From Publishers Weekly
A growing majority of Israel's Jews are Sephardimof Mediterranean, Western Asian or African descentbut according to Elazar, the Ashkenazim (Jews whose roots are Northern and Eastern European) continue to spread myths that Sephardic Jews are somehow "backward," "superstitious" or "medieval." A Sephardi and a professor at universities in Israel and the U.S., the author of this brilliant, debunking study overturns stereotypes and challenges widely held assumptions. He charges that the designation of Israel's Sephardim as "ultranationalistic" or "antipeace" is unwarranted. Elazar explains the Sephardic shift among members of Israel's Likud Party in terms of their perception that the Labor Party excluded them from the political process and stifled economic opportunity. He takes us on an invaluable country-by-country tour of Sephardic communities around the world, from Greece to the United States, where Sephardim have lately experienced an upsurge of self-awareness and organized activity.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Elazar, who is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and professor of political science at both Bar Ilan University in Israel and Temple University in Philadelphia, is also of Sephardic descent. Thus he brings to the study of the Sephardim today both his skills as a social scientist and his insights as an alert participant-observer within his many communities. His is a much needed study of a subject that is usually misunderstood or ignored. It is, in fact, the first comprehensive study of the Sephardim worldwide, and it deals with the subject in a straightforward, skillful manner using all available sources. Like many of his previous books, (e.g., Israel: Building a New Society), this too is a pioneering study. Jehuda Reinharz, Brandeis Univ., Waltham, Mass.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.