Celebrating the 8 days of Hanukkah – Day 5

This year, we are celebrating the 8 days of Hanukkah with 8 of the Hebrew University’s bright students.

On each day we will be posting a picture along with a q&a.

For the 5th day of Hanukkah meet Noa Goldblatt-Leibovitc, PhD student:


Noa is 29 years old and lives in Petah Tikva. She is married and a new mom to 7 months old son, Ron. Noa has studied at the Hebrew University for the past 7 years and has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in linguistics. She is a Presidential Scholar in the Humanities at the Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

Why HebrewU?
“I never considered any other university. I’m originally from the North, so to me Jerusalem always felt like a bigger kibbutz. A lot of people from my town ended up at the Hebrew University. It felt like home. At Mandel, I am part of a community of researchers in the humanities. It offers a really nice work environment where I can focus on studies, while getting to know people from different disciplines. We brainstorm and offer each other an outside perspective, which is helpful and interesting.”

What are you researching?
“My research topic is Typology of German Speech Islands. When a language is spoken outside of its usual cultural/geopolitical area, it’s called a speech Island. I research places where German is spoken in a community outside of Germany. For example, Pennsylvania German spoken by the Amish. I find it interesting linguistically and socially because you think about the Amish, for example, who are a closed off group, so that allowed them to maintain their language. When people are more involved with the outside community, immigrant languages tend to disappear.”

What is your favorite holiday memory?
My Yemenite grandmother makes the best sufganiyot ever. Anyone who ever tasted them will testify that they are the best. She always insists on never making them before the first candle, so the whole family gathers from all across the country and waits for them.

What was a miracle that happened to you this year?
My son being born. He is a miracle.

What hashtag represents the holidays for you?

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