1990.[1]

She is fluent in Finnish, Hebrew, Swedish, and English.[3]

Selected bibliography



  • Tsippori: Forty-Minus-One Byzantine Haiku from the Galilee and a Poem (in Hebrew). Am Oved. 2002.
  • Voice Training: Poems (in Hebrew). Hakibbutz Hameuchad. 1998.
  • Like Lot's Wife (in Hebrew). 1989.


  1. ^ The word "ars", which means "art" in Latin, phonetically translates as "pimp" in Hebrew and Arabic slang.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Green, Jeff (4 September 1998). "Reading from Right to Left". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 21 April 2016. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Patai, Raphael (2015). Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions. Routledge. pp. 231-231. ISBN 1317471717.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tupits, Ave (31 July 2005). "Interview with Galit Hasan-Rokem at the 14th Congress of the ISFNR, 31 July 2005, Tartu" (PDF). Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Galit Hasan-Rokem". LinkedIn. 2015. Retrieved 2015.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Galit Hasan-Rokem". Jewish Women's Archive. 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Online Folklore Course – The Instructor: Professor Galit Hasan-Rokem". The Nahum Goldmann Fellowship Online. 2015. Retrieved 2015.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Towards the Nightless Night". Folklore Fellows. November 1994. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ Weisberg, Dvora E. (2009), "Women and Torah Study in Aggadah", in Greenspahn, Frederick E. (ed.), Women and Judaism: New Insights and Scholarship, NYU Press, pp. 49-50, ISBN 0814732186
  9. ^ Labendz, Jenny R. (2013). Socratic Torah: Non-Jews in Rabbinic Intellectual Culture. OUP USA. p. 13. ISBN 0199934568.
  10. ^ Zeelander, Susan (2011). Closure in Biblical Narrative. BRILL. p. 121. ISBN 900421822X.
  11. ^ Eliahu, Eli (11 October 2011). "A Victory for Poetry". Haaretz. Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ "Rafi Weichert (Israel, 1964)". Poetry International Rotterdam. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ Hasan-Rokem, Galit (1995). "Not the Mother of All Cities: a Feminist Perspective of Jerusalem". Palestine-Israel Journal. 2 (3).
  14. ^ Klochendler, Pierre (17 July 2011). "MIDEAST: Marching in Step for Peace". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Petenko, Erin (21 February 2014). "Hebrew University professor discusses Israeli folklore". The Daily Targum. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Galit Hasan-Rokem". Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. 2011. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ Rokem, Na'ama (2013). Prosaic Conditions: Heinrich Heine and the Spaces of Zionist Literature. Northwestern University Press. p. viii. ISBN 0810166399.
  18. ^ Rokem, Freddie (2010). "Philosophers and Thespians: Thinking Performance". Stanford University Press. p. xii. ISBN 080476350X.

External links

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