The Other Jews: The Sephardim Today

Daniel Judah Elazar, Author Basic Books $21.95 (236p) ISBN 978-0-465-05365-0
A growing majority of Israel's Jews are Sephardimof Mediterranean, Western Asian or African descentbut according to Elazar, the Ashkenazim (Jews whose roots are Northern and Eastern European) continue to spread myths that Sephardic Jews are somehow ``backward,'' ``superstitious'' or ``medieval.'' A Sephardi and a professor at universities in Israel and the U.S., the author of this brilliant, debunking study overturns stereotypes and challenges widely held assumptions. He charges that the designation of Israel's Sephardim as ``ultranationalistic'' or ``antipeace'' is unwarranted. Elazar explains the Sephardic shift among members of Israel's Likud Party in terms of their perception that the Labor Party excluded them from the political process and stifled economic opportunity. He takes us on an invaluable country-by-country tour of Sephardic communities around the world, from Greece to the United States, where Sephardim have lately experienced an upsurge of self-awareness and organized activity. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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