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The Jewish Encyclopedia

by Isidore Singer

Bibliographic information

TitleThe Jewish Encyclopedia
AuthorIsidore Singer
PublisherVarda Books
Publication Date2004


The monumental 12-volume work which laid the foundation of Jewish scholarship in America, written by more than 400 contributors from all over the world--many considered "the founding fathers" of their respective disciplines,--The Jewish Encyclopedia remains the standard in many important areas of Judaica.

Originally published between 1901-1906, the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia is in plain English written from an American perspective.

It contains over 15,000 articles covering all important aspects of Jewish life until the beginning of 20th century (articles dealing with Tanakh alone take up almost 1,500 pages) and more than 2,100 Jewish-interest illustrations, which can be used royalty-free in your personal and non-commercial projects.

While the Encyclopedia does not contain information on modern Jewish History (e.g., the creation of Israel, the Holocaust, Soviet Jewry etc.), it neither does contain 100 years of accumulated cultural bias, thus providing an invaluable "different point of view" which should enable you to take a fresh look at today's realities and evaluate prospects for the future.

The Encyclopedia's coverage is immense: you get authoritative, citable information on the most important topics of Jewish History, Biography, Sociology, Literature, Theology, Philosophy, Jewish beliefs, People, Places, Language, Scripture, Holidays, Practices, and Customs.

Among JE's features:

  • Almost 10,000 pages of authoritative, carefully organized, relevant Jewish knowledge

  • Easy-to-read, attractive enhanced Scholar PDF format

  • Preserved printed book metaphor layout for maximum of browsing convenience

  • Completely re-keyed text that matches printed edition throughout

  • Text magnification of up to 6400% without any loss of resolution

  • Sophisticated navigation system

  • Searchability individually or collectively with other PDF books in many different ways

  • Unrestricted printing and copying (for personal use only)

  • License to use on up to three computers at the same time

  • Accessibility off-line as well as online from any Windows PC

  • About the Author 

    Isidore Singer ---

    New Page 54

    SINGER, ISIDORE, editor (originator of THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA) and writer, b. Weisskirchen, Moravia, 1859; d. New York city, 1939. He studied at the Universities of Vienna and Berlin (Ph.D., 1884), and founded and published the Allgemeine Osterreichische Literaturzeitung (1884-85).

    Becoming a literary secretary to Count Alexandre Foucher de Careil, French ambassador at Vienna, he followed him to Paris, where he joined the press bureau of the French Foreign Office and also became editor-in-chief of La vraie parole (1893-94). Through this paper, which he founded to counteract the anti-Semitism propagated by Edouard Drumont's La Libre parole, Singer defended Alfred Dreyfus fearlessly.

    Encouraged by an editorial written for the American Hebrew Singer went to New York city (1895) to carry out his life work, The Jewish Encyclopedia. Having done the preliminary work together with Richard J. H. Gottheil and Kaufmann Kohler, he became managing editor of the encyclopedia, and was in charge of the department of modern biography (for the period from 1750 to 1904).

    Singer was managing editor also of the International Insurance Encyclopedia (1909) and co-editor Kuno Francke of Harvard University) of the German Classics of the 19th and 20th Centuries He was founder (1922) and literary director of the interdenominational Amos Society, a monotheistic world league for better understanding among peoples, and president of the Justice Lodge of the B'nai B'rith.

    Singer was a prolific writer in three languages. His works include: Berlin, Wien und der Antisemitismus Presse und Judentum (1882); Sollen die Juden werden? (1884); Die bieden Elektrenhumanistische Bildung und der klassische Unterricht (1884); Auf meiner Mutter (Hebrew trans., Solomon Fuchs, 1888); Le prestige de la France en Europe (1889); La question (1893); Anarchie et antisemitisme (1894); Der Kampf ums Recht (1902); Russia at the Bar of People (1904); Christ or God? (1908); Social (1923); A Religion of Truth, Justice and Peace which was issued by the Amos Society and claimed to be "a challenge to church and synagogue to lead in the realization of the social and peace gospel of the Hebrew prophets."

    Singer edited The World's Debt to the Jew (6 vols.), translated books from French into German, including treatises by James Darmesteter and Zadoc Kahn. Singer's favorite idea was the establishment of world peace and of close spiritual cooperation of Jews and Christians. "This little man," wrote Gutzon Borglum, "with his vast dome and sparkling eyes, whom I tried in my own modest way, as a tribute to a friend, to fix in bronze as a type of Jewish thinker, involuntarily reminds me of his great predecessors, and models, Leibnitz and Diderot." Extensive tribute was paid Singer on the occasion of his sixtieth (1919) and seventieth (1929) birthdays.

    The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia


    "...many of its entries (e.g., those of Louis Ginzberg) have remained unsurpassed statements."
    Encyclopedia Judaica

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