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The Universal Jewish encyclopedia


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The Jewish Encyclopedia
by Isidore Singer / Varda Books

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

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Good thinking.  But it is available free online as a PDF download (see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jewish_Encyclopedia_Volume_1.pdf).  Also, 1906 is quite old, and we would be better served with newer scholarship, such as: ENCYCLOPAEDIA JUDAICA, Second Edition (Keter Publishing, 2007).

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