Enduring Jewish Communities around the World: Models of Effective Communication employs an organizational communication perspective to examine how strong internal and external communications have helped Jewish communities survive globally in unlikely locations, harsh circumstances, and periods of violent antisemitism. Drawing on in-depth interviews with religious and community leaders of nine international Jewish communities, Joshua Azriel contends that communication is a part of Judaism’s core and a powerful, informal tool that has been used over millennia by its followers to sustain their communities, culture, and religion. Scholars of communication, religion, history, and Jewish studies will find this book of particular interest.
Joshua N. Azriel is professor of journalism and emerging media at Kennesaw State University and visiting professor at Catholic University in Lisbon, Portugal.
Chapter 1: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Chapter 2: Halifax, Canada
Chapter 3: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Chapter 4: San Jose, Costa Rica
Chapter 5: Sefwi Wiawso, Ghana
Chapter 6: Bene Israel, India
Chapter 7: Belmonte, Portugal
Chapter 8: Sofia, Bulgaria
Chapter 9: Iasi, Romania
Chapter 10: Conclusion
About the Author
Professor Azriel’s investigation into nine disparate Jewish communities around the globe is enlightening. None are alike apart from being small, isolated, and Jewish. Each reflects the culture of which they are a part and their unique interpretation of the purpose of a Jewish community. All of them have remained vibrant against all odds. Offering a fascinating glimpse into the history, religion, and challenges they face, Azriel’s research sheds light on these communities and the people who have sustained them. This study should interest not just readers who are interested in the diversity of Judaism but also in people intrigued by how small minorities have been able to sustain themselves in the midst of serious threats.
In taking a close look at nine very different Jewish communities around the world, Joshua Azriel not only draws useful comparisons about their methods of organization and communication, but also offers readers a very rich glimpse into what makes each one special. Beyond the field of communication, his book's qualitative details and historic context will draw in anyone interested in Jewish peoplehood and its ability to endure throughout the millennia.
In this intriguing book, Dr. Josh Azriel explains in a straightforward manner the theoretical framework for endurance that helped these small and far-flung communities persevere over the centuries. This includes numerous fascinating insights about communities ranging from Ghana, Guatemala, India, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. This work is a must read for anyone interested in the survival of minority cultures within a larger society. It is an astounding story to realize that these communities found such value in their faith that they were prepared to make all sorts of sacrifices to help maintain their beliefs. Against all odds, they survived, and thrived. Modern miracles!
A fresh perspective on Judaism in diaspora, Joshua Azriel's Enduring Jewish Communities Around the World introduces readers to the Shavei Yisrael communities of the twenty-first century. Eclipsed by academic interests in historical European Judaism and the politics surrounding a modern Israel, the endurance of these small, global communities often goes unmentioned, if not completely forgotten. Azriel deftly demonstrates the importance of communication through tradition, L'Dov V'Dor (generational learning), and communal organization to the continued existence and growth of these lesser-known Jewish communities in an easily accessible and engaging narrative style.