Save £11.74 (42%)
Dispatched within 4-5 working days.
The The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia
From Abraham to Zabar's and Everything in Between
From the hosts of Tablet magazine's wildly popular Unorthodox podcast, The New Jewish Encyclopedia is an edifying, entertaining, and thoroughly modern introduction to Judaism. It offers everything: from an illustrated guide to determining different Hasidic sects based on their garb to practical advice for throwing an unconventional Jewish wedding to humorous, accessible explanations of Judaism's myriad holidays. The book is an alphabetical encyclopedia of short entries - some profane, some profound, and some both - heavy on the graphics and, like contemporary Judaism itself, featuring a panoply of divergent voices, all amusing and well-informed and none in perfect agreement. By weaving together the essential and the esoteric, the snarky and the earnest, the Jewish and the Jew-ish, this book honors its title, offering a truly unorthodox approach to Judaism and allowing each reader to find his or her point of connection with the culture, the tradition, and the religion. Inside, under any given letter, readers will find short essays evocatively explaining Judaism's key holidays and practices and why they still matter today; visual guides to things Jews love, like smoked fish, and how to tell your gravlax from your pastrami-smoked salmon; definitive lists of things that matter, from the best Christmas songs written by Jews to the most essential Seinfeld episodes; advice from an Orthodox sex guru, a bridesmaid-for-hire, and other people whose wisdom would benefit Jews and non-Jews alike; brief histories of Jewish traditions new and old, such as the sacred ritual of eating Chinese food on December 25; a vocabulary of words and phrases only Jews use; and so much more.
New & Used
+ FREE UK P & P
What Reviewers Are Saying
"An illustrated, smart and comic guide, well-attuned to this moment."
--Jewish Week "Crams in just about everything you need to know about Jewish culture and history - from the Torah to Chinese food. . . . A weighty tome that just begs to be picked up, thumbed through, and quoted from. It is exhaustive but not exhausting, a thorough examination of Jewish themes presented as hors d'oeuvres to entice a larger meal."
--The Times of Israel
"Deeply entertaining and highly educational. . . . Adding their thoroughly modern compendium to a long tradition of Jewish scholarship, the authors have served up a colorful array of all things Jewish for Jews and non-Jews alike."
"Alternately irreverent and profound--but always informative. . . . A great gift."
"This delightfully irreverent romp through Jewish history and culture is the outgrowth of Tablet magazine's podcast, Unorthodox, and considers itself the updated version of The Jewish Catalog (1973). As with Catalog, podcast hosts and coauthors Butnick, Liel Leibovitz, and Mark Oppenheimer claim this chronicle is not a comprehensive or exhaustive survey of all things Jewish. To that end, the biblical hero Judah Maccabee is "one kickass priest," Jewish Community Centers are places "where Gentiles play racquetball," and Long Island is "the other Promised Land." Culturally, the authors make a convincing argument for Jews as "mediators of black music" and even responsible for the beloved Christmas tunes "White Christmas" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Bernie Madoff finds reference only under the generic moniker, shonde, or one who brings shame to the community, where he keeps company with Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner. On a more serious note in a compilation filled with humor, brevity is the signature mark of that which requires mention, but not glory--Adolf Hitler, Nazis, and Auschwitz's Arbeit Macht Frei ("work sets you free") merit a single sentence each. VERDICT A welcome update on Jewish history and culture that is mostly just plain fun.
--Library Journal, starred review
"No dense, scholarly tome, this volume is pure fun, although serious topics are included. . . . . A reference work is rarely as readable as this one is. Informative and irreverent, welcoming and witty, it is enthusiastically recommended."