Nili Gold

Headshot Photo Of Nili Gold

Professor of Modern Hebrew Language & Literature

(215) 573-5312

707 Williams Hall

Nili Gold is a Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. She published her third book, Haifa: City of Steps (University Press of New England) in the fall of 2017 and Haifa My Love, an original Hebrew version of the book in late 2018. It weaves together the architecture, cultural history, and literature of the city, Gold’s hometown. In 2019, she lectured internationally on the book and its heroine – Haifa – and in the spring of that year, she taught a course on the city and led her entire class through Haifa as part of Penn’s Global Seminar program. Her book Yehuda Amichai: The Making of Israel’s National Poet (UPNE, 2008), which is her second book on the poet, was translated into Hebrew and published in Israel in 2019. Professor Gold served as NELC’s Undergraduate Chair in the AY 2019-2020. Professor Gold was the cofounder, with Nicola Gentili (CIMS), of the Middle East Film Festival at Penn. Since its founding in 2010, she has continuously served on its committee and played a leading role in its development. Professor Gold has recently published several book chapters and articles (in Hebrew and in English), including a chapter on the poet Dahlia Ravikovitch and another on Amichai. She has a chapter forthcoming on the Israeli poet and author Benyamin Shvili, and another about Israeli texts on separation.


Office Hours
Wednesdays 12:45–1:45pm (by appointment, and other times by appointment)
Courses Taught

Israeli literature and film in translation:

  • Fantasy, Dreams, and Madness
  • The Image of Childhood
  • The Image of the City
  • Voices of Israel

Hebrew seminars:

  • Autobiography in Modern Hebrew Literature
  • The Giants of Modern Hebrew Literature
  • The First Israelis


  • Modern Middle Eastern Literatures in Translation (faculty coordinator) 
Selected Publications

Lo kabrosh: gilgule imagim ve-tavniyot be-shirat Yehuda Amichai (Not like a cypress: transformations of images and structures in the poetry of Yehuda Amichai), (Schocken, 1994), [in Hebrew].

“Introduction” and “Afterword: Rereading And This is the Light, Lea Goldberg's Only Novel” in Lea Goldberg, And This is the Light, trans. Barbara Harshav (Jerusalem: Toby Press, 2011).

Reading The Heart’s Library: Benyamin Shvili’s Travelogues and their Roots in Hebrew Literature,” in Sprachheimaten und Grenzgänge: Festschrift für Anat Feinberg (Universitätsverlag Winter Heidelberg, 2022).

“The Abandoned Girl on the Mountain,” in ‘Kitmei or’: 50 shnot bikoret u-mehkar al yetzirata shel Dahlia Ravikovitch, (‘Sparks of light’: essays about Dahlia Ravikovitch’s oeuvre), eds. H. Tsamir and T. S. Hess, (Tel Aviv: Hakibutz Hameuchad, 2011), [in Hebrew].

“Yoel Hoffmann’s Curriculum Vitae and Japanese Death Poems as Keys to Reading his Work,” CISMOR Conference on Jewish Studies, Doshisha University, Japan, Vol. 9 (2017).

“'Listening to Her': The Betrayal of the Mother Tongue in the Works of Hoffmann, Zach, Amichai and Pagis,” Mikan, Issue 12 (November 2012) [in Hebrew].

“To Walk on the ‘Inner Streets’: Yoel Hoffmann’s Ephraim,On Liminality, special issue of Criticism & Interpretation: Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Culture, Vol. 43, Spring 2010 [in Hebrew].

“‘And the Migration of My Parents Has Not Subsided in Me’: Yehuda Amichai,” Middle Eastern Literatures: Incorporating EdebiYat, Vol. 8, no. 2 (July 2005).

“Bernhard's Journey: The Challenges of Yoel Hoffmann's Writing,” Jewish Studies Quarterly, No. 1 (1994).

“Mysticism and Messiahs in the Poetry of Binyamin Shvili,” Religion and Religiosity in Modern Jewish and Islamic Literatures, eds. G. Abramson and H. Kilpatrick (London: Routledge, 2005).