The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies is part of a major new series of Oxford Handbooks. The volume on Jewish Studies reflects the aim of the series to produce distinctive and original surveys of today's interests and directions in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Handbook covers all the main areas currently taught and researched as part of Jewish Studies in universities throughout the world, especially in Europe, the United States, and Israel. The span of the volume chronologically and geographically is thus enormous, but all contributors have in commontheir expertise in the study of the history, literature, religion, and culture of the Jews.Jewish Studies is a comparatively young discipline which has grown over the past fifty years in a somewhat undisciplined way. In a period of great upheaval for Jews following the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, the emergence of new forms of dialogue between Jews and Christians,deepening divisions between secular and religious Jews, and unprecedented assimilation by diaspora Jews to the wider culture, the study of Jewish traditions and history has rarely been dispassionate. This is a good time to examine where we are and where the subject is going.There have been some attempts in recent years to encapsulate current conclusions about particular aspects of Jewish Studies, but these other works aim to provide compendia of agreed facts rather than a survey of interests and directions such as is found in the Oxford Handbook.The Handbook begins with an examination of Jewish Studies as an academic discipline in its own right. The first half of the volume is organized chronologically, followed by sections on languages and literature, general aspects of religion, and other branches of Jewish Studies which have eachaccumulated a considerable corpus of scholarship over the past half-century.This substantial volume of c. 400,000 words reflects the current state of scholarship as analysed by an international team of experts in the different and varied fields represented within contemporary Jewish Studies.