Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

The Journal of American Folklore





Start Page


Last Page



A midrashic proverb observes that "when a man departs this world, he does not have as much as half of his desire in his hand." When Kenny Goldstein died on November 11, 1995, at the age of 68, he left behind manuscripts he did not complete, songs he did not transcribe, and singers he did not record. But the books and articles that he did not write himself he did write through his students and friends: hundreds of them. Always the consummate teacher, he was a rabbi of folklore. The situations he enjoyed most were the long seminar discussions when, surrounded by students, he and they were engulfed in conversation about folklore matters. He deemed a seminar that ended on time a failure. Often these discussions moved from the seminar room to his home, which he and his wife Rochelle opened up for students, or to his private library, which he made accessible to all. The 1967 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching was the professional honor he cherished the most.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Published as Ben-Amos, D. Obituary: Kenneth S. Goldstein (1927-1995). The Journal of American Folklore 109(433): 320-323. © 1996 by the American Folklore Society.



Date Posted: 22 September 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.