Kurdish Jews, like so many Jewish populations, carried to Israel their unique, ancient culture and ways of life. Finding, collecting, identifying, and preserving Kurdish artifacts are the means of understanding this remarkable aspect of the Israeli cultural melange. The roots and traditions of Kurdish Jewry have special meaning for second- and third-generation members of the Israeli-born Kurdish community, and serve as a bridge between generations and among related communities abroad. The Jews of Kurdistan is profusely illustrated with wonderful color and black and white photographs of Kurdish Jews at home, work, and leisure. It presents a comprehensive visual and written portrait of this people's rich heritage, history, religious and spiritual life, daily life, clothing, needlework, metalwork and jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, synagogues, and ceremonial and ritual objects. It includes striking paintings of Kurdish Jewish women, a table of common weaving patterns, a glossary, and a selected bibliography. In the two decades since the publication of the Hebrew edition of this seminal work, the culture of the Jews of Kurdistan has largely been integrated into mainstream Israeli culture, allowing Shwartz-Be'eri's study to resonate as an ever more important ethnographic and historical document.
Author: Ora Shwartz-Be'eri
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