Reviewed by: Joshua Parker, Access Services Librarian, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
The Jewish Review of Books is a quarterly publication now entering its third year. Available both in print and online, the title publishes reviews of books, films, and other works related to Jewish religion, culture, identity, and political life. Each issue also includes original essays on subjects relevant to the Jewish world. Describing itself as "committed to the ideal of the thoughtful essay that illuminates as it entertains," the Review is oriented toward an intellectual audience, though not exclusively an academic one. Although not open access, the Review does make several pieces in each issue freely available to the public online.
The editorial board includes many leading voices in the world of Jewish thought, including Robert Alter, Jon Levenson, Michael Walzer, and Ruth Wisse. Although balance of the board's membership may appear to some to be weighted slightly to the right of the political spectrum, the Review is clearly seeking to publish content that is not limited to a particular political or cultural viewpoint and that will have a wide appeal.
Recent reviews have included Adam Kisch on a collection of Rosa Luxemburg’s letters, David Biale discussing three works that address secularism and the legacy of the Shabbatean movement, and Alana Cooper on Janet Malcolm's Iphigenia in Forest Hills. An occasional feature of particular note is the "Symposium" that collects brief discussions by several contributors about topics such as "Thinking About Revolution and Democracy in the Middle East" and the 2011 J14 tent city protests in Tel Aviv.
The Jewish Review of Books is recommended for collections with a focus on Jewish culture and intellectual life, Judaism, Jewish history, and the contemporary politics of the Middle East and Jewish identity.