Resources for Jewish Folklore


Learning to Give     9 Jewish tales are related in full: The Clotheslines; Defending His Property; Even Her Taking Was Giving; Loosening the Stopper; The Luck of a Child; The Magic Pomegranate;  A Special Gift; The Three Laughs; and The Treasure.  Lesson plans are given for 5 of them under the heading Generosity of Spirit.  Much other useful information is shared at this site about Jewish philanthropy, the meaning of Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, Pushke, Jewish marriage.

The Hasidic Stories Home Page       Over 70 stories retold of The Baal Shem Tov,  Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev,  and other rebbes, along with links to information about Hasidic stories.

Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends by Aunt Naomi aka Gertrude Lande, 1919        ttp://       All 27 stories from the collection which inspired award-winning storyteller Peninnah Schram as a child are here.

Mitzvah Stories  Editors Goldie Milgram and Ellen Frankel offer sample tales, both contemporary and traditional, in text and podcast, by Peninnah Schram, Cherie Karo Schwartz and Arthur Strimling plus 60 contributing authors from the book Mitzvah Stories: Seeds for Inspiration and Learning.  Also here are discussion guides to some of the tales prepared by Shoshana Silberman.

Tales from the Past   317 folktales of the Chabad Hasidic community are shared here, in categories, such as Midrash and Talmud, Chassidic tales, Fables & Parables, and Sages & Mystics.

G-dcast: Meaningful Jewish Screentime    Short, animated folk and Talmudic stories, including The Mountain & The Cliff, a Short Hasidic Tale on Giving;  Avoiding the Mud;  Honi the Circle Maker; The Emperor’s SecretThe Rise of Yavneh;  and Shimon Bar Yochai in the Cave.

Syd Lieberman  Podcasts  of all twelve stories from Joseph the Tailor and Other Jewish Tales plus a mix of cultural offerings from The Old Man and Other Stories.

Simon Oates: Tube Tales    The Noisy Little House, The Parable of the Spoons, Fate, and The Smuggler.

Multicultural animations from Cztery Strony Bajek Including two Jewish tales The Golem of Rabbi Elijah – The Legend of the Golem of Chelm and Happy Man in English, Polish, and Yiddish.


AJL Valuesfinder     Librarian Linda Silver created this valuable guide to annotated Jewish books in English for children and teens which may be searched by 165 Jewish values or by single keyword in title, author, illustrator, subject, or note fields.

Selected and Annotated Bibliography of Current Jewish Story Collections   Check this Jewish Storytelling Coalition site for Peninnah Schram’s 2013 list of Jewish folktale collections for adults and children.  You’ll also find a directory of Jewish storytellers here, along with the storytelling blog “News, Views, and Shmooze.”.

Jewish Folktales  From the Jewish Book Council, this buoyant list shares important collections and individual picture books recently published and connects directly to their reviews in Jewish Book World.

The Book of Life:  A podcast about Jewish people and the books we read         From blogger and library director Heidi Estrin, come lively podcast interviews with Jewish authors and illustrators and features on Jewish books since 2005.

Jewish Folk Literature, Article by Dan Ben-Amos in Oral Tradition, 14/1 (1999): 140-274  Ben Amos offers a scholarly discussion of the characteristics and history of Jewish folklore.

Telling Family Stories:  Jews, Geneology and History       Fascinating articles plus links to other pages on gender, religion. language, and cultural objects in family stories from Michigan State University Libraries.