This is a photograph of the Israeli writer and academic Leah Goldberg in one of her classes at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the photo, Leah can be seen wearing a white jacket at the front of a classroom or lecture hall. Next to her on the desk is a satchel, probably containing academic papers and work. Some words have been written on the blackboard behind her. She appears relaxed, smiling at her audience, who were probably her students.
Leah Goldberg taught at the Hebrew University from 1952 and was one of the founders of the department of comparative literature. She advocated the study of literature from different cultures and an openness to artistic forms from various cultural contexts.
Goldberg was a poet, author, playwright, and translator, writing for both adults and children. Her works are considered classics of Israeli literature. Among her famous children’s books is A Flat for Rent (דירה להשכיר), a story “....which tells of the various neighbours in an apartment block and the need for tolerance.” Other works reflect the life of children living in Israel such as The Children of Arnon Street (הילדים מרחוב ארנון), The Scatterbrain from Kfar Azar (המפוזר מכפר אז"ר) and Miracles and Wonders (ניסים ונפלאות). Goldberg also translated classics such as Tolstoy’s War and Peace.
Leah Goldberg was from a Jewish-Lithuanian family and learned Hebrew at a very young age. From the age of ten she kept a diary in Hebrew, and despite being fluent in various European languages, she only wrote in Hebrew. She immigrated to Israel in 1935 and settled in Tel Aviv, moving to Jerusalem in the 1950s when she became a lecturer at the Hebrew University.
Leah Goldberg died in 1970 at the age of 59. She was posthumously awarded the prestigious Israel Prize.