Home Catalogue Contact Us
Darwin Books SLAEI Series


The Jews of the Ottoman Empire


edited and with an introduction by Avigdor Levy



About the Book:

    This volume is a major contribution to Jewish as well as to Ottoman, Balkan, Middle Eastern, and North African history. These twenty-eight original essays grew out of an international conference at Brandeis University--the first ever to be convened specifically on this subject. Outstanding scholars from Israel, Turkey, Europe, and the United States contributed wide-ranging essays dealing with the Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire, from the Balkans and Anatolia to Arabia, from Mesopotamia to North Africa.

     The essays focus on many central topics: the structure of the Jewish communities, their organization and institutions, the scope of their autonomy, and their place in Ottoman society. Other subjects include Sephardic folklore, Jewish-Muslim acculturation, Jewish contributions to Ottoman arts, demographic perspectives of the Jewish communities, problems of immigration and emigration, the modernization of Ottoman Jewry, and Jewish participation in political life. The editor has also provided an in-depth Introduction. Presented here is an unusually broad historical canvas that brings together many different perspectives and viewpoints.


About the Editor:

    Avigdor Levy is Professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University.



The volume that Avigdor Levy has edited brings together twenty-eight articles on the history of Ottoman Jewry, supported with a generous selection of black-and-white illustrations. A striking feature of the volume is how excellently the editor has done his task. Above all, he has elicited a series of essays of almost uniformly high quality, and although these cover a large range of topics, he has given them a coherence, first by grouping articles together under a series of six headings and, most commendably, by adding cross-references between the individual contributions.

—Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society


Aside from the wealth of information provided by the specialized studies written by the international group of scholars, what makes the volume especially valuable is the "Introduction" by Avigdor Levy. More than the standard preface to a collection of articles, the essay is an historical overview of Ottoman Jewry. A highly readable history and a useful text for courses on Middle Eastern Jewry.

—Jewish Book World


This volume . . . includes pioneer work and many advances in knowledge. To sum up, this book is of major significance for the study both of Jewish and of Ottoman histories and cultures. Many of the articles are of permanent value both methodologically and for content . . . . Avigdor Levy and his coauthors deserve our sincere gratitude for a remarkable collection of scholarly studies. This book should be in every university library and every Middle Eastern, Turkish, and Jewish library. . . . Individual scholars also should certainly consider adding it to their personal collections.

—International Journal of Middle East Studies


Publication date: 1994; second printing 2003

Plates; tables and graphs; maps; index

Size: 6 x 9 (15.2 x 22.9 cm); xvi, 783 pages

CIP L.C. 92-2991

ISBN 978-0-87850-090-1  $69.95  Buy it at Amazon.com!