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Four Thousand Years of Jewish History

Then and Now

By Jack Lefcourt

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Four Thousand Years of Jewish History: Then and Now is a book about time, events, change, adaptation, and survival. Its purpose: to introduce to readers of all ages perhaps new to the subject, the extraordinary journey of the Jewish people across forty centuries of cultural, societal, and religious history. With full-color illustrations, maps, diagrams, and text, Four Thousand Years of Jewish History: Then and Now chronicles the broad themes and developments of Jewish history, and offers a close-up account of the struggles, sorrows, and triumphs of the Jewish experience.



For those looking to become literate in Jewish history this is an absorbing introductory overview. This book is appropriate for youth beginning at age 11, although many adults may benefit from the expanse of information provided.


The story of one of the world's oldest religions is folded into an overview of world history. Influential in at least two other great religions, Christianity and Islam, Judaism and its people have also been affected by the events and evolving beliefs and perceptions of numerous leaders throughout the past. Lefcourt offers a sound introduction with a combination of cartoon drawings broken into several panels on each page against pale blue backdrops with an easy-to-read, flowing text to relate the world's historical highlights in short-story-style segments. General facts, important dates, people, events, maps, a timeline and puzzles are woven into the long Jewish history with yellow highlighted passages to point out specific episodes, consequences, incidents and even outcomes related to the Jewish people. From the Ten Commandments to the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, Europe's Renaissance, the beginnings of Zionism, the Holocaust, American Judaism and modern Israel to the unknown future, this volume leaves readers with an understanding that the past is an important reminder for Jews, who will always move forward with hope and determination. (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Using a broad brush, Jack Lefcourt ably covers four thousands years of Jewish history in just over one hundred pages! He does this in Four Thousand Years of Jewish History: Then and Now, an engaging text that details the key moments, ideas, and themes of Jewish history and culture. The information is presented primarily in chronological order, starting with Abraham and the answer to the question, " When did it all begin..." and takes the read up to the modern day. Along the way, the text is enhanced by a combination of lively illustrations, photographs, and maps, as well as handful of extras including two crossword puzzles and a timeline activity where you get to fill in a timeline chart. Answers to these activities are provided.

While readers of all ages will be entranced by this book, it is definitely geared toward younger readers. To that end, it is written in a semi-comic book format. By this I mean that the information is broken up into boxes. In most cases, there are three 'informational' boxes per page along with related illustrations, although some pages have more boxes. Within these boxes, Lefcourt details intriguing tidbits of Jewish history, explores major themes, provides brief biographies of major figures in Jewish history, or provides a quote relevant to the topic under discussion.

Some of the topics covered in this lively book included Jewish history from Moses to Saul, the importance of the Written Law, the development of the Talmud, the Fall of the Roman Empire, the various periods of the middle ages, the beginnings of Zionism, American Judaism, the Holocaust, and the Modern State of Israel. Lefcourt also provides an interesting section looking at where the ten lost tribes might have gone, and the legacy they might have left behind in lands as far flung as Japan, how in the modern day Jews can be found in almost every land in the world, and how our ancient traditions help to bind all Jews together, no matter where they live, what language they speak, or what they look like.

Four Thousand Years of Jewish History: Then and Now is a fun book to read that can be used as a read-out-loud book for pre-readers and as a history textbook for younger students. It is also a perfect read-alone book for grade-schoolers who are interested in learning about Jewish history, and in discovering the various cultural, religious, and historical struggles and triumphs that have helped to shape Jewish history. This book will also introduce them to some of the key personalities that have contributed to the totality of the Jewish experience.
This book will make an ideal gift for inquisitive youngsters, and for reluctant readers who will be attracted to the book due to its vibrant illustrations and bite-sized text portions. Well illustrated and filled with a lively and engaging text, Four Thousand Years of Jewish History: Then and Now will make an exemplary addition to any public or private library.

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Additional Info

Additional Info

Format Hardcover
SKU ktav2316
Publisher כתב