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What is the Jewish Diaspora?

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Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora
, M. Avrum Ehrlich (Editor)

This three-volume work is a cornerstone resource on the evolution and dynamics of the Jewish Diaspora as it played out around the world - from its beginnings to the present.From the Roman occupation of Judea circa 135 A.D. to the founding of Israel, Jewish people were without a sovereign homeland. But far from eradicating Judaism, as the Emperor Hadrian desired, the Judean conquest expanded its reach, as Jewish refugees, pilgrims, and slaves scattered throughout the world, accelerating a Diaspora that had begun six to eight centuries earlier."Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture" is the definitive resource on one of world history's most curious phenomenons, encompassing the communities, cultures, ethnicities, and experiences created by the Diaspora in every region of the world where Jews live or Jewish ancestry exists.The encyclopedia is organized in three volumes. The first includes 100 essays on the Jewish Diaspora experience, with coverage ranging from ethnography and demography to philosophy, history, music, and business.

The second and third volumes feature hundreds of articles and essays on Diaspora regions, countries, cities, and other locations. With an editorial board of renowned Jewish scholars, and with an extraordinarily accomplished team of contributors, "Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora" captures the full scope of its subject like no other reference work before it.It includes over 400 entries and essays in three volumes, arranged by theme, country, and region. It also includes over 120 contributors, including the world's foremost Diaspora scholars, under the direction of an exceptionally distinguished editorial board. It features maps developed in consultation with Sir Martin Gilbert, a leading expert in Jewish studies cartography. It also features both historic and contemporary images, depicting the people and places of the Diaspora around the world. It includes a thorough bibliography pointing the way to the finest print and online resources for further reading.

Mapping the Jewish Diaspora in the Late Antiquity 117-650 CE
University of Haifa  

Jewish Migration 1492-1948,
by Tobias Brinkmann Published: 2010-12-0
Were (and are) Jewish migrations predominantly the result of persecution and discrimination or were economic motives their main cause? This survey of the complex history of Jewish migrations in the last five hundred years pursues this question using the most important migrant flows as examples, starting with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain late in the fifteenth century to the mass migration from Eastern Europe after 1880 and the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948. Migrations were closely related to the decline and rise of the centres of the Jewish Diaspora. As members of a transterritorial diaspora population, Jews played an important role as intercultural mediators in European history.

Jewish Networks
by Mirjam Thulin  2010-12-03  

Jewish networks are the far-reaching transterritorial and transcultural channels of communication between Jews and Jewries. They formed as a result of the dispersal of Jewish society over great distances starting in antiquity and ran along the lines of Jewish congregational organisations, specific religious and doctrinal practices, and the commercial networks of Jewish merchants. Life in the Jewish diaspora and the local juridical regulations regarding the Jews constantly influenced and shaped Jewish networks in the period from the middle of the 15th until the 20th century.

Ashkenazi Jews in Early Modern Europe
by Predrag Bukovec 2012-03-07

This article describes the history of Jews in Eastern Europe which has its beginnings at the end of the Middle Ages when Jews migrated from their former homes in Central Europe to Poland and Lithuania in response to a royal charter. It covers the period up to the last days of the Rzeczpospolita in the second half of the 18th century, concluding with the Second Partition of Poland.

World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress is the international organization that represents Jewish communities and organizations in 100 countries around the world.

The WJC, the ‘Diplomatic Arm of the Jewish People’, has been active in countless campaigns since its inception: advocating for justice for Holocaust victims and their heirs, including the payment of reparations for hardship suffered under the Nazi’s; protecting the memory of the Holocaust; obtaining restitution of, or compensation for, stolen Jewish property, and negotiating a settlement with the Swiss Banks for assets held in so-called ‘dormant’ accounts; campaigning for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel, for those who wished, or to stay and practice their religion freely; exposing Austrian President and former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim for lying about his wartime past; countering anti-Semitism and the de-legitimization of Israel; and continually supporting the State and People of Israel in their struggle to live in peace with their neighbors.

For decades, the WJC has also maintained privileged relations with the Holy See in developing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. The Congress is also engaged in fostering interfaith relations with other Christian churches, representatives of Islamic communities, and other faiths.

The Jewish People as the Classic Diaspora: A Political Analysis     
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Daniel J. Elazar  

There is little doubt that the Jewish people represents the classic diaspora phenomenon of all time. Indeed, it seems that the term "diaspora" itself originated to describe the Jewish condition. The Jewish diaspora has existed for at least 2,600 years and, if certain local traditions are accurate, perhaps even longer. It has existed alongside a functioning Jewish state and, for almost precisely 2,000 years, without any state recognized as politically independent. Moreover, for 1,500 years the Jewish people existed without an effective political center in their national territory, that is to say, exclusively as a diaspora community, so much so that the institutions of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel were themselves modeled after those of the diaspora and the Jews functioned as a diaspora community within their own land. Nevertheless, the Jewish people not only preserved their integrity as an ethnoreligious community, but continued to function as a polity throughout their long history through the various conditions of state and diaspora.  

Diaspora.The Post-Biblical History of the Jews, Werner Keller  1971

Who are the Jews? a race? a religion? a culture? a way of life ? each definition is valid, yet each is elusive, none quite cap­turing the Jewish spirit. Until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, it would clearly have been impossible to call them a nation; they were the Diaspora: the dispersed ones from the land to which they are now returning.

This is the story of the Diaspora.

As a dispossessed people the Jews have been the victims of prejudice and calumny. Lacking roots in any land they sacrificed agricultural for monetary skills and thus became the scapegoats for countless economic crises. A fierce loyalty to the Old Testament Law made them cling to customs alien to the countries in which they lived. So the 'Chosen People', feared and mistrusted, were epitomized as moneylenders, usurers and drinkers of Christian blood.

Such paradoxes as this are explored in Werner Keller's study. A best­seller in Germany where it was first published, Diaspora traces two thousand years of Jewish history. Since their dispersion the Jews have wandered over the face of the earth. Jewish communities exist through­out the world and have for centuries: in mediaeval China, in nineteenth century India. Their culture has sur­vived continual persecution, yet their contribution to the world's know­ledge cannot be overestimated. They werethetrue cosmopolitans of med­iaeval Europe, the people who knew the languages and the routes that made trade with the Orient possible. But because they refused to surren­der their Jewish identity, their ac­complishments were as often as not rewarded with banishment, until eventually under Hitler, European Jews, at least, became a nation in hiding.

Keller chronicles their lives and achievements in Europe, Africa and Asia; in politics, philosophy, the arts. It is a remarkable document of suffering as well as joy, one that presents a new context for a story well worth telling.

Keller chronicles their lives and achievements in Europe, Africa and Asia; in politics, philosophy, the arts. It is a remarkable document of suffering as well as joy, one that presents a new context for a story well worth telling.

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE


Go to

Expulsion of Jews From Arab States

Countries to see the effect of the Diaspora on each country

Marranos  How they lived as ‘secret Jews’

Belmonte  1917, these Portuguese Jews thought they were the last Jews in the world

Jewish Diaspora Links

Stories to see the effect of the Diaspora on individuals