The Israel Folktale Archives (IFA), named in honor of its founder Prof. Dov Noy, was established in 1955. Two principle motives led to their establishment. Firstly, to collect, save and document oral folk narratives passed down over the generations by newly arriving immigrants, and veteran Israelis alike, from numerous ethnic and cultural backgrounds; and, secondly, to systematically research these folk narratives using modern scientific methods.
The archives were originally part of Haifa’s Museum of Ethnology and Folklore headed by Abba Khoushi. Prof. Dov Noy managed the archives until 1983. They were later transferred to the University of Haifa where they are presently housed. IFA has the largest collection of Jewish folktales in Israel and the world over.
The folktales, the way they are narrated, and the changes introduced into them are recorded, classified and sorted by the archives. IFA initiates folktale research in concert with Israeli and foreign research institutes, and publishes scientific editions from its collection.
IFA plays an important role in advancing the cultural heritage of Israel’s many ethnic communities, and in encouraging open dialogue between cultures and ethnicities.