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The Jewish Cultural Tapestry

Here, in one compact volume, is an illuminating survey of Jewish folkways on five continents. Filled with fascinating facts and keen insights, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry is a richly woven fabric that vividly captures the diversity of Jewish life. All traditional Jews are bound together by the common thread of the Torah and the Talmud, notes author Steven Lowenstein, but this thread takes on a different coloration in different parts of the world as Jewish tradition and local non-Jewish customs intertwine. Lowenstein describes these widely varying regional Jewish cultures with needlepoint accuracy, highlighting the often surprising similarities between Jewish and non-Jewish local traditions, and revealing why Jewish customs vary as much as they do from region to region. From Europe to India, Israel to America, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry offers an engaging overview of the customs and folkways of a people united by tradition, yet scattered to the far corners of the earth.
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About the Author

Steven M. Lowenstein is Isadore Levine Professor of Jewish History at the University of Judaism. He lives in Los Angeles, California.


The Diaspora bred a multitude of customs among a very diverse world Jewish population. Eastern and Western, village, town, and, later, modern urbanized Jews maintained their distinct religious identities while shaping their lives under local conditions. What was the origin of particular customs? What impact did local language, food, and music, among other cultural phenomena, have on these Jewish populations? Lowenstein (Jewish history, Univ. of Judaism; The Berlin Jewish Community) has written a study of all forms of Jewish folk traditions, comparing and contrasting such customs as dress, food, music, religious rites, and life-cycle rituals. The richness of these various traditions makes this book a wonderful read and a primer on the diversity within the cohesive international Jewish community. An excellent choice for public and academic libraries.DIdelle Rudman, Touro Coll. Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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