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.