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Last Updated: March 14, 2012

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The Jews of Khazaria 2nd Edition cover The Jews of Khazaria (3rd Edition)
by Kevin Alan Brook
The Jews of Khazaria recounts the eventful history of the Kingdom of Khazaria, which was located in Eastern Europe and flourished as an independent state from about the year 650 to the year 969. The Khazars held back the Arabs from invading Europe and Byzantium (similar to the role of the Franks in the West); hosted traders from all over Europe and Asia; influenced the language and government of early Rus; and impacted many other aspects of the medieval world. The Khazar kingdom was the only nation in its region with a permanent standing army and a supreme court consisting of representatives of multiple religions. In the 9th century, the Khazarian royalty and nobility, as well as a significant portion of the Khazarian population, embraced the Jewish religion.

The New Joys of Yiddish
by Leo Rosten
More than a quarter of a century ago, Leo Rosten presented the first comprehensive and hilariously entertaining lexicon of this colorful and deeply expressive language. With the recent renaissance of interest in Yiddish, and in keeping with a language that embodies the variety and vibrancy of life itself, this new edition brings Rosten's masterful work up to date. Revised by editor Lawrence Bush, in close consultation with Rosten's daughters, it retains the spirit of the original - with its wonderful jokes, tidbits of cultural history, Talmudic and Biblical references, and tips on pronunciation - and enhances it with hundreds of new entries and thoughtful commentary on how Yiddish has evolved over the years.

A Dictionary of Ashkenazic Given Names: Their Origins, Structure, Pronunciations, and Migrations
by Alexander Beider
A comprehensive study of Jewish surnames of Slavic, Germanic, and other origins. Also helps in tracing Jewish migrations from Bohemia, Moravia, Germany, and Kievan Rus into eastern Europe.

From a Ruined Garden From a Ruined Garden: Memorial Books of Polish Jewry (2nd Edition)
edited by Jack Kugelmass and Jonathan Boyarin, revised bibliography by Zachary Baker
After the fall of Nazi Germany, Jewish survivors of the Holocaust from Poland who immigrated to Israel and the American continent compiled memorial books to record details of the shtetl communities they once lived in that were now destroyed. This book contains 77 memorial book selections which describe daily life in the shtetl as well as life during the Holocaust and the experiences of survivors. The book also contains a bibliography of memorial books and an index of geographical names.
"An indispensable sourcebook.... Emphasis falls on the variegated, often joyful, culture of the Polish Jews, on what existed before the garden was ruined." - Geoffrey Hartmann, in The New Republic
"From these marvelous selections, one can see an entire culture unfolding." - Curt Leviant, in The New York Times Book Review

Great Jewish
Cities of Central and Eastern Europe Cover The Great Jewish Cities of Central and Eastern Europe: A Travel Guide and Resource Book to Prague, Warsaw, Cracow, and Budapest
by Eli Valley
The most comprehensive guidebook covering all aspects of Jewish history and contemporary life in this region, this book includes walking tours, historical sites, local legend and lore, detailed maps, and practical traveling information. The book emphasizes unique local customs and traditions and includes scores of stories about the synagogues, cemeteries, and Jewish communal buildings in each of the four cities it covers.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Learning Yiddish
by Benjamin Blech

Jewish Budapest: Memories, Rites, History
edited by Kinga Frojimovics and Géza Komoroczy, with Viktoria Pusztai and Andrea Strbik
This richly illustrated history of the Jews in Budapest, from medieval times to the present day, provides a comprehensive account of their culture and ritual customs. It looks, in turn, at each of the "Jewish quarters" of the city, focusing on patterns of settlement and occupation, and demography. The book pays special attention, on the one hand, to the usage of the Hebrew language and to Jewish scholarship and, on the other, to the integration of the Jews into society and to their assimilation, in certain periods.
"Jewish Budapest amasses huge amounts of information and lore about a city... At its best, the book offers vivid portraits, often with the aid of literary illustrations of the city's beloved Jewish institutions: its schools, its culture centre, even its one-time kosher restaurants. It also holds out hope that Jewish life in Hungary does have a future." - Ivan Sanders, in Budapest Review of Books

Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews
by Eva Hoffman

The Dictionary of Popular Yiddish Words, Phrases, and Proverbs
by Fred Kogos

The World That Was: Hungary/Romania, by Rabbi Yitzchok Kasnett
Explores 1000 years of Jewish history in Hungary and Romania, including the survival of Jews in Budapest after the Holocaust and the rebirth of Satmar Chassidus in America, among other topics.

Children of a Vanished World, photographs by Roman Vishniac
Between 1935 and 1938 the celebrated photographer Roman Vishniac explored the cities and villages of Eastern Europe, capturing life in the Jewish shtetls of Poland, Romania, Russia, and Hungary. This book presents 70 duotone photographs of Jewish children from eastern Europe. These images show children playing and studying in the midst of a world that was about to disappear; they capture the daily life of their subjects, at once ordinary and extraordinary. The photos are accompanied by a selection of nursery rhymes, songs, poems, and chants in both Yiddish and Hebrew with English translations.

Jewish Heritage
Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe
by Ruth Ellen Gruber, revised 2007 National Geographic edition
This book, by the co-founder of the Jewish Heritage Research Center of Syracuse, New York, is a comprehensive and detailed travel guide to the cultural heritage of Eastern European Jewry. This new edition contains completely updated information for all major sections of the book. The countries discussed are Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro), and Bulgaria.
"It is rare to find a book which fits the needs of both the traveler and the historian.... [This book is] the perfect combination to enable those who want to know more about the Jewish history of their destination as well as the sites to see..." - Miriam Weiner
"Gruber's expertise and passion for her subject adds a texture and evocativeness to Jewish Heritage Travel usually not found in guidebooks... she knows how to use telling details and observations to best advantage, making her book a rich and readable resource whether one is an armchair traveler or has an actual pilgrimage to the 'old country' in the offing." - Jewish Woman
"Thoroughly researched and compellingly written." - Chicago Sun-Times

A Travel Guide to Jewish Russia and Ukraine, by Ben G. Frank
Cities covered in this guide include St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. This is a guide to help Russian and Ukrainian Jews living abroad seek their roots. This 352-page paperback includes maps, photographs, and a bibliography.
"...a great mitzvah... readable, easy to follow and logical in presentation... Frank offers his readers a short and, usually, accurate portrayal of Jewish history in the Ukraine and Russia... Ben Frank's book will make it much easier to visit the places you may have heard or dreamed about... The book is heartwarming... [and] engrossing... What to take when traveling, and what Jewish sights there are to see are mentioned in this refreshing book about travel." - David Strom, in San Diego Jewish Times (September 14, 2000)
"Frank makes it amply clear that in spite of massive emigration and a history of repression, Russia and Ukraine are still home to a significant Jewish population that now struggles to reclaim its identity and build community... The author takes considerable pains to provide a historical context for the traveler or the armchair traveler. He is extremely knowledgeable about Russian as well as Russian Jewish history from early times through the Soviet period. That is both a strength and a weakness of the book. Side-by-side with fascinating and enlightening historical accounts are the names of people, places and events that Frank does not identify. They clutter the text and confuse rather than enlighten the reader. An even more serious problem is Frank's tendency to gloss over or paint a rosier picture of the problems that Jews faced in the past and face now, albeit in different forms... On the positive side, this recently published book works best as a travel guide. Frank has prodigiously researched places, historical and contemporary, that will charm and enlighten both the Jewish and non-Jewish traveler." - Pnina Levermore, in the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California (January 21, 2000)
"Mr. Frank's vignettes of Jewish history and contemporary Jewish life are interesting and well-written.... [Frank's book is] thorough." - Barbara Pash, in Baltimore Jewish Times (June 15, 2001)
"While the book is comprehensive in terms of historical background and contemporary must-see sites, both Jewish and secular, it sacrifices tourism information for history and lacks maps or suggested itineraries for the cited towns and cities... but it can inspire a visitor from abroad to witness a modern example of Jewish survival." - Steve Lipman, Hadassah Magazine (March 2001)
"While there are times when his text reads more like a historical companion than a travel guide, Frank does succeed in offering a unique and in-depth portrayal of Russian and Ukrainian Jewish life, and his book is a priceless asset to any traveler whose goal is to explore the Jewish past of these two historical countries." - Jacob Horowitz, The Jewish Advocate, Boston (August 11-17, 2000)

A History of East European Jews, by Heiko Haumann
The origins and life of East European Jewry took on new historical and political importance after the Holocaust. Two thirds of European Jewry and about one third of the world's Jewish population were murdered by the Nazis. In Poland alone - 99 per cent of Polish Jews - three million in all were killed; Yiddish as a spoken language more or less disappeared. This volume presents a history of East European Jewry from its beginnings to the period after the Holocaust. It gives an overview of the demographic, political, socio-economic, religious and cultural conditions of Jewish communities in Poland, Russia, Bohemia and Moravia. The structure of the book is chronological: a 'history of events' description enriched with cultural elements. Interesting themes include the story of early settlers, the 'Golden Age', the influence of the Kabbalah and Hasidism. Vivid portraits of Jewish family life and religious customs make the book enjoyable to read.

"This book provides the necessary knowledge of the development of Jewish communities in Poland, Russia, Bohemia and Moravia. The volume is well researched and balanced in its evaluations. It is a publication of importance for anyone interested in the history of Jews in Eastern Europe and should be available at any university library." - Angelika Timm, Researcher at the Free University in Berlin

Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust, by Michael C. Steinlauf
This book focuses on Polish witnessing of the Holocaust, an experience unprecedented in history. The book begins with a summary of Polish-Jewish relations up to and during the Holocaust. It then investigates issues such as post-war violence against Jewish survivors, the so-called anti-Zionist campaign of 1968-1970, and the appropriation of Holocaust memory in the struggle between the Solidarity movement and the Polish government. The struggle to integrate the image of the murdered Jew into Polish national memory emerges as a crucial feature of post-war Polish history and consciousness.

English-Yiddish Yiddish-English Dictionary: Romanized, Expanded Edition, by David C. Gross

There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok, by Yaffa Eliach
The author is a descendant of one of the five founding Babylonian Jewish families of Eishyshok (yes, the first Jews in Lithuania came from the south, not the west!).
"Her narrative begins in the 11th century, when Jewish farmers settled in the area. In encyclopedic detail, Eliach covers nearly a millennium of religious practice, commerce, agriculture, transportation, medical care, and education. Indeed, the shtetl of Eishyshok had its attractions, most notably its first-rate ''yeshivhot,'' or religious schools, which produced Haffetz Hayyim, a world-renowned 19th-century Talmudic scholar. But life was hard. Anti-Semitism and poverty were rife. Even as the spark of the French Revolution gradually emancipated Jews throughout Western Europe, in Eishyshok, as in the rest of Poland and Russia, Jews' political and human rights were nil. The people of Eishyshok were exiles, powerless to determine their own fate -- or, indeed, to protect their lives. This was no mecca.... The scholarship in ''There Once Was a World'' is convincing: Eliach spent more than 17 years interviewing survivors, tracking down archives, and assembling the book's vast collection of photographs.... Yet the 550 pages of Eliach's pre-Holocaust history, however comprehensive, make for onerous reading.... ''There Once Was A World'' follows the imperatives of the ''yizkor-bikher,'' or memorial books, in which survivors of Eastern European shtetls re-create the world that was lost to the Nazis." - Jonathan Dorfman, in The Boston Globe
"[This] is both history and memorial book, with more than a little flavouring of shtetl schmaltz for good measure.... The yearning of memory often overwhelms the sense of scholarly detachment, and this makes Eliach's evocation of her own vanished past less, rather than more, interesting: it is all a little predictable. But if fully two-thirds of the book is taken up by this guide to the culture and traditions of the late shtetl world, then the last third - where time starts to move again and we are hurried into a world of change, political upheaval and war - is more gripping." - Mark Mazower, in New Statesman
"Yaffa Eliach has given us the opportunity to visit one of these shtetls, to spend time in its kitchens and bathhouse, to chat with its residents, to traipse through its market, to sit in its synagogues and schools, to observe an election, to attend its weddings and funerals... Do not be put off by the heft of the book, or its length - rather, consider it an opportunity to visit or revisit a half-remembered place from childhood." - Sifrah Hollander, in AMIT

Bridging Three Worlds: Hungarian-Jewish Americans, 1848-1914
by Robert Perlman

Defiance: The Bielski Partisans, by Nechama Tec

Additional selections

Words on Fire: The Unfinished Story of Yiddish, by Dovid Katz

A Wandering Feast: A Journey Through the Jewish Culture of Eastern Europe, by Yale Strom with Elizabeth Schwartz

An original and uplifting view of a world lost, reborn, and rediscovered This is a delightful book that welcomes the reader to a wonderful journey through the Jewish culture of Eastern Europe: the still-vibrant villages and homes, the Yiddish folkways, the toe-tapping Klezmer music, and heart-warming traditional food. Yale Strom documented his journey -- organized around fourteen specific visits to authentic villages in Eastern Europe -- with a fascinating travelogue that includes inspiring stories, photographs, music that has never been printed, and recipes. He reveals that a culture long feared to be gone forever is still very much alive.

The Golden Tradition: Jewish Life and Thought in Eastern Europe, by Lucy S. Dawidowicz

A description of European Ashkenazic culture before the Holocaust by an American historian who lived in eastern Europe in the years just prior to World War II.

City of Rogues and Schnorrers: Russia's Jews and the Myth of Old Odessa, by Jarrod Tanny

From Exodus to Freedom: The History of the Soviet Jewry Movement, by Stuart Altshuler

Between 1967 and 1991, almost half of the entire Jewish population of the Soviet Union left for freedom to Israel, America, and other western countries. Altshuler tells the story of the American Jewish community's involvement in this exodus, and explores how such a massive emigration occurred for a population virtually written-off by world Jewry as "doomed" just two decades before. Using primary documents, letters, and first hand experience, the book puts into historical context what could become known as the one of the most uplifting and positive episodes in modern Jewish history.

Silent No More: Saving the Jews of Russia, the American Jewish Effort, 1967-1989, by Henry L. Feingold

Feingold offers a fresh and inspiring look at the Russian/Soviet Jewish emigration phenomenon. Haunted by its sense of failure during the Holocaust, the Soviet Jewry movement set for itself an almost unrealizable goal of finding sanctuary for Jews from a hostile Soviet government. Working together with activists in Israel and Europe, and with a remarkable group of refuseniks that had been denied the right to emigrate, this courageous group mounted a relentless campaign lasting almost three decades. Although Feingold credits Israel with initiating the struggle for Soviet Jewry and fostering it within American Jewry, he maintains that it was the actions of a secure and confident American Jewry that finally delivered the Jews from the Soviet Union. He finds early roots of the effort in the American Jewish involvement with Jewish emigration in late Tsarist Russia. He highlights both the human dimension of the exodus and the complex international ramifications of the movement, especially in the Middle East. The book concludes by pondering the role of the movement's effective public relations campaign, which focused on the human right of freedom of movement in hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Saved 1,200 Jews and Built a Village in the Forest, by Peter Duffy

An account of three brothers -- Tuvia, Zus, and Asael Bielski -- who saved over a thousand Jews in the Belarusian forests during World War II, preventing the Nazis from slaughtering them.

Code Name: Zegota: Rescuing Jews in Occupied Poland, 1942-1945, by Irene Tomaszewski and Tecia Werbowski

Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945, by Gunnar S. Paulsson

This book describes the survival of 28,000 Jews in a "secret city" within Warsaw during the Holocaust and explains how more Poles helped Jews than harmed them.

Kiev, Jewish Metropolis: A History, 1859-1914, by Natan M. Meir

Meir charts the history of Kiev Jewry from the official readmission of Jews to the city in 1859 to the outbreak of World War I. It explores the Jewish community's politics, its leadership struggles, socioeconomic and demographic shifts, religious and cultural sensibilities, and relations with the city's Christian population. Drawing on archival documents as well as the Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian press, contemporary works, memoirs, and belles-lettres, Meir reconstructs the day-to-day reality of life for Jews in a Russian metropolis, showing them at work, at leisure, in the synagogue, and engaged in the activities of myriad Jewish organizations and philanthropies. Includes 33 black-and-white illustrations and 4 maps.

Cantonists: The Jewish Children's Army of the Czar, by Larry Domnitch

The Cantonist era was a terrifying episode in Jewish history, and one that is etched in the collective memory of the Jewish people. Tsar Nicholas of Russia conscripted thousands of Jewish children into his army for up to 25 years! The Tsar's declared goal was to convert these children to Christianity. This book reveals the struggle of these youngsters to maintain their Judaism against impossible odds. Many failed. But some, like Golda Meir's grandfather, succeeded in reclaiming their heritage and reconnecting the chain of Jewish tradition. Today, thousands of Jews are descendants of those stalwart Cantonists.

Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity, by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

This is the first study of the military experience of some one to one-and-a-half million Jews who served in the Russian Army between 1827, the onset of personal conscription of Jews in Russia, and 1917, the demise of the tsarist regime. The conscription integrated Jews into the state, transforming the repressed Jewish victims of the draft into modern imperial Russian Jews. The book contextualizes the reasons underlying the decision to draft Jews, the communal responses to the draft, the missionary initiatives directed toward Jews in the army, alleged Jewish draft evasion and Jewish military performance, and the strategies Jews used to endure military service. It also explores the growing antisemitism of the upper echelons of the military toward the Jews on the eve of World War I and the rise of Russian-Jewish loyalty and patriotism.

Meshuggenary: Celebrating the World of Yiddish, by Payson R. Stevens, Charles M. Levine, and Sol Steinmetz

"Tracing the history of the Jewish lingua franca not only from a linguistic perspective, but from a cultural, religious and societal viewpoint as well, this spirited and informative reference offers readers a foundation for understanding the myriad facets of Yiddish culture.... The authors... are enthusiastic guides, and this motley exposition is a fun and entertaining crash course in everything it means to be Yiddish." - Publishers Weekly

Yiddish: A Nation of Words, by Miriam Weinstein

"I felt the affection for the language when I read the book. It was not an academic account, but an intelligent account of the story of a language, and that's hard to do. Most people approach the study of a language as a chore." - Ari Goldman, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University

"Author Miriam Weinstein... takes to her subject with enthusiasm. Her casual tone doesn't compromise her considerable intelligence, which shines especially in her discussion of the leading roles that women have played in the history of the language. (For centuries, women were not educated in Hebrew, so Yiddish became their particular idiom.) Another of the book's strengths is its account of the demise of Yiddish, which Weinstein attributes primarily to the trauma of the Holocaust and its aftermath of rapid assimilation..." - Michael Joseph Gross,

"Yiddish has long been a language hidden in plain sight. Almost everyone knows a little, a word or two, a joke perhaps, but what do they really know of the history, the tragedies and bitter controversies that characterized a language now on the U.N.'s endangered list but once spoken by 11 million people, three-quarters of the world's Jews, a tongue whose story, Miriam Weinstein claims, is 'perhaps unique .... No other language has been so adored, so despised, so ostentatiously ignored.'" - Kenneth Turan, in Los Angeles Times

"But compare the "revival" of Yiddish to, say, the revival of Hebrew and the harsh truth becomes apparent, as journalist and former documentary filmmaker Miriam Weinstein has the clarity and strength to tell us in her entertaining history, Yiddish: A Nation Of Words.... Weinstein has organized her complex international story partly by country, offering interlacing chapters on Russia, Poland, Germany, Israel and America.... According to Weinstein, "tens of thousands" of haredi children in America now learn Yiddish first and English second.... Weinstein's richly readable history is spiced with Yiddish aphorisms." - David Margolis, in The Jerusalem Report

"In her superb book, Weinstein explores Yiddish as an attempt to forge linkages with the Jewish past and make continuance. She is not a nostalgist; she does not romanticize the past because it is past as do some sentimental Jewish writers. Nor is she part of the new Jewish left -- who, whether in America or Israel, can find no heroism in the Jewish past. Weinstein enters the past to pay homage and to inform us of the rich language and culture of which we are heirs." - Marek Breiger, in Jewish Bulletin of Northern California

"The author is enthusiastic and warmly sentimental, addicted to comforting jokes and apt epigrams. Each of the book's 20 chapters offers a snapshot of the language in a given historical framework.... Weinstein's book, written in a popular style, is warmly recommended to readers who want a loving, serious, readable chronicle of a 1,000-year-old saga." - Bernard Baskin, in The Canadian Jewish News

"Indeed one can see Miriam Weinstein's love for this great language.... I am sure that Weinstein's book will also stimulate the revival of the Yiddish culture." - Jewish Post of New York

Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation, by Paul Kriwaczek

"Reading about the history of the Yiddish civilization has never been so engaging, uplifting, and pleasurable. ...the subsequent three chapters offer an enriching insight into the pre-history of the Yiddish people, such as the history of the Jewish presence and activity during the Roman period. His method of mixing narrative, history and analysis on so many intriguing topics, including those most sensitive in Jewish history (such as money lending, or the connection to the rise of Islam on the continent) is remarkable. Kriwaczek's journalistic skills are exemplified by his ability to describe the Yiddish people with such vivacity, from the history of trade, travel routes, language and literature, to the lives, celebrations, and weekly Shabbat rituals. ... The fifth chapter begins with the dawn of a new millennium, the birth of the Yiddish civilization, with Jews migrating north and east, searching for security, land, and the hope of a bright future. In it, we are led on a journey through the literary, religious, and cultural history of the Yiddish people, which at times feels slightly rushed given the importance of this period for the new civilization. Although a full chapter is dedicated to presenting the diversity of characters and lifestyles of the Yiddish people living in Europe between 1200 and 1500, it feels somewhat bumpy. Readers would benefit from more elaboration upon the events of this period. And yet the descriptions... are outstanding. ... Given the complex history of the Yiddish civilization, Kriwaczek's project was by no means an easy one, and as such its success, both with regard to its delightful style and fascinating content, is to be commended." - Anya Topolski, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

Resplendent Synagogue: Architecture and Worship in an 18th-Century Polish Community, by Thomas C. Hubka

A provocative interpretation of the art and architecture of a pre-modern wooden synagogue illuminates the social, historical, and religious context of an Eastern-European Jewish community (Gwodziec, in present-day Ukraine). Includes historical photographs, architectural drawings, maps, diagrams, and color illustrations.

Poland's Jewish Landmarks: A Travel Guide, by Joram Kagan

This guide lists Polish places that have a Jewish past and, in some cases, a Jewish present. The book contains numerous maps and illustrations, plus chronological tables for the history of Polish Jewry, and a list of congregations, synagogues, and Jewish organizations active in today's Poland, plus practical information for travelers to Poland.

Who Will Say Kaddish?: A Search for Jewish Identity in Contemporary Poland, by Larry Mayer and Gary Gelb

This book explores the fragile resurgence of Jewish life - and identity - in post-communist Poland. By the eve of the Holocaust, Poland was home to the second-largest Jewish population in the world. By war's end, its Jews had been decimated and their once-vibrant culture all but destroyed. The authors revisit their roots to research a rumor that Jewish life is being rekindled in modern Poland. What they discover are three generations of Jews - Holocaust survivors and their offspring - with differing historical perspectives. A sociocultural portrait - through interviews, photography, reportage, and personal memoir - of the Jewish resurgence that has taken place since the fall of the communist regime in 1989, the book shows how each group explores the issue of "Jewish" identity for themselves and for Poland at large.

The Moscow State Yiddish Theater: Jewish Culture on the Soviet Stage, by Jeffrey Veidlinger

This is the first book in English to trace the fascinating and tragic history of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, founded in 1919 and liquidated by the Soviet government in 1949. Since the conventional view of the fate of Jews in Soviet Russia is that from the beginning, the Soviet state pursued policies aimed at stamping out Jewish culture, it is surprising to learn that from the 1920s through World War II, secular Yiddish culture was actively promoted and Yiddish cultural institutions thrived, supported by the Soviet government, albeit for its own propaganda purposes. Drawing from newly available archives, Jeffrey Veidlinger uses the dramatic story of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater, the premiere secular Jewish cultural institution of the Soviet era, to demonstrate how Jewish writers and artists were able to promote Jewish national culture within the confines of Soviet nationality policies. He shows how a stellar group of artists, writers, choreographers, directors, and actors led by Solomon Mikhoels brought to life shtetl fables, biblical heroes, Israelite lore, exilic laments, and dilemmas of contemporary life under the guise of conventional socialist realism before the theater and many of its principal figures fell victim to Stalinist antisemitism and xenophobia after World War II. Enriched by rare photographs of the theater's artists and performances, this book brings to life a complex period in the history and culture of Soviet Jewry.

Jewish Russians: Upheavals in a Moscow Synagogue, by Sascha L. Goluboff

Combining ethnography with archival research, this book documents the changing face of the historically dominant Russian Jewish community in 1995 and 1996. Moscow synagogue attendees came from Georgian, Russian, Mountain (Azerbaijan and Dagestan), and Bukharan identities. Goluboff explains how they evaluate each other based on their economic success in the past decade. There are two chapters devoted to Mountain Jews (with reference to relations among Mountain, Georgian, Bukharan, and Russian Jews), two chapters looking at Russian and Georgian Jews, and one chapter on Russian Jewish synagogue history and current Russian Jewish religious issues. This book shows that Russian Jews are both Russian and Jewish in their identity.

"Goluboff is a great storyteller, brilliant observer and concise theorist -- and she definitely has a story to tell." - Dale Pesmen, author of Russia and Soul

Jewish Life After the USSR, edited by Musya Glants, Zvi Gitelman, and Marshall I. Goldman

Jewish Life after the USSR is the first book to study post-Soviet Jewry in depth. Its careful analyses of demographic, cultural, political, and ethnic processes affecting an important post-Soviet population also give insights into larger developments in the post-Soviet states. A fine-grained snapshot of one of the world's great Jewish centers, the volume is essential reading for those seeking to understand the past, present, and future of post-Soviet Jewry.

Jewish Philanthropy and Enlightenment in Late-Tsarist Russia, by Brian Horowitz

Rediscovering Traces of Memory: The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia, by Jonathan Webber and Chris Schwarz

74 color photographs bear witness to the great Jewish civilization that once flourished in Polish Galicia. The images record the sites of Jewish life and death, and the ways in which Jewish culture is being remembered today. Captions and detailed notes explain and contextualize the photographs.

"Wonderfully detailed... highly readable... evoke[s] a rich texture of memory and tradition and loss and even hope." - Ruth Ellen Gruber, author of National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe

"A stunning tribute to the Jewish heritage of Polish Galicia.... A treasure for future generations." - Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, author of Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, and Heritage

Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia, by Benjamin Nathans

A surprising number of Jews lived, literally and figuratively, "beyond the Pale" of Jewish Settlement in tsarist Russia during the half-century before the Revolution of 1917. Thanks to the availability of long-closed Russian archives, along with a wide range of other sources, Benjamin Nathans reinterprets the history of the Russian-Jewish encounter. In the wake of Russia's "Great Reforms," Nathans writes, a policy of selective integration stimulated social and geographic mobility among the empire's Jews. The reaction that culminated, toward the turn of the century, in ethnic restrictions on admission to universities, the professions, and other institutions of civil society reflected broad anxieties that Russians were being placed at a disadvantage in their own empire. Nathans's conclusions about the effects of selective integration and the Russian-Jewish encounter during this formative period will be of great interest to all students of modern Jewish and modern Russian history. In 2004 this book won the W. Bruce Lincoln Book Prize, awarded by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies.

Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism, and the Russian Jews, 1862-1917, by Jonathan Frankel

The Jews of Eastern Europe, 1772-1881 by Israel Bartal, translated by Chaya Naor

This book traces Jewish history from the time of the partitions of Poland until the outbreak of pogroms in the Russian Empire in the 1880s. After Poland was partitioned between Prussia, Russia, and Austria in the late 18th century, the autonomous Jewish communities became more ethnically conscious and modern.

"The book represents a remarkable achievement. Bartal presents the broad contours of nineteenth-century East European Jewish history even as he reworks them into a nontraditional narrative. He offers readers basic information about the staple features of the East European Jewish story--including the Hasidic and haskalah movements, the struggle for emancipation in two empires, the shtetl, population growth, urbanization, emigration, the crystallization of orthodox Judaism, and the rise of Jewish nationalism--while at the same time challenging us to think about the significance of those features in unconventional ways." - David Engel, New York University

"Bartal synthesizes a crucial period and revises the traditional understanding of key events. In fact, he alters in a substantial way the 'master narrative' of modern Jewish history." - Gershon Hundert, McGill University

Voices of the Matriarchs: Listening to the Prayers of Early Modern Jewish Women, by Chava Weissler

This book examines the Yiddish tkhines (vernacular women's devotional prayers) recited by women in Central and Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

"Lucid, passionate... fascinating. It is that rare work of scholarship that is existentially bracing, a sober, moving historical study that is also an invitation to new forms of religious engagement." - Steven J. Zipperstein

Not Just Stories: The Chassidic Spirit Through Its Classic Stories, by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

Photographing the Jewish Nation: Pictures from S. An-sky's Ethnographic Expeditions, photographed by Solomon Iudovin

Over 170 photos of Jews and Jewish places in the Pale of Settlement (specifically Volhynia, Podolia, and Kiev) in 1912-1914.

"The 169 photographs are accompanied by six informative and interpretive essays by members of the Petersburg Judaica. The photographs are of utmost importance. They include portraits, some as mug-shots for anthropological documentation, craftsmen staged at their works, teachers and children in traditional schools and views of shtetl homes and squares. An-Sky set out on his expedition to discover and recover the Jewish folk culture and traditions in order to make them available for modern Jewish artists as building blocks for the creation of modern national Jewish culture." - Jewish Book World

"Eye-opening... Iudovin's... photographs contain novelistic richness." - Benjamin Ivry, The Forward

The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World, by Mimi Sheraton

A bialy is a special kind of roll with onions that used to be manufactured by Jews in Bialystok, Poland. This book explores the history of the bialy and the people who made them.

The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread, by Maria Balinska

Traces the bagel's path from the bakeries of Poles and Polish Jews of the 16th and early 17th centuries to its proliferation in modern times.

The Jews of Hungary: History, Culture, Psychology, by Raphael Patai

"Anthropologist and historian Patai chronicles the rich and fascinating history of the Jews in the Carpathian Basin from Roman times through the present, tracing Jewish contributions to Hungarian finance, industry, science, medicine, and especially the arts and literature." - Book News, Inc.

At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims, and 'Pagans' in Medieval Hungary, c. 1000-c. 1300, by Nora Berend

Contains extensive discussions of medieval Jewish life in Hungary, from trade routes to religious practices to relations with Magyar Christians.

Jews at the Crossroads: Tradition and Accommodation During the Golden Age of the Hungarian Nobility, 1729-1878, by Howard N. Lupovitch

From Emancipation to Catastrophe: The Rise and Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry, by T. D. Kramer

This book examines the history of Hungary's Jewish community in the period from 1848 to 1945. Despite significant contributions to the development of the nation, and intense patriotism in times of national peril, Kramer finds that Jews remained perennial aliens in the land of Hungary.

Budapest '44: Rescue and Resistance 1944-1945, by Moshe Holczler

Tells the story of Shmuel Binyomin ("Wolf") Frey during World War II. He participated in a Jewish anti-Nazi resistance movement in Slovakia from 1940 until 1942 and led another resistance movement in Hungary in 1944. His good deeds helped to save thousands of Jews from the Nazis.

Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora, by Rebecca Kobrin

"Kobrin traces the growth of Bialystok Jewish life over the course of the nineteenth century: she establishes the character of the local Jewish community with attention to important communally organized self-help projects and acquaints readers with the diverse cultural and political movements that sprouted within the community. She highlights the critical role that the textile industry played in the economic growth and development of Jewish Bialystok. ... Rebecca Kobrin is to be commended for her stimulating and thought-provoking study." - Alexander Orbach, University of Pittsburgh, in Shofar

Vilna, by Israel Cohen and Esther Hautzig

The Last Bright Days: A Young Woman's Life in a Lithuanian Shtetl on the Eve of the Holocaust, by Beile Delechky

Black-and-white photographs of Jewish life in the Lithuanian Jewish shtetl of Kavarsk in the 1930s.

The Last Days of Jerusalem of Lithuania: Chronicles from the Vilna Ghetto and the Camps 1939-1944, by Herman Kruk

The Holocaust in Lithuania 1941-1945: A Book of Remembrance, edited by Rose Lerer Cohen and Saul Issroff

These 4 volumes are based on the ongoing Lithuanian Holocaust Names Project, a listing of names collated to date of Jews murdered in the Holocaust in Lithuania. This comprehensive history also includes important information, such as a list of Yahrzeit (Memorial) dates of Lithuanian Jewish communities, and detailed reference lists of films, books and articles on the Lithuanian Holocaust. Dr Stephen D. Smith, of Beth Shalom Holocaust Center, Nottingham wrote a very moving introduction on the importance of names in perpetuating Holocaust memory.

"...outstanding work" - Shalom Bronstein, in Avotaynu

The World That Was: Lithuania, by Rabbi Yitzchok Kasnett

First-person accounts from such people as Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, Rabbi Nochum Zev Dessler, Rabbi Avigdor Miller, and Rebbetzin Zlota Ginsburg; histories of famous and little-known places, more than 100 photographs, stories, maps and statistics about the way it was and the people who shaped today's yeshivah world.

The World That Was: Poland, by Rabbi Yitzchok Kasnett

The life and Torah consciousness of Jews in the shtetlach, towns, and cities of Poland. Through interviews, research, maps, pictures and charts, it conveys the life, inspiration, vitality, and achievements of pre-war Polish Jewry.

Once Upon A Shtetl: A Fond Look Back at a Treasured Slice of the Jewish Past, by Chaim Shapiro

An exploration of the way of life of Jews in shtetls in pre-WWII Poland, Lithuania, and czarist Ukraine and Belarus, including their home life and yeshiva studies. Includes some details about the shtetl of Lomza.

Traveling with the Maggid: A Journey to Great Torah Centers of Yesteryear, by Rabbi Paysach Krohn

Rabbi Krohn takes readers on a journey to Jewish yeshivas of old Europe prior to World War II. Join the rabbi in exploring the sights of Vilna, Ponevezh, Telshe, Kelm, Kovno, Slabodka, Radin, Volozhin, Minsk, Mir, Baranovitch, and Grodno and many of the religious personalities who lived there. Discover the legacies of the legendary roshei yeshiva and rabbanim that have made these shtetelach part of the treasury of recent Jewish memory. The book is accompanied by color photos.

The War of a Jewish Partisan, by Yechiel Granatstein

Memoirs of a Jew who fought Nazis and his Russian comrades.

From Kletzk To Siberia: A Yeshivah Bachur's Wanderings During the Holocaust, by Rabbi Alter Pekier

The moving odyssey of yeshivah students during the war.

Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe under Nazi Occupation, by Isaiah Trunk

Forced Out: The Fate of Polish Jewry in Communist Poland, by Arthur J. Wolak

Jewish Poland - Legends of Origin: Ethnopoetics and Legendary Chronicles, by Haya Bar-Itzhak

A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia, by Alexander Beider

Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine, by Omer Bartov

Symbiosis and Ambivalence: Poles and Jews in a Small Galician Town, by Rosa Lehmann

Jews and Heretics in Catholic Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post Reformation Era, by Magda Teter

Contrary to the common contention that the Catholic Church triumphed in Counter-Reformation Poland, this study reveals that from the rise of the Reformation and the rapid dissemination of its new ideas, the Catholic Church was overcome with a strong sense of insecurity. The beleaguered Church sought to separate Catholics from non-Catholics: Jews and heretics. This process helped form a Polish identity that led to racial anti-Semitism and to the exclusion of even most assimilated Jews from the category of Poles. The book portrays Jews not only as victims of Church persecution but as active influential participants in Polish society.

Klezmer! Jewish Music From Old World to Our World, by Henry Sapoznik

For the first time, Yiddish music scholar Henry Sapoznik traces the complete history of this vital musical tradition from the Eastern European Jewish musicians who brought with them a rich tradition of band music known as klezmer (from the Yiddish word for musician); to the influences of the dance bands and swing bands of the 1920s and 1930s; to the 1970s, when a new group of young Jewish musicians rediscovered this music; and through today's rebirth as world music.

"With the rise of such groups as the Klezmatics and Klezmer Conservatory Band, the invigorating street music of Eastern European Jewish bands has been given a welcome new life. In this exceptional book, Sapoznik examines this recent phenomenon while going back to the last of the Old-World players, uncovering rare recordings and visiting with surviving musicians for a first-hand look at a vital art form that came perilously close to extinction." - Marc Shulgold, in Rocky Mountain News (December 19, 1999)

"...[Sapoznik is] the ideal person to write a history of klezmer... a scholarly history spiced with sharp, amusing opinions..." - The New York Times (August 28, 2000)

Profiles of a Lost World: Memoirs of East European Jewish Life Before World War II, by Hirsz Abramowicz

First published in a Yiddish edition in 1958, "Profiles of a Lost World" is a source of information about Eastern Europe before World War II as well as an touchstone for understanding a rich and complex cultural environment. Hirsz Abramowicz (1881-1960), a prominent Jewish educator, writer and cultural activist, knew that world and wrote about it, and his writings provide an eyewitness account of Jewish life during the first half of the 20th century.

A Journey to a Nineteenth-Century Shtetl: The Memoirs of Yekhezkel Kotik, by Yekhezkel Kotik and David Assaf

The Fragility of Goodness: Why Bulgaria's Jews Survived the Holocaust, by Tzvetan Todorov

Beyond Hitler's Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria's Jews, by Michael Bar-Zohar

"...only few people know about one of World War II's exceptional miracles: the heroic rescue of the Bulgarian Jews. It is an unknown chapter of the history of the Shoah (the Holocaust).... Bar-Zokar decided to tell this story of a miracle. He conducted a deep research in many countries. He exposed many new primary sources. He used oral history as well. He, first of all, went back to his original country, Bulgaria, and checked every archive. The outcome of this emotional research is an excellent analytical account.... [W]hen the local population refused to cooperate with the Nazis, the scope of the 'Final Solution' shrunk dramatically. The Bulgarians refused to expel their Jews. They objected to the Nazi plans to bring the final solution to their country. Of course, many Bulgarians were Fascists and pro-Nazi. Of course, the Bulgarian government established a special office for 'Jewish Problems' but at the end of World War II, Dr. Bar-Zokar concluded in this 268 pages the following: 'Not one Bulgarian Jew was sent to the death camp in Poland. The Bulgarian Jews became the only Jewish community in the Nazi sphere of influence whose number increased during World War II' (p. 268).... Bulgarian Jewry was rescued and survived until its Soviet liberators came in September 1944. ....[T]he total dependency on gentile's sources of information contributed to the level of effectiveness of the Nazi's 'final solution' apparatus. As to the Bulgarian scene: There is no doubt that a young secretary, Liliana Panitza, has deserved many thanks from Jews. As a worker in Commissar Belev's office, she leaked information about deportation or other news to the Jews." - Gad Nahshon, in The Jewish Post of New York

Imagining Russian Jewry: Memory, History, Identity, by Steven J. Zipperstein

Jews in Russia: The Last Four Centuries, a Documentary History, by Jonathan D. Porath

Ideals Face Reality: Jewish Law and Life in Poland, 1550-1655, by Edward Fram

Survivors of the Holocaust in Poland: A Portrait Based on Jewish Community Records 1944-1947, by Lucjan Dobroszycki.

"The fate of Jews in Poland after the Second World War is a dramatic and important, but understudied, topic of modern European history. Dobroszycki's volume, by bringing out comprehensive documentation and statistical data, provides solid foundation for further research on the subject. An important contribution to modern European and Jewish history." - Jan T. Gross, New York University

Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz, by Jan T. Gross

Jews in Poland-Lithuania in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity, by Gershon David Hundert

Jews in Early Modern Poland, edited by Gershon David Hundert

Poles, Jews, and the Politics of Nationality: The Bund and the Polish Socialist Party in Late Czarist Russia, 1892-1914, by Joshua D. Zimmerman

Sparks Amidst the Ashes: The Spiritual Legacy of Polish Jewry, by Byron L. Sherwin

No Way Out: The Politics of Polish Jewry 1935-1939, by Emanuel Melzer

"Melzer recounts how Polish Jews waged a political battle against economic persecution, hostile adminsitrative practices, discriminatory legislation, and violent riots as antisemitism solidified. He attributes their failure to the lack of charismatic leadership and an organizational framework based on common Jewish destiny and mutual identification." - Book News

The Politics of Inclusion and Exclusion: Jews and Nationalism in Hungary, by Vera Ranki

The Hungarian Jewish Catastrophe: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, by Randolph L. Braham

History of Jewish Life from Eastern Europe to America: The Lost World and the Discovered World, by Milton Meltzer

Meltzer uses documents, letters, diary entries, songs, poems, and other materials to explain the reasons for the Ashkenazic migration to the United States.

The Jews of Pinsk, 1506 to 1880, by Mordechai Nadav

Jews were a majority of Pinsk's population from the end of the eighteenth century. Pinsk boasted both traditional rabbinic scholars and famous Hasidic figures, and over time became an international trade emporium, a center of the Jewish Enlightenment, a cradle of Zionism and the Jewish Labor movement, and a place where Orthodoxy struggled vigorously with modernity.

New Voices of Russian Jewry: A Study of the Russian-Jewish Press of Odessa in the Era of the Great Reforms, 1860-1871, by A. Orbach

Making Jews Modern: The Yiddish and Ladino Press in the Russian and Ottoman Empires, by Sarah Abrevaya Stein

Jewish Liberal Politics in Tsarist Russia, 1900-1914: The Modernization of Russian Jewry, by Christoph Gassenschmidt

Stalin's Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953, by Jonathan Brent and Vladimir Pavlovich Naumov

Stalin's Secret Pogrom: The Postwar Inquisition of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, edited by Joshua Rubenstein and Vladimir Naumov

Out of the Red Shadows: Anti-Semitism in Stalin's Russia, by Gennadi V. Kostyrchenko

An expose of state-sponsored Jew-hatred during the Stalinist era, researched through the archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the KGB. The documents describe the suppression of all free manifestations of Jewish life, forced assimilation, and the purging of Jews from most official positions. Soviet Jews fought valiantly against fascism in World War II, yet they discovered after the war that an even greater threat confronted them at home from their national leader. Kostyrchenko documents the systematic elimination of Jews from journalism, the arts, humanities, and industry. He concludes by examining hitherto secret records of the infamous "doctors' plot" launched by Stalin just prior to his death.

Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939, by Anna Shternshis

Anna Shternshis's fascinating study traces the creation of a Soviet Jewish identity that disassociated Jewishness from Judaism. The cultural transformation of Soviet Jews between 1917 and 1941 was one of the most ambitious experiments in social engineering of the past century. During this period, Russian Jews went from relative isolation to being highly integrated into the new Soviet culture and society, while retaining a strong ethnic and cultural identity. This identity took shape during the 1920s and 1930s, when the government attempted to create a new Jewish culture, "national in form" and "socialist in content." Soviet and Kosher is the first study of key Yiddish documents that brought these Soviet messages to Jews, notably the "Red Haggadah," a Soviet parody of the traditional Passover manual; songs about Lenin and Stalin; scripts from regional theaters; Socialist Realist fiction; and magazines for children and adults. More than 200 interviews conducted by the author in Russia, Germany, and the United States testify to the reception of these cultural products and provide a unique portrait of the cultural life of the average Soviet Jew.

A Century of Ambivalence: The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1881 to the Present, by Zvi Gitelman

"Wonderful pictures.... an uplifting [book] for a broad and general audience." - Alexander Orbach, in Slavic Review

"Anyone with even a passing interest in the histoy of Russian Jewry will want to own this splendid... book." - Janet Hadda, in Los Angeles Times

Pogroms: Anti-Jewish Violence in Modern Russian History, edited by John D. Klier and Shlomo Lambroza

Three major waves of anti-Jewish rioting swept southern Russia and Russian Poland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this book, distinguished scholars of Russian Jewish history explore the origins and nature of these pogroms, which were among the most extensive outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence before the Holocaust.

Imperial Russia's Jewish Question, 1855-1881, by John D. Klier

The reform era in Russia (1855-1881) witnessed the emancipation of the serfs, economic and social change, the reform of all imperial institutions, and the growth of national identity among Russians and the Empire's expanding Jewish population. Consequently, the Jewish Question became one of most hotly debated topics in Russia. Attitudes toward the Jews which evolved during this period persisted up to the Revolution and beyond. This book, based on exhaustive archival research of materials published during the period, studies the interplay of public opinion and official policy. The author examines the attitudes of all sectors of Russian educated society towards the Jews. He also explores how a new group, the Russian Jewish intelligentsia, sought to define a modern Jewish identity in the midst of a multi-ethnic Empire.

Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution, by Kenneth B. Moss

Between 1917 and 1921, as revolution convulsed Russia, Jewish intellectuals and writers across the crumbling empire threw themselves into the pursuit of a "Jewish renaissance". At the heart of their program lay a radically new vision of Jewish culture predicated not on religion but on art and secular individuality, national in scope yet cosmopolitan in content, framed by a fierce devotion to Hebrew or Yiddish yet obsessed with importing and participating in the shared culture of Europe and the world.

Jews and Jewish Life in Russia and the Soviet Union, edited by Yaacov Ro'i

The Jews of the Soviet Union: The History of a National Minority, by Benjamin Pinkus

The Hebrew Novel in Czarist Russia: A Portrait of Jewish Life in the 19th Century, by David Patterson

Yiddish and the Creation of Soviet Jewish Culture: 1918-1930, by David Shneer

A Prayer for the Government: Ukrainians and Jews in Revolutionary Times, 1917-1920, by Henry Abramson

Collaboration in the Holocaust: Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44, by Martin Dean

Documents on Ukrainian Jewish Emigration: Jewish Life in the Ukraine After the 2nd World War: Emigration and Crises of National Identity: A Documentary Source Book, 1944-1987

Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans, by Jack Kagan and Dov Cohen

Soviet Zion: The Quest for a Russian Jewish Homeland, by Allan Laine Kagedan

Rewriting the Jew: Acculturation Narratives in the Russian Empire, by Gabriella Safran

The Life and Death of a Polish Shtetl (Strzegowo-Osada), edited by Feigl Bisberg-Youkelson and Rubin Youkelson

Lives Remembered: A Shtetl Through a Photographer's Eye by Zalman Kaplan, edited by Lou Kaplan

A collection of photographs of Jewish life in the town of Szczuczyn, Poland from the 1890s up to the outbreak of World War II.

Yiddishland, by Gerard Silvain and Henri Minczeles - text and photos

Holocaust in Romania: Facts and Documents on the Annihilation of Romania's Jews, by Matatias Carp, translated by Sean Murphy

The Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies Under the Antonescu Regime, 1940-1944, by Radu Ioanid

The Murder of the Jews in Latvia, 1941-1945, by Bernhard Press

A Second Exodus: The American Movement to Free Soviet Jews, edited by Murray Friedman and Albert D. Chernin

The Prime of Yiddish, by David Passow

For hundreds of years, the Jews of Eastern Europe prayed and studied in Hebrew, but laughed and consoled each other in Yiddish. Before the 20th century had reached its half-way point, Jewish life in Europe, where the largest and most creative Yiddish-speaking population in the world had been concentrated for centuries, would be almost completely wiped out. The flight of European Jews to the New World created exciting opportunities for the Yiddish language. Books, journals, newspapers, and radio stations flourished as both the people and the language became more socially refined and politically sophisticated. David Passow explores this vibrant period which streaked across the heavens of Jewish history like a meteor, creating a brief but unparalleled age of culture, thought, poetry, and literature.

Modern English-Yiddish, Yiddish-English Dictionary, by Uriel Weinreich

"The Dictionary is designed in the main for persons who have a firm grounding in English and at least a rudimentary command of Yiddish and are eager to broaden their mastery of Yiddish vocabulary and phraseology." - from the Author's Preface by Uriel Weinreich

College Yiddish: An Introduction to the Yiddish Language and to Jewish Life and Culture, by Uriel Weinreich

The Meaning of Yiddish, by Benjamin Harshav

A Dictionary of Yiddish Slang and Idioms, by Fred Kogos

Pearls of Yiddish Poetry, edited by Joseph Mlotek

The Inexhaustible Wellspring: Reaping the Rewards of Shtetl Life, by Heszel Klepfisz

Modern science, philosophy, thought and reason owe a great debt to the Jewish ghettos that comprises shtetl life in Europe. Contrary to popular belief, the shtetl was not a place where fiddlers on the roof watched the world pass them by. Quite the contrary. The author presents clear historical data to show that many great minds which grew out of the shtetl refused to shed their Jewishness in order to achieve fame in the world at large. In his cogent analysis, the author reveals the great personalities that blossomed in the caldron of shtetl life -- greats like The Baal Shem Tov, Y.I. Peretz, Franz Rosenzweig, Januz Korczak, and many others.

Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl, by Mark Zborowski

The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire, by James Loeffler

An exploration of how Russian Jewish musicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries performed Russian music in classical conservatories.

Yiddish Folktales, edited by Beatrice Silverman Weinreich, translated by Leonard Wolf

Published in cooperation with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. Part of the "Library of Yiddish Classics" series.

Folktales of the Jews, Volume II: Tales from Eastern Europe, translated by Lenn Schramm

A collection of 71 tales from Ashkenazic culture. The tales were selected from the Israel Folktale Archives at The University of Haifa, Israel (IFA), a treasure house of Jewish lore that has remained largely unavailable to the entire world until now.

Tormented Master: The Life and Spiritual Quest of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, by Arthur Green

The Rebbes of Chortkov, by Rabbi Yisroel Friedman

Traces the history of the dynasty of chassidic Chortkov rebbes that began in Rizhin, Ukraine.

The House of Rizhin: Chassidus and the Rizhiner Dynasty, by Rabbi Menachem Brayer

The life and teachings of Rabbi Yisroel of Rizhin, Ukraine and the history of chassidic dynasties that began with him. Also describes the beginnings of the Chassidic philosophy to Judaism.

Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, by Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Reinman

Dozens of stories about this 18th-19th century Chassidic gaon and tzaddik are placed in the context of his classic commentary Kedushas Levi.

The Earth is the Lord's: The Inner World of the Jew in Eastern Europe, by Abraham Joshua Heschel and Ilya Schor

Portrays the customs and spiritual life of Eastern European Jews. Based on a speech Heschel gave in 1946.

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