The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe 2 Volumes Gershon David Hundert

Publication date:
25 Apr 2008
Yale University Press
2448 pages: 276 x 216 x 49mm
57 color illus. + 1104 b-w illus. and maps
Sales territories:

This unprecedented reference work systematically represents the history and culture of Eastern European Jews from their first settlement in the region to the present day. More than 1,800 alphabetical entries encompass a vast range of topics, including religion, folklore, politics, art, music, theater, language and literature, places, organizations, intellectual movements, and important figures. The two-volume set also features more than 1,000 illustrations and 55 maps.


With original and up-to-date contributions from an international team of 450 distinguished scholars, the Encyclopedia covers the region between Germany and the Ural Mountains, from which more than 2.5 million Jews emigrated to the United States between 1870 and 1920. Even today the majority of Jewish immigrants to North America arrive from Eastern Europe. Engaging, wide-ranging, and authoritative, this work is a rich and essential reference for readers with interests in Jewish studies and Eastern European history and culture.


Gershon David Hundert is professor of history and of Jewish Studies at McGill University in Montreal.


The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the history and culture of Ashkenazi Jewry and to its influence in the Americas. It is the world’s preeminent resource center for East European Jewish Studies; Yiddish language, literature, and folklore; the Holocaust; and the American Jewish immigrant experience.

"This splendid encyclopedia is a major resource for all those interested in the history and culture of East European Jewry. Exceedingly readable and carried out with the utmost professionalism."—Paula E. Hyman, Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale University

"Absolutely first rate . . . All of the leading scholars of East European Jews in North America, Israel, and Europe have written for the Encyclopedia, as have many excellent and exciting mid-career and junior scholars. As a result, the articles reflect the most recent scholarly consensus on many issues."—Marsha Rozenblit, Professor of History at the University of Maryland

"There has not been such an encyclopedia for several generations. This is an encyclopedia for the 21st century, a landmark of scholarly collaboration and editorial accomplishment."—Deborah Dash Moore, Director of the Frankel Center of Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan

"Beautifully published. . . . More than accessible, the YIVO Encyclopedia is so compulsively browsable that you can disappear within its pages for hours without a trace."—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"This two-volume set is invaluable not only for its quality and depth of coverage, but also for its uniqueness. . . . Essential."—Choice

"Ten years in the making, it is the definitive work of its kind, carefully conceived and edited and a most reliable portal into the rich landscapes of Jewish life and loss in Eastern Europe."—Jewish Book World

Recipient of the 2009 Dartmouth Medal Honorable Mention, sponspored by the American Library Association.

Received Honorable Mention for the 2008 PROSE Award in the Multi-volume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences category, sponsored by the Association of American Publishers.

"An accessible resource for researchers, family historians, and interested browsers."—Reform Judaism