Office of department Chairman
The Rena Costa Center is distinguished in Israel and throughout the world for its singular devotion to the academic study of Yiddish language and culture and for its outreach to The Department of Hebrew Literature was founded in 1956 by Prof. Baruch Kurzweil, who shaped the department’s scientific-academic approach and served as its chairman until 1972. During those years, Hebrew and world literature were studied side by side. After Prof. Kurzweil’s death, Prof. Yehuda Friedlander headed the joint Hebrew Literature and World Literature departments. Towards the end of 1974, the Faculty of Jewish Studies was established as separate entity, distinct from the Faculty of Humanities, and the Department of Hebrew Literature became a part of it. The World Literature Department, renamed the Department of Comparative Literature, was incorporated in the Faculty of Humanities. In 1981, under the chairmanship of Prof. Hillel Weiss, the Department of Hebrew Literature became the Department for Literature of the Jewish People, which includes the Rena Costa Center for Yiddish Studies and the Salti Center for Ladino Studies.