Dictionary of Jewish Words A JPS Guide

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  • Joyce Eisenberg (author)
  • Ellen Scolnic (author)
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About the Book

Organized in an A to Z format for easy reference, the Dictionary of Jewish Words contains 1,200 entries derived from Yiddish, Hebrew, Aramaic, and English. The entries include words for and associated with Jewish holidays and life-cycle events, culture, history, the Bible and other sacred texts, worship, and more. Each entry has a pronunciation guide and is cross-referenced to other related terms. The introduction is an excellent primer on the history of Jewish words, their transliteration, and pronunciation. The indexes at the back, arranged by categories, help readers easily find the words they want, even when they don’t know the exact spelling. This handy and very accessible dictionary is an excellent resource not just for Jews, but for anyone who wants to check the meaning, spelling, and/or pronunciation of Jewish words.

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“An entertaining resource … where else will you find sekhel defined as ‘using one’s noodle’? All told, the Dictionary of Jewish Words is geshmak, so enjoy!”
The Reporter, the magazine of Women’s American ORT

“Thanks so much for your Dictionary. I’m having fun already and I haven’t gotten past the “A” words yet!”
J. Beekman, Southampton, PA

“The Dictionary of Jewish Words is a treasure chest of Jewish vocabulary. The book does a good job of boiling down some very large and complex words to their essentials.”
The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California

“There are a lot of Hebrew words, synagogue words and religious words that people don’t really know and wouldn’t know who to ask. You took the trouble to investigate and define these words. I really enjoy knowing where words are from and what they relate to, and your dictionary is great for that.”
Stan Shrager, Allentown, PA

“This book is a great resource. As a Christian family in a predominantly Jewish community, we have often felt a little confused by some of the words that come up in conversation. We were invited to a seder this year; our new knowledge from the book made the experience much more meaningful.”
K. Ivory, Merion, PA

“The book’s easy-to-read, easy-to-find format makes it ideal for both Jews and non-Jews wishing to learn more about Jewish ritual, culture, traditions, holidays and customs.”
CHOICE, a publication of the American Library Journal

“This breezy, alphabetical listing of Jewish words would be valuable in a number of contexts. Those who regularly consult literary works dealing with Judaism will find that this handy guide substantially enhances their experiences.”
Religious Studies Review

Joyce Eisenberg

Visit Joyce Eisenberg's website

Ellen Scolnic

Visit Ellen Scolnic's website

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