Jewish History Books for Young Adults:

European History


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Other Pages of Interest:

Jewish History Books for Middle School and Young Adult Readers
General Jewish History & Nonfiction | Biblical Era | European History (Excluding the Holocaust) | Immigration & The American Experience | Holocaust | Israel

Jewish Books for Children | Bar Mitzvah Books | Jewish Parenting Books | Jewish Music for Children | Jewish Videos | Jewish Jewelry


Chronicle of Jewish History from the Patriarchs to the 21st Century:
From the Patriarchs to the 21st Century

By Sol Scharfstein
Chronicle Of Jewish History: From The Patriarchs To The 21st Century is an immensely readable history of the Jewish people from the patriarchal and matriarchal period to the establishment of the State of Israel up to the Oslo Agreement. There are more than 250 one and two page historical essays illustrated with more than 400 colorful photographs and explanatory maps, as well as 12 colorful timelines. Chronicle Of Jewish History details important events and movements which shaped the experience of the Jewish people. Included are numerous biographies of heroes and heroines which emphasize their contribution to Jewish history, literature and religion. Each of the essays moves beyond names, dates and facts to key conceptual problems for understanding what it means to be Jewish in the context of world events. Chronicle Of Jewish History is a literary and historical masterpiece of scholarship written for the benefit of both students & non-specialist general readers.

Description from Midwest Book Review

Jewish Communities of the World

By Avi Beker
More than just a guide to centers of Jewish population throughout the world, this comprehensive work provides facts about the demography and history of these important communities, as well as a listing and descriptions of community organizations, religious life, local Jewish culture, and educational facilities. Introductory sections include information on the founding of Israel, population statistics, and thoughts on topics ranging from the Diaspora to the founding of the Jewish state. Liberal photographs and notes help illustrate the unique character and culture of each community.

Description from Publisher

Forever Outsiders: Jews and History from Ancient Times to August 1935

Bi Linda Jacobs Altman
This first book in a series explores the troubled history of the Jewish people. Starting with a brief description of the unique features of the Jewish religion and people, the book then outlines the various efforts of different empires and countries to defeat and/or convert the Jews. the focus moves from the Roman empire to the Spanish Inquisition and finally to the problems in Germany that led to the rise of Hitler. A wide range of historians, educators, and experts have come together to produce this fabulous series about the Holocaust. The easy to read yet comprehensive narratives are accompanied by black-and-white photos and other primary source materials. The "Holocaust Series" will be an excellent resource for social studies teachers.

Description from Children's Literature

My People:
Abba Eban's History of the Jews
Volume 1: Genesis to 1776

Adapted by David Bamberger
The history of the Jewish people through four thousand years--and the world history that gives it context. From the ancient world of biblical times, through the Crusades and the Renaissance, and into the Enlightenment in eighteenth-century Europe.

Description from Publisher

My People:
Abba Eban's History of the Jews
Volume 2: From the Eighteenth Century to Our Own Time

Adapted by David Bamberger
The Jewish people's spirit and place in world history since 1776. Chronicles the Jewish experience in the American and French revolutions, through the birth of Zionism and the devastation of the Holocaust, and into today's world. Also includes the struggle for Israeli independence as Eban lived it.

Description from Publisher

Out of Spain: An educational program for children covering the history and culture of Sephardic Jewry

(Box Set)

By Andree Aelion Brooks and Yvonne Behar
Box set: Includes 3 student books, 1 adult/teacher guide, music CD, and videotape.

A lively and entertaining journey in video, story, song and activity through Mediterranean Jewish history and culture. Includes the story of the Jews in the Caribbean and Renaissance Europe, the earliest Jews in colonial America, the crypto-Jews of Spain and Portugal and Jewish life in pre-expulsion Spain. Video stars Theodore Bikel. CD includes sing-along and festival songs. Suited to children aged 10-12 years in class settings or at home.

Description from Publisher

Chronicle of Jewish History from the Patriarchs to the 21st Century

By Sol Scharfstein
Chronicle Of Jewish History: From The Patriarchs To The 21st Century is an immensely readable history of the Jewish people from the patriarchal and matriarchal period to the establishment of the State of Israel up to the Oslo Agreement. There are more than 250 one and two page historical essays illustrated with more than 400 colorful photographs and explanatory maps, as well as 12 colorful timelines. Chronicle Of Jewish History details important events and movements which shaped the experience of the Jewish people. Included are numerous biographies of heroes and heroines which emphasize their contribution to Jewish history, literature and religion. Each of the essays moves beyond names, dates and facts to key conceptual problems for understanding what it means to be Jewish in the context of world events. Chronicle Of Jewish History is a literary and historical masterpiece of scholarship written for the benefit of both students & non-specialist general readers.

Description from Midwest Book Review

Journey through Jewish History :
The Age of Faith and the Age of Freedom
(Volume 2)

By Seymour Rossel
The journey of the Jewish people from the beginning of the Diaspora to the present day, presented in simple story form. This volume picks up where Introduction to Jewish History leaves off, rounding out a comprehensive two-year course in Jewish history. Contents include: Jewish Life in Middle Ages, Ashkenazic Jewry, Sephardic Jewry, The Enlightenment, The Emancipation, The Birth of Zionism, The Jewish World Today, and much more. The continuity of Jewish values and the survival of the Jewish people are brought to life in this vivid, richly illustrated book.

Description from Publisher

Captain of Innocence: France & the Dreyfus Affair

By Norman H. Finkelstein

Awards:
  • Listed in Books for the Teenage, New York Public Library
  • 1991 NCCS/CBS Notable Children's Trade Book

Captain of Innocence surveys the life, multiple trials, imprisonment, and eventual release of the Jewish French army officer accused of spying for the Germans. The Dreyfus Affair profoundly affected France and the world at the turn of the twentieth century. Despite his innocence, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, was the victim of rampant anti-Semitism. He was found guilty of treason through the use of contrived evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island.

Description from Publisher

The Other 1492 :
Jewish Settlement in the New World

By Norman H. Finkelstein
What happened in 1492? Easy, right? Wrong! In The Other 1492, Norman Finkelstein describes the other events in the year 1492 that included the Inquisition and the banishing of the Jews from Spain. This is a fascinating look at European history from a different point of view - the point of view of a people that was despised for no reason at all, other than that it was 'other', and therefore not quite human. Finkelstein shows how it was possible for Jews to settle in the New World of North and South America, and how eventually they prospered there.

Description from Children's Literature

This history of Sephardic Jews and Marranos offers a counterview to the lionization of Ferdinand and Isabella's support for Columbus. . . . Finkelstein's accounts of mob persecution, forced conversion, and Inquisition tragedies are carefully researched and never overdramatic, though the stories of chief figures such as Torquemada and Abravanel are more involving than fiction. The writing is clear, smooth, and well organized. . . . Accompanied by a solid bibliography of books and articles, the text is illustrated with historical engravings and paintings.

Description from Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Life During the Spanish Inquisition

By Gail B. Stewart
Stewart focuses on the political and religious climate of the period rather than daily life; therefore, while she does give readers a basic understanding of the Inquisition, the title is slightly misleading. The first chapters discuss Europe's various attitudes toward its Jewry and the frequent heating up and spilling over of prejudice, leading to persecution and violence and forced conversions. The book goes on to demonstrate how the Inquisition was rekindled in Spain during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, and how a fearful populace contributed to tyranny over and betrayal of not only Jews and marranos (converts), but of virtually anyone who aroused the suspicion of the inquisitors. It discusses the Catholic monarchs' conflicts with the Pope, and Torquemada's rise to power. All manner of torture and the punishments an accused person might be subjected to are described in graphic detail. One small but noticeable error: Jean Plaidy (Eleanor Hibbert) is mentioned as being a male. The book's brevity and numerous black-and-white archival illustrations, along with a number of maps, will appeal to students needing information for reports.

Description from School Library Journal

The Spanish Inquisition

By Susan McCarthy Melchiore
In 1480, the Spanish monarchs tried to root out false converters to Catholicism who secretly practiced their original faith. In the end, the Spanish Inquisition victimized an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 Jews and Muslims in Spain and its colonies. Learn more about this misguided quest for religious truth.

Description from Publisher

Klal Yisrael :
Our Jewish Community
How do we prepare our children to become active participants in the Jewish community?

This activity book provides a "hands-on" introduction to the wide variety of communities thoroughout the Jewish world. From its earliest beginnings in colonial America to present-day efforts to bring Soviet Jews to Israel, it is a record of Jews reaching out to other Jews in need.

Description from Publisher

The Spanish Inquisition in World History

By Richard Worth
Follow as Richard Worth explores the Spanish Inquisition—an effort by the Catholic church to seek out and punish heretics who went against the teachings of Christianity. Under the direction of Inquisitor-General Tomas de Torquemada, inquisitors often worked in secret and misused their power. Many suspects were tortured, and those who refused to change their beliefs were sentenced to be burned at the stake.

Description from Publisher

General Jewish History & Nonfiction | Biblical Era | European History (Excluding the Holocaust) | Immigration & The American Experience | Holocaust | Israel







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