Gila Ramras-Rauch, an internationally distinguished scholar of Hebrew, Israeli and Holocaust literature and a leading authority on the writings of Aharon Appelfeld, died February 16 in her home in Brookline, Mass. She was 71.
Ramras-Rauch was the Lewis H. and Selma Weinstein Professor of Jewish Literature at Boston’s Hebrew College, where she taught for 23 years.
“Hebrew is my language,” she once told an interviewer. “I’m fascinated by the fact that people can create works of art from words we all use.”
Ramras-Rauch was best known for her definitive analysis of the literary works of Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld, winner of the 1983 Israel Prize for Literature. She was the author of six books.
In addition to her scholarship on Appelfeld, she was the author of “The Arab in Israeli Literature” (Indiana University Press, 1989) and co-editor of an anthology on contemporary Israeli writing about the Holocaust. Her Hebrew publications included a book on the Israeli novelist L.A. Arieli and a study of the early 20th-century novelist J.C. Brenner.
Born in Tel Aviv, Ramras-Rauch received degrees from Hunter College, City University of New York and Israel’s Bar-Ilan University. During her career, she taught at Bar-Ilan, Indiana University, the University of Texas, Ohio State University and Brandeis University.
Ramras-Rauch was the wife of the late Leo Rauch, who died in 1997. Her sons, Michael Rauch and Daniel Rauch, a sister, Rachel, and a brother, Dov, survive her.