BAR 33:02, Mar/Apr 2007
The EJ’s Even Bigger and Better the Second Time Around
When the English-language Encyclopaedia Judaica (EJ) hit the shelves in 1972—an event almost 45 years in the making—it was praised as “a work of transcendent value” and “an indispensable reference tool.” This 16-volume work has long since been considered the authoritative source for learning about Jewish life, history and religion. But now, more than 30 years later, joint publishers Keter Publishing House and Macmillan Reference USA have released a greatly expanded second edition.
The new EJ was officially published on December 8, 2006. The editors’ guiding principle with this new edition was “to retain the broad, solid scholarship of the original edition while giving voice to the present generation.” To achieve this, their work built on annual supplements and a CD-ROM that had been released in the decades since the original publication. The result is a 22-volume second edition with more than 21,000 articles, including 2,600 new entries and 11,000 updated ones, written by an international team of scholars, 1,200 of which were new contributors to the project. Supplementing the new EJ are 600 maps, tables and illustrations, as well as more than 150 pages of full-color photographs and 30,000 new bibliographical listings.