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The Jewish Encyclopedia[n 1] is an English encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the history, culture, and state of Judaism
Judaism
and the Jews
Jews
up to the early 20th century.[1] It was originally published in 12 volumes by Funk and Wagnalls
Funk and Wagnalls
of New York City
New York City
between 1901 and 1906 and reprinted in the 1960s by KTAV Publishing House. The work's scholarship is still highly regarded: the American Jewish Archives
American Jewish Archives
has called it "the most monumental Jewish scientific work of modern times"[2] and Rabbi
Rabbi
Joshua L. Segal said that, "For events prior to 1900, it is considered to offer a level of scholarship superior to either of the more recent Jewish Encyclopedias written in English."[3] It is now in the public domain[n 2] and hosted at various sites around the internet. The encyclopedia's managing editor was Isidore Singer. The editorial board was chaired by Isaac K. Funk
Isaac K. Funk
and Frank H. Vizetelly. The other editors participating in all twelve volumes were Cyrus Adler, Gotthard Deutsch, Richard Gottheil, Joseph Jacobs, Kaufmann Kohler, Herman Rosenthal, and Crawford Howell Toy. Morris Jastrow, Jr.
Morris Jastrow, Jr.
and Frederick de Sola Mendes assisted with volumes I & II; Marcus Jastrow
Marcus Jastrow
with volumes I, II, & III; Louis Ginzberg with the first four volumes; Solomon Schechter
Solomon Schechter
with volumes IV through VII; Emil G. Hirsch
Emil G. Hirsch
with volumes IV through XII; and Wilhelm Bacher with volumes VIII through XII. William Popper served as the assistant revision editor and chief of translation for Vols. IV through XII.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Singer’s idea 1.2 Editorial board

2 Content

2.1 Relation to German scholarship

3 Editions

3.1 Russian 3.2 Online

4 See also 5 Notes 6 References

6.1 Citations 6.2 Bibliography

7 Further reading 8 External links

History[edit] Singer’s idea[edit] Singer conceived of a Jewish encyclopedia in Europe and proposed creating an “Allgemeine Encyklopädia für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums” in 1891. He envisioned twelve volumes, published over ten or fifteen years, and costing fifty dollars as a set. They would contain scientific and unbiased articles on ancient and modern Jewish culture. This proposal received good press coverage and interest from the Brockhaus publishing company. However, after the House of Rothschild in Paris, consulted by Zadoc Kahn, offered to back the project with only 8% of the minimum funds requested by Brockaus, the project was abandoned. Following the Dreyfus affair
Dreyfus affair
and associated unpleasantness Singer emigrated to New York City.[4] Initially believing that American Jews
Jews
could do little more than provide funding for his project, Singer was impressed by the level of scholarship in the United States. He wrote a new prospectus, changing the title of his planned encyclopedia to “Encyclopedia of the History and Mental Evolution of the Jewish Race”. His radical ecumenism and opposition to orthodoxy upset many of his Jewish readers; nevertheless he attracted the interest of publisher Isaac K. Funk, a Lutheran minister who also believed in integrating Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity. Funk agreed to publish the encyclopedia on the condition that it remain unbiased on issues which might seem unfavorable for Jews. Singer accepted and was established in an office at Funk & Wagnalls on 2 May 1898.[5] Publication of the prospectus in 1898 created a severe backlash, including accusations of poor scholarship and of subservience to Christians. Kaufmann Kohler
Kaufmann Kohler
and Gotthard Deutsch, writing in American Hebrew, highlighted Singer’s factual errors, and accused him of commercialism and irreligiosity. Now considering that the project could not succeed with Singer at the helm, Funk & Wagnalls appointed an editorial board to oversee creation of the encyclopedia.[6] Editorial board[edit] Funk & Wagnalls assembled an editorial board between October 1898 and March 1899. Singer toned down his ideological rhetoric, indicated his desire to collaborate, and changed the work’s proposed title to “Jewish Encyclopedia”. Despite their reservations about Singer, rabbi Gustav Gottheil and Cyrus Adler
Cyrus Adler
agreed to join the board, followed by Morris Jastrow, then Frederick de Sola Mendes
Frederick de Sola Mendes
and two published critics of the project: Kauffmann Kohler and Gotthard Deutsch. Theologian and Presbyterian minister George Foot Moore was added to the board for balance. (Soon after work started, Moore withdrew and was replaced by Baptist minister Crawford Toy.) Last was added the elderly Marcus Jastrow, mostly for his symbolic imprimatur as America's leading Talmudist. In March 1899 the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which had been contemplating a competing project, agreed to discuss collaborating with Funk & Wagnalls—thus securing the position of the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
as the only major project of its kind.[7][n 3] The editors plunged into their enormous task and soon identified and solved some inefficiencies with the project. Article assignments were shuffled around and communication practices were streamlined. Joseph Jacobs was hired as a coordinator. (He also wrote four hundred articles and procured many of the encyclopedia's illustrations.) Herman Rosenthal, an authority on Russia, was added as an editor. Louis Ginzberg joined the project and later became head of the rabbinical literature department.[8] The board naturally faced many difficult editorial questions and disagreements. Singer wanted specific entries for every Jewish community in the world, with detailed information about, for example, the name and dates of the first Jewish settler in Prague. Conflict also arose over what types of bible interpretation should be included, with some editors fearing that Morris Jastrow's involvement in "higher criticism" would lead to unfavorable treatment of scripture.[9] Content[edit] Relation to German scholarship[edit]

Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
Illustration, most are black and white ink.

Illustration of Jewish grave in France with menorah used for the h in hic and Hebrew
Hebrew
characters at the bottom right.

The scholarly style of the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
is very much in the mode of the Wissenschaft des Judentums
Wissenschaft des Judentums
("Jewish studies"), an approach to Jewish scholarship and religion that flourished in 19th-century Germany; indeed, the Encyclopedia may be regarded as the culmination of this movement, which sought to modernize scholarly methods in Jewish research. In the 20th century, the movement's members dispersed to Jewish Studies
Jewish Studies
departments in the United States and Israel. The scholarly authorities cited in the Encyclopedia—besides the classical and medieval exegetes—are almost uniformly Wissenschaft figures, such as Leopold Zunz, Moritz Steinschneider, Solomon Schechter, Wilhelm Bacher, J.L. Rapoport, David Zvi Hoffman, Heinrich Graetz, etc. This particular scholarly style can be seen in the Jewish Encyclopedia's almost obsessive attention to manuscript discovery, manuscript editing and publication, manuscript comparison, manuscript dating, and so on; these endeavors were among the foremost interests of Wissenschaft scholarship.[10] The Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
is an English-language work, but the vast majority of the encyclopedia's contemporary sources are German-language sources, since this was the mother tongue of the Wissenschaft scholars and the lingua franca of Biblical scholarship in general in that period. Of the works cited which are not German—usually the more classical works—the large part are either Hebrew
Hebrew
or Arabic. The only heavily cited English-language source of contemporary scholarship is Solomon Schechter's publications in the Jewish Quarterly Review. The significance of the work's publication in English rather than German or Hebrew
Hebrew
is captured by Harry Wolfson writing in 1926 (Schwarz 1965):

About twenty-five years ago, there was no greater desert, as far as Jewish life and learning, than the English-speaking countries, and English of all languages was the least serviceable for such a Jewish work of reference. To contemporary European reviewers of the Jewish Encyclopedia, the undertaking seemed then like an effort wasted on half-clad Zulus
Zulus
in South Africa
South Africa
and Jewish tailors in New York. Those who were then really in need of such a work and could benefit thereby would have been better served if it were put out in Hebrew, German or Russian. — Harry Wolfson

The editors and authors of the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
proved prescient in their choice of language, since within that same span of 25 years, English rose to become the dominant language of academic Jewish scholarship and among Jews
Jews
worldwide. Wolfson continues that "if a Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
in a modern language were planned for the first time [i.e., in 1926], the choice would undoubtedly have fallen upon English." Editions[edit] Russian[edit] The Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
was heavily used as a source by the 16-volume Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
in Russian,[11] published by Brockhaus and Efron in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
between 1906 and 1913. Online[edit] The unedited text of the original can be found at the Jewish Encyclopedia website.[12] The site offers both JPEG
JPEG
facsimiles of the original articles and Unicode
Unicode
transcriptions of all texts. The search capability is somewhat handicapped by the fact that the search mechanism fails to take into account the decision to maintain all diacritical marks in the transliterated Hebrew
Hebrew
and Aramaic from the 1901–1906 text, which used a large number of diacriticals not in common use today. Thus, for example, to successfully search for "Halizah" (the ceremony by which the widow of a brother who has died childless released her brother-in-law from the obligation of marrying her), one would have to know that they have transliterated this as "Ḥaliẓah". The alphabetic index ignores diacriticals so it can be more useful when searching for an article whose title is known. The scholarly apparatus of citation is thorough, but can be a bit daunting to contemporary users. Books that might have been widely known among scholars of Judaism
Judaism
at the time the encyclopedia was written (but which are quite obscure to a lay reader today) are referred to by author and title, but with no publication information and often without indication of the language in which they were written. A list of abbreviations used in the encyclopedia is provided on the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
website.[13] See also[edit]

The Encyclopædia Biblica, from which the Jewish Encyclopedia sometimes quotes verbatim[n 4] Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible (1898–1904) The Shorter Jewish Encyclopedia The Encyclopedia Judaica The Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
and Encyclopaedia of Islam
Encyclopaedia of Islam
& Islamica The New Jewish Encyclopedia Lists of encyclopedias Nahum Goldmann Topics from the Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
on

Notes[edit]

^ Full name: The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. ^ Note, however, that some websites hosting the text claim copyright over the digitized images. Public domain
Public domain
scans are available elsewhere, as at the Internet Archive. ^ Schwartz 1991 (p. 48) describes the payment scheme arranged at this time as follows:

Members of the local executive committee, exclusive of Singer and, of course, Funk, would receive one thousand dollars per annum, while the rest of the department editors would receive five hundred. All collaborators, editors included, would be paid five dollars per printed page of about one thousand English words. If the article was written in a foreign language, payment would be only $3.50 per page. Singer's compensation was forty dollars a week (thirty-five plus five for a life insurance premium). His salary was considered an advance, since Singer alone was to share with the company in the profits.

^ For example, in its article concerning marriage.[14]

References[edit] Citations[edit]

^ "The Jewish Encyclopedia". New York Times. 16 August 1902. Retrieved 17 March 2014.  ^ "The Larger Task" (PDF). American Jewish Archives. Retrieved 17 October 2013. . ^ Segal, Joshua L. (November 2003), "Rabbi's Message: Nov. 2003 - Cheshvan 5764: A Jewish Reference Library at Betenu", Betenu, Vol. 21, No. 4 . ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 25–27. ^ Schwartz 1991, p. 28–31. ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 33–36. ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 37–51. ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 51–56. ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 57–59. ^ Schwartz 1991, pp. 2–4. ^ eleven.co.il ^ The Jewish Encyclopedia . ^ "Abbreviations Listings". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2014-02-26.  ^ JE, Vol. VIII 1904, "Marriage".

Bibliography[edit]

The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. I, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1901, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. II, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1902, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. III, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1902, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1903, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. V, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1903, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vols. VI & VII, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1904, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1904, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vols. IX, X, & XI, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1905, LCCN 16014703 . The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vols. XII, New York: Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1906, LCCN 16014703 . Schwartz, Shuly Rubin. The Emergence of Jewish Scholarship in America: The Publication of the Jewish Encyclopedia. Monographs of the Hebrew Union College, Number 13. Cincinnati: Hebrew
Hebrew
Union College Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87820-412-1 Schwarz, Leo W. (1965), "A bibliographical essay", in Lieberman, Saul, Harry Austryn Wolfson Jubilee Volume on the Occasion of His Seventy-Fifth Birthday, Jerusalem: American Academy for Jewish Research 

Further reading[edit]

Internet Archive KTAV Reprint

Volume From To

Volume 1 Aach Apocalyptic

Volume 2 Apocrypha Benash

Volume 3 Bencemero Chazanuth

Volume 4 Chazars Dreyfus

Volume 5 Dreyfus Goat

Volume 6 God Istria

Volume 7 Italy Leon

Volume 8 Leon Moravia

Volume 9 Morawyczyk Philippson

Volume 10 Philipson Samoscz

Volume 11 Samson Talmid

Volume 12 Talmud Zweifel

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jewish Encyclopedia.

Media related to Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
at Wikimedia Commons (complete Encyclopedia) Works related to Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
at Wikisource (incomplete Encyclopedia) JewishEncyclopedia.com (see above), maintained by the Kopelman Foundation. multiple copies at the Internet Archive Hathi Trust. Jewish Encyclopedia
Jewish Encyclopedia
(fulltext)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 174251723 LCCN: n90666

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