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Here is what “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories” is about:

“Shaland takes you by the hand and delivers a Jewish heart.”— C.J. Brown, Editor, HaLapid Magazine

“These are investigations of Jewish communities…in some of the world’s most exotic, romantic or just plain unlikely locations.”— L. Hankin, Editor, Intermountain Jewish News

“This book is full of Jewish survival stories and fascinating tales. Though not a conventional travel guide, the book will help the reader learn about the history of Jewish communities in ten countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa and show hard to find places they might want to visit.”—GTA Books

Two and a half millennia ago, a small party of Jews explored new trading routes for King Solomon, settled in the south of India, and lived there peacefully until today. Similarly, during the ancient Roman period, many Jewish merchants traveled to China over the Silk Route and some made it their permanent home.  Also, before the Edict of Expulsion in 1492, Sicily was home to over 50 Jewish communities, possibly numbering 50,000 people.

So, how did the Diaspora bring these wandering Jews to so many places around the globe? And why did Jews live happily in India and China for centuries and not experience antisemitism, while the story of the Jews in Europe went from persecutions and massacres to unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust? Finally, why do we see the rise of antisemitism and violence again in the 21st century?

You will find answers to these questions and much more in the current edition of Irene Shaland’s artfully illustrated book The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories. She collected these fascinating stories while visiting ten countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa and interviewing the locals in their homes, synagogues, and even cemeteries. Now, Irene Shaland’s book, replete with her husband’s photos, takes you on your own exciting journey of discovery from Austria and the Czech Republic to Scandinavia, from India and China to Sicily and Sardinia, and from East Africa to Stalinist Russia.

About the Author:

Irene Shaland is an internationally-published art and travel writer, educator, and lecturer focusing on the rich tapestry of global Jewish experiences, culture, and heritage. A member of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, she is a presenter at the Society’s annual conferences and contributor to its HaLapid academic journal.  Irene is a contributing author and lecturer at Siegal College of Jewish Studies, Touro Law School of New York, the Center for Jewish History Research, the American Sephardic Federation in New York, and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Irene authored three books, including recently published “The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories” and numerous magazine articles on Jewish history and cultural travel published in such American, Canadian, and U.K magazines as The Baltimore Jewish Times, The Boston Forward, Chicago Jewish News, The Jewish Journal of Greater Boston, Cleveland Jewish News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Jews News, Hackwriters Literary Online UK magazine, Holiday Magazine – France/UK, IMAGE Magazine, The Jewish Journal of San Antonio, Jewish Life Magazine, Jewish Montreal, L’Chaim Magazine of the Intermountain Jewish News, London Jewish Telegraph, Los Angeles Jewish Times, The Lotus, Montreal Jewish Magazine, Northern Ohio Life, Orange County Jewish Life, Jewish Chronicle – Pittsburgh, ROMAR Travel, San Diego Jewish Journal, Shelanu – Kenya, Sino-Judaica Institute Academic Magazine, Theater Journal, Tikkun Magazine, The Toronto Jewish Tribune, Washington Jewish Week, ZEEK Magazine, and 5 Towns Jewish Times.

Irene holds a BA in Journalism and Art History from St. Petersburg University (Russia), a Master’s Degree in English from Case Western Reserve University, and a Master’s Degree in Information Sciences from Kent State University.

Take a look at Other Books by Irene Shaland