The Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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9780195223910: The Dictionary of Jewish Biography
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From Abraham to Saul Bellow, from Moses Maimonides to Woody Allen, from the Baal Shem Tov to Albert Einstein, this comprehensive dictionary of Jewish biographies provides a first point of entry into the fascinating richness of the Jewish heritage. Compiled with the assistance of a distinguished group of scholars, theDictionary of Jewish Biographyprovides a rapid reference to the biographies of almost 4000 Jewish men and women who, over the past four millennia, have contributed to the life, history, and study of Judaism in all its facets. Those profiled represent every walk of life and every area of accomplishment. Included are rabbinic scholars, key religious figures, spiritual leaders, founders of modern movements, major writers, Enlightenment figures, novelists, journalists, scientists, mystics, Israeli politicians, musicians, actors and actresses, film stars, famous rabbis, distinguished cantors, biblical figures, economists, architects, athletes, and radicals and heretics. Each entry is followed by a short bibliography. The book includes an extended Introduction, which explains the criteria for inclusion, and outlines the history of Israel and the Jewish diaspora. This dictionary will prove essential for general readers interested in the evolution of Judaism from ancient times to the present day, a perfect study aid for students and teachers. This panoramic bibliographic survey provides a unique guide to the leading figures of the past and present.

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About the Author:


Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbokis one of the world's leading authorities on Judaism. He has written and edited over 70 books includingJudaism: History, Belief and Practice;The Future of Judaism; andFifty Key Jewish Thinkers. He is currently Professor of Jewish Theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter.

From Publishers Weekly:

This valuable new Judaica reference offers almost 4,000 brief biographies of people who have significantly contributed to Jewish life. Cohn-Sherbock, a rabbi and professor of Jewish theology at the University of Wales in Lampeter, spotlights biblical figures like the patriarch Abraham, modern figures like composer George Dreyfus and everything in between. On a single page, readers can learn about novelist E. L. Doctorow, Israeli soldier Ya'akov Dori, Babylonian philosopher and Talmudic commentator Dosa ben Saadyah, and first-century pseudo-messiah Dositheus. Those who made decidedly negative contributions to Jewish life have a place, too: there's the 13th-century Franciscan monk Nichols Donin, for example, who was responsible for burning countless copies of the Talmud. Maps and a short essay that traces Jewish history from antiquity to the present contextualize the entries. The only disappointment is the relatively short length of the biographical sketches. Most entries are only one paragraph, and some-such as the one telling us that the American National Cartoonist Society's Reuben award is named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg-are only a sentence. This dictionary is a great starting place, but serious students of Jewish life and history will need to go elsewhere for textured, detailed portraits of Jewish greats.
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