More Judaica

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More on the new edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica:

A series of topics have been expanded in the new encyclopedia: women and gender in the Jewish world, Holocaust studies, Jewish law, kabbala research (in the period after Gershom Scholem), the Talmud, the Bible and Bible criticism, popular culture in the Jewish world (including Steven Spielberg) and more.

“The world has changed since the first edition of the ‘Judaica,'” says Berenbaum. “Forty years ago the Soviet Union still existed, Israel was a smaller country, and the first ‘Judaica ‘was written before the Yom Kippur and Lebanon Wars, before the increasing ultra-Orthodoxy experienced in Judaism and before the development of Jewish studies. Holocaust research was only in diapers then. American Jewry has changed and so have the Jewish communities everywhere.”

One of the main emphases in the current edition, says Berenbaum, is on women’s role in the Jewish world. “In the first edition, only 1.25 percent of all the entries were devoted to women. The ritual bath experience, for example, was written about by men. Now we have repaired this. About 2,600 of a total of about 14,000 new entries are about women.”  (MORE)

Posted on March 13, 2007

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