Scattered Among the Nations with Bryan Schwartz
Laurel Bookstore welcomes Bryan Schwartz, one of the creators of Scattered Among the Nations: Photographs and Stories of the World's Most Isolated Jewish Communities, to present beautiful photographs of and speak about the far-flung peoples of the Jewish diaspora.
Writer/photographer Bryan Schwartz, photographer Sandy Carter and journalist Jay Sand have visited dozens of the most isolated Jewish communities in the world in recent years. Their unique photographs and interviews document populations that remain on the geographic and cultural fringes of the Jewish Diaspora. From the Benei Menashe tribes in the hills of northeastern India to the Abayudaya of Mbale, Uganda, from the Inca Jews of the Peruvian Andes to the Jewish community of Rusape, Zimbabwe (with its own Jewish gospel choir), each of these communities maintains its traditions apart from the mainstream Jewish community, struggling to preserve Jewish practice, rituals and culture amidst often harsh surroundings.
In Scattered Among the Nations, Schwartz, Carter and Sand will introduce readers to the diverse faces and places that comprise the hidden Jewish world at the dawn of the new millennium. With sixteen chapters profiling different communities, and hundreds of large, color photographs and never-before told stories, the book will make readers feel that, like the artists themselves, they have become intimate friends with Jews in places they never dreamed existed.
Bryan Schwartz, an Oakland, California-based civil rights attorney, conceived Scattered Among the Nations in the spring of 1999, visiting Jews in 30 countries and over 100 towns and villages on five continents. These communities inspired Bryan with new enthusiasm for Jewish practice through their unshakeable devotion and unbounded warmth and kindness. Bryan led the effort to create Scattered Among the Nations, Inc. to educate about Jewish diversity and assist isolated Jewish communities in gaining the recognition and resources to meet their needs. Bryan has spoken to audiences regarding Scattered Among the Nations in four languages on five continents. His images, articles, and discourse regarding diverse Jewish communities have been published worldwide, from National Geographic to Fox News, from NPR to KPFA, from Ha'aretz to the Jewish Forward, from the Jerusalem Report, to Hadassah, to B'nai B'rith Magazine, to Moment. Bryan's "Scattered Among the Nations," "Jews of Color: In Color!" and "Jews of Color: a Renaissance" exhibits have shown throughout the United States since 2003, at galleries, universities, synagogues, Jewish Community Centers, and Jewish museums, from the San Francisco Bay Area, to Washington, DC; from New York City, to St. Paul, Minnesota; from Boston, to Houston, Texas.