The Jewish Cultural Tapestry: International Jewish Folk Traditions

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $17.34   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   


Here, in one compact volume, is an illuminating survey of Jewish folkways on five continents. Filled with fascinating facts and keen insights, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry is a richly woven fabric that vividly captures the diversity of Jewish life.
All traditional Jews are bound together by the common thread of the Torah and the Talmud, notes author Steven Lowenstein, but this thread takes on a different coloration in different parts of the world as Jewish tradition and local non-Jewish customs intertwine. Lowenstein describes these widely varying regional Jewish cultures with needlepoint accuracy, highlighting the often surprising similarities between Jewish and non-Jewish local traditions, and revealing why Jewish customs vary as much as they do from region to region.
From Europe to India, Israel to America, The Jewish Cultural Tapestry offers an engaging overview of the customs and folkways of a people united by tradition, yet scattered to the far corners of the earth.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Diaspora bred a multitude of customs among a very diverse world Jewish population. Eastern and Western, village, town, and, later, modern urbanized Jews maintained their distinct religious identities while shaping their lives under local conditions. What was the origin of particular customs? What impact did local language, food, and music, among other cultural phenomena, have on these Jewish populations? Lowenstein (Jewish history, Univ. of Judaism; The Berlin Jewish Community) has written a study of all forms of Jewish folk traditions, comparing and contrasting such customs as dress, food, music, religious rites, and life-cycle rituals. The richness of these various traditions makes this book a wonderful read and a primer on the diversity within the cohesive international Jewish community. An excellent choice for public and academic libraries.--Idelle Rudman, Touro Coll. Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195158007
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/5/2002
  • Edition description: National Jewish Book Award Winner
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 825,882
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven M. Lowenstein is Isadore Levine Professor of Jewish History at the University of Judaism. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Folk Traditions: What Are They and Why Do They Vary Geographically? 1
Regional Cultures: From Jerusalem to Spain, Poland, and Morocco: The Influence of Jewish Migrations 11
Jewish Languages: Similarities and Differences 49
Names: What They Mean and How They Developed 69
Religious Practice: How the Written Tradition Unites and the Oral Tradition Divides 85
Cuisine: Gefilte Fish and Cholent Meet Malawach and Couscous 119
Costume: Not Just a Long Black Coat 149
Music: The Religious and the Secular 175
Appearance and Ancestry: "Funny, You Don't Look Jewish" 197
Modernity and the Tradition: What Has Modernity Done to Jewish Folk Cultures? 229
Suggestions for Further Reading 247
Credits 253
Index 261
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)