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The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe: 2 Volumes [Hardcover]

by Gershon David Hundert
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2008 0300119038 978-0300119039 y First printing

This unprecedented reference work systematically represents the history and culture of Eastern European Jews from their first settlement in the region to the present day. More than 1,800 alphabetical entries encompass a vast range of topics, including religion, folklore, politics, art, music, theater, language and literature, places, organizations, intellectual movements, and important figures. The two-volume set also features more than 1,000 illustrations and 55 maps.


With original and up-to-date contributions from an international team of 450 distinguished scholars, the Encyclopedia covers the region between Germany and the Ural Mountains, from which more than 2.5 million Jews emigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1920. Even today the majority of Jewish immigrants to North America arrive from Eastern Europe. Engaging, wide-ranging, and authoritative, this work is a rich and essential reference for readers with interests in Jewish studies and Eastern European history and culture.


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Editorial Reviews


"This splendid encyclopedia is a major resource for all those interested in the history and culture of East European Jewry. Exceedingly readable and carried out with the utmost professionalism."—Paula E. Hyman, Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University

(Paula E. Hyman)

"Absolutely first rate . . . All of the leading scholars of East European Jews in North America, Israel, and Europe have written for the Encyclopedia, as have many excellent and exciting mid-career and junior scholars. As a result, the articles reflect the most recent scholarly consensus on many issues."—Marsha Rozenblit, Professor of History at the University of Maryland

(Marsha Rozenblit)

"There has not been such an encyclopedia for several generations. This is an encyclopedia for the 21st century, a landmark of scholarly collaboration and editorial accomplishment."—Deborah Dash Moore, Director of the Frankel Center of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan

(Deborah Dash Moore)

"Beautifully published. . . . More than accessible, the YIVO Encyclopedia is so compulsively browsable that you can disappear within its pages for hours without a trace."—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
(Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times 2008-07-27)

"This two-volume set is invaluable not only for its quality and depth of coverage, but also for its uniqueness. . . . Essential."—Choice
(Choice 2008-09-01)

"Ten years in the making, it is the definitive work of its kind, carefully conceived and edited and a most reliable portal into the rich landscapes of Jewish life and loss in Eastern Europe."—Jewish Book World
(Jewish Book World 2008-09-01)

Recipient of the 2009 Dartmouth Medal Honorable Mention, sponspored by the American Library Association.
(Dartmouth Medal Honorable Mention American Library Association (ALA) 2009-02-09)

Received Honorable Mention for the 2008 PROSE Award in the Multi-volume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences category, sponsored by the Association of American Publishers.
(PROSE Award in Multi-volume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences Association of American Publishers 2009-02-09)

"An accessible resource for researchers, family historians, and interested browsers."—Reform Judaism
(Reform Judaism)

About the Author

Gershon David Hundert is professor of history and of Jewish Studies at McGill University in Montreal.


The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and to its influence in the Americas. It is the world’s preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish immigrant experience.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2448 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; y First printing edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300119038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300119039
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.2 x 4.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Professor of History and Segal Professor of Jewish Studies at McGill University. The website version of the YIVO Encyclopedia is up!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an important reference source June 18, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
the yivo encyclopedia of Jews in eastern europe is an important source of information for all students interested in concrete information on personalities, locations or events. These two volumes are a must for libraries and for private individuals, too.
a. haskelson
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent January 16, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is now one of the best books in my library..Both my husband and I love it and have consulted it many times.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary publication October 21, 2008
This encyclopedia is unique! It is the first publication on the Jews of Eastern Europe. It is in incredible detail, all written by experts. Even the photos are special. I could not recommend it more!

Renee Miller
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Alas, some things sadly missing March 13, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This superb piece of scholarship sadly shorts some aspects of Eastern European Jewry. As a cantor and amateur scholar of Eastern European Jewish Cultural History, I was shocked by the short shrift musical topics and especially the cantorate received in this encylcopedia. However, this does inform a student of history that much is left to be researched in the field. Most of the other contributions are of high quality and were written by the finest academics on the field.
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