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Universal Jewish Encyclopedia

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eBook The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (10 vols. plus Reading Guide & Index)
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Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Inc.
Publication Date (Year):  2009
Language:  English

Scanned, OCRrd, indexed and proofread, the encyclopedia is delivered on DVD and requires 4.0 GB of hard-drive space; significantly enhanced content and additional savings are available when purchased as a part of our Combined Jewish Encyclopedia.

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ISBN: 1-59045-933-4

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About the Book -- The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (10 vols. plus Reading Guide & Index)

Of three multi-volume English-language Jewish Encyclopedias, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia occupies a very special place among Jewish-interest Encyclopedias: unlike the other two encyclopedias, the primary purpose of the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia was adult Jewish and non-Jewish education.

Created by Reform Rabbis and Jewish Scholars, many of whom escaped from Nazi Germany, the Encyclopedia exhibits a unique sensitivity to all forms of anti-Semitic agitation and malice and makes every effort to find allies among others, especially Christians, to forge a shield for Jewish people in the face of the coming catastrophe.

To do it, the Encyclopedia creators worked feverishly to bring the reading public the most trustworthy and authoritative information requesting contributions from many Christian scholars in Europe and the United States.

Aiming to SUPPLEMENT rather than replace already published twelve-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, the editors and authors of The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia have created a truly invaluable resource which lets readers learn even when its perspective on events fails.

Because many of its articles were published in 1943, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia continues to be one of the most engaging sources of reportage on the changing status of the world Jewry immediately preceding and during the first stages of the Holocaust.

The Encyclopedia's sensitive and highly instructive analysis and reporting of all major events throughout the amazing history of Jewish civilization continue making it one of the largest and most interesting -- if often not fully appreciated -- educational Jewish resources anywhere.

The Reading Guide and Index

A major element of this lively work is its Reading Guide which helps a reader find appropriate information in this massive ten-volume work. The Reading Guide turns the Encyclopedia into the largest textbook of Judaism and Jewish Studies.

The Guide using as its metaphor seven-branch national menorah of Israel, divides Encyclopedia's material into seven main areas: History, Literature, Religion, Jewish Life, Jews and non-Jews, and Jewish Contribution to the Civilization.

Made up of 100 well-thought-through Outlines, the Guide selects for a reader the most appropriate of more than 10,000 articles. The added convenience of the current electronic edition, is that the Guide and these articles have been linked and made accessible with a single click.

About the Book


With more than 10,000 articles, The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia covers vast number of topics including such major as:

I. HISTORY /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Jewish History in General * Jewish History by Periods * United States * Canada * West Indies * Central America * South America * Great Britain * France * Iberian Peninsula * Germany * Italy * Malta * Northern Europe *Poland * Central Europe * Balkans * Russia / Soviet Union * Africa * Mandate Palestine * Western Asia * Central Asia * Far East * Historians * Jewish Historiography

II. LITERATURE /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Languages of the Jews * Hebrew * Jewish Literature * Bible * Bible Interpretation and its Interpreters * Bible Influence on Civilization * Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha * Talmud * Midrash* Hebrew Literature * Yiddish Literature * Books and Manuscripts

III. RELIGION /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Jewish view of Religion in General * Religion of Israel * Judaism * Jewish views of God * Jewish Philosophy * Jewish Calendar * Customs and Ceremonies * Liturgy * Ethics and Morality * Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah *Angels and Demons * Movements and Divisions within Judaism

IV. JEWISH LIFE /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Family and Social Life * Costume * Diet and Hygiene * Jewish Music * Striking Jewish Phrases * Amusements * Jewish Education * Synagogue * Community and Communal Organization * Social Welfare * Jewish Law: its Sources, Development and Principles * Procedures in the Jewish Courts * Animals and Plants

V. JEWS AND NON-JEWS /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Judaism and Other Religions * Christianity * Jews as Observed by Non-Jews * Anti-Semitism * Philo-Semites

VI. GENERAL SUBJECTS /The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia/

Jewish Archeology * Jewish Symbols * Folklore * Families and Family Trees * Messiah and Messianic Movements * Political and Social Movements * Labor and Labor Organizations * Zionism * Race, Nation or Religion? * Facts and Figures About Jews


Jews in Art and Architecture * Jews in Astronomy * Jews in Athletics * Jews in Aviation * Jews in Biology * Jews in Chemistry * Jews in Chess * Jews in Dentistry * Jews as Educators * Jews in Finance * Jews in Industry * Jews as Inventors * Jews in Journalism * Jews in Literature * Jews in Mathematics * Jews in Medicine * Jews in Music * Jews in Philosophy * Jews in Public Office * Jews as Soldiers * Jews in the Theatre * Jews in Travel and Exploration * Jews in Various Fields * Noteworthy Jews


". . .still an important treasure-house of Jewish knowledge packed with useful information that, even in the 21st century, the reader may not find anywhere else. I especially value it for the best "authoritative and popular" articles, written by eminent scholars, about American Jewry up to the 1940s."

--- Rabbi Dr. Ferenc Raj
Congregation Beth El, Berkeley, CA

". . .the large number of subjects of current interest, not treated elsewhere, makes the work indispensable to students as well as to laymen seeking information. In spite of the eminence of some of the scholars included in the list of editors on the title page, the editorial work leaves much to be desired and errors of judgment as well as errors of fact still abound in many of the contributions. Some of the illustrations are of questionable taste or propriety. We find again pictures printed upside down (vol. IV, p. 37), pictures that have a remote relation to the subject under treatment (ib., pp. 176, 179) and erroneous readings in photographs (ib. p. 105, where Professor Ginzberg is named instead of Herman Rosenthal). However, the large number of illustrations, scattered throughout the volumes, many of which are printed here for the first time, fully compensates for the imperfections found here and there.

History and biography are given a most prominent position, and properly so. . . In the realm of biography, the editors were probably often confronted with many problems as to the inclusion or omission of certain personalities. They were rather generous in giving data about as many persons of importance as possible since such topics are in greater demand than many others. Carelessness in some data and inadequate proofreading are noticeable in several places, but in general these articles are illuminating and of general interest."

--- Rabbi Julius H. Greenstone
The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Apr., 1943), pp. 507-510

"I am a fairly regular user of the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia since I am a lecturer in Hebrew Scripture, Christian Old Testament and World Religions at Saint Joseph's Theological Institute. Even though it is dated, the basic historical information regarding Jewish matters up to the devastations of the 20th century are useful in giving historical insights into the Jewish interpreters, thinkers and attitudes toward matters directly related to the Sacred Text. Also, the PDF version has its own advantages in terms of being able to annotate and cross reference, as well as comfort in not having to haul paper around from the library to my desk."

--- Rev. Dr. Martin Badenhorst
Dominican Order, Republic of South Africa

"I have in my library almost all Jewish encyclopedias -- one can always find something in one encyclopedia, that is lacking in others -- with exception of Judische Lexicon. However, because it contains the translation of almost all Lexicon's five-volumes, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia goes a long way to fill that omission.

Although Encyclopedia contains a lot of information about Jews and Judaism of universal significance, its structure and content reflect primarily the ideological approaches of American Jewish scholars of the middle 20th century; consequently, Encyclopedia feels very "Americanized". This narrow focus on America, however, should not necessary be viewed only as a shortcoming but also one of its main advantages.

Because of it, Encyclopedia contains material on people and events from the history of what has become today the largest Jewish communities in the world, material that often can't be found even in the new Encyclopedia Judaica. In addition, Encyclopedia contains multitude of biographies of Jewish educators, journalists, businessman, trade-union activists, etc.

One of Encyclopedia's most valuable features is its extensive use of photos which can be found in no other easily accessible source. In fact, I used Encyclopedia just this way when preparing my last few articles. I highly recommend Encyclopedia's purchase -- all the more that the price is quite acceptable -- not only for scholars and researchers, but also for all interested readers."

--- Dr. Yuri Tabak
Dvar-Torah Seminar, Jewish Cultural Center, Moscow, Russia


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