This multicultural reference work on Jewish folklore, legends, customs, and other elements of folklife is the first of its kind.
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There are many resources on aspects of Jewish culture and folklore around the world, but this comprehensive, accessible work may be the first to bring together the traditions from many lands and across time. The 250 alphabetically arranged articles by 90 scholars, mainly from the U.S. and Israel, cover legends, customs, other elements of folklife, and contemporary archives and resources. The clearly written entries include major themes, beliefs, and traditions from cultures around the world, both contemporary and historical. Entries include China, Ellis Island, Ethiopia, Holocaust, Internet, and Western Wall. There are extensive biographies of Jewish scholars.The articles show how artifacts, rituals, ceremonies, biblical figures, and legends have contributed to the continuity, diversity, and richness of Jewish culture globally. The sources are oral, written, biblical, and legal. Extensive bibliographies after each entry and see also references lead the user further. There are black-and-white photos and illustrations as well as 18 color plates. Extensive appendixes, sources, and an accurate index reflect the diversity and richness of the field. Although the work is aimed at advanced students, the scope of the resource makes it a highly recommended guide for general readers as well, and it is recommended for most public and academic libraries. --Arthur MeyersReview:
"Indeed, one can imagine that students looking for specific knowledge may first read it online. Yet an encyclopedia is always larger than the sum of its parts. This is particularly so in the present case. Knowledge may change and be updated, but the encyclopedia will remain a benchmark in the history of Jewish folklore research, celebrating the achievements of this field in the last 150 years. In that, the encyclopedia provides the most comprehensive answer to what Jewish folklore is."
- Dani Schrire, The Program for Folklore and Folk-Culture at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, Israel
Folklore 126:1, 105-107 2015
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