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A Global Community

The Jews from Aleppo, Syria

Walter P. Zenner

Anthropology, History, Jewish Studies

Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology

Hardback
Published: May 2000
ISBN: 9780814327913
Pages: 238 Size: 6x9
Illustrations: 29 black and white photographs and 1 map
Review

A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria is the culmination of more than four decades of intensive study of the history and evolution of Jews coming from this ancient, once glorious and still significant and close-knit Jewish community.”

— George E. Gruen

The Jews from Aleppo, Syria, and their descendants compose a remarkable but little-known community that has spread throughout the world during the past two centuries, adapting to myriad social settings from Kobe to Buenos Aires. A Global Community is the first comprehensive scholarly interpretation of the historical experience of this unusual community in Syria and in the other places to which Aleppan Jewry have immigrated. Walter P. Zenner points to the social, economic, and cultural links that the various Syrian Jewish communities have made for the unique persistence of community throughout the diaspora. He places special emphasis in the communities in Israel and the United States but also studies the communities in England and Latin America. He utilizes rabbinical responsas, travelers' writings, secondary sources, interviews, and oral histories to provide a unique look into this Middle Eastern Jewish community for those interested in Ashkenazic as well as Sephardic Judaism.

Walter Zenner is a professor of anthropology and Judaic studies at the University at Albany, SUNY. He is the author of Jewish Societies in the Middle East: Community, Culture, and Authority (University Press of America, 1982), Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (Waveland Press, 1996), Persistence and Flexibility: Anthropological Perspectives on the American Jewish Experience (SUNY, 1988), and Minorities in the Middle: A Cross Cultural Analysis (SUNY, 1991)

A Global Community: The Jews from Aleppo, Syria is the culmination of more than four decades of intensive study of the history and evolution of Jews coming from this ancient, once glorious and still significant and close-knit Jewish community. In this outstanding work, Professor Zenner has combined professional skills in the fields of anthropology, history and sociology with keen powers of observation and empathy for his subjects as evidenced through numerous interviews and discussion with members of this far-flung community in the United States, Israel, the Middle East, Europe and Central and Latin America.

– George E. Gruen, Columbia University