From Library Journal
The 2400 entries in this dictionary include unsigned but revised articles from the editors' Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion (1966. o.p.), as well as many new signed articles covering significant elements and biographies related to the Jewish religion and interfaith relations. In Oxford fashion, this is by far the most academic one-volume work available on the subject because of the caliber of the contributing scholars and the bibliographies. The timeliness of the work is evidenced by entries on such topics as feminism, women, and "Technology and Halakhah." It also satisfactorily represents the variety of Jewish traditions (including Bene Israel and Beta Israel) plus such innovations as Havurot, confirmations, and the Bat Mitzvah. The two articles defining the temple clearly show its balanced portrayal. Access is alphabetical, with good cross-referencing of subject headings?especially helpful with Hebrew terms, so that "Kaddish" is referred to "Quaddish." Cross references within the articles are less consistent. While The Encyclopedia Judaica (1972; 16 vols., plus supplements, due out this year on CD-ROM) will remain a standard for questions on Jewish culture and history, librarians and patrons alike will find the ODJR to be their best ready-reference access point to the Jewish religion, supplanting Geoffrey Wigoder's Encyclopedia of Judaism (Macmillan, 1989).?Andrew B. Wertheimer, Spertus Inst. of Jewish Studies, Chicago
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Intended to be a reference source for those with an interest in the Jewish religion, this volume is designed as a companion to The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
(3d ed., Oxford, 1997). The editors also worked on the out-of-print Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion,
which was the basis for this expanded work. Subjects and people are included because of their religious significance, and not their cultural or historical impact on Judaism. All entries are written from a religious perspective, including those on subjects such as divorce and homicide. Even for topics such as the Holocaust and Israel, the emphasis is on religious rather than historical or political aspects. The Holocaust is found under Holocaust, Religious Responses During The
and Holocaust Theology
. The modern nation of Israel is entered under Israel, State of, Jewish Religious Life In
and Israel, State of Theological Aspects
Articles, which vary in length from one paragraph to a full page, are arranged alphabetically. Signed articles indicate those newly written for this volume; most of the unsigned articles were retained from Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion. Entry titles are either English or transliterations. English terms are used when they accurately reflect a Hebrew term and would be more accessible to the user. Transliterated titles are followed by Hebrew and English translations. Exceptions to the form of transliteration used occur with personal and place-names. Where appropriate, biblical references appear in parentheses within the article. Cross-references are noted by see references within or at the ends of entries or by an asterisk next to a word indicating an entry title. Bibliographies, which contain mostly English-language works, can be found at the ends of articles. The volume contains a list of abbreviations used, a Hebrew transliteration table, and a list of contributors and affiliations.
Public and academic libraries with Judaic collections will find this quick reference source a valuable addition.