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2013 Patai Prize in Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Awarded to Kate Reyes

Friday, November 15, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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The Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section of the American Folklore Society announces the recipients of the Raphael Patai Prize for 2013. The Prize is awarded for an outstanding unpublished essay in Jewish folklore and ethnology by a student completed in 2012 and 2013. The Prize honors the eminent folklorist and ethnologist Raphael Patai (1910-1996) who published 600 articles and over 35 books, and taught at many universities in Israel and the United States.

The winner of the Prize is Kate A. Reyes for her essay, "Demonology and Magic Ritual Texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls,” completed at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Committee members praised its erudition and the sophistication with which she analyzed historical texts. 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. In her undergraduate studies, she was awarded the Robert T. Jones Fellowship to undertake a Master of Theological Studies at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

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. The committee recognized these papers as exemplary studies of Jewish traditional practices in the context of diverse ethnic relationships.

The award recipients were recognized at the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society held October 16-19, 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island. The Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Section of the American Folklore Society ( promotes studies of Jewish folklore, folklife, and ethnology globally. The section cooperates with the Committee on the Anthropology of Jews and Judaism of the American Anthropological Association, and the two organizations jointly sponsor the Jewish Cultural Studies Book Series published by Littman (, the Jewish Folklore and Ethnology Listserv (, and panels, forums, and special events at folklore and anthropology conferences.

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