Scattered Among the Nations

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/8/2015
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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With vibrant photographs and intricate stories Scattered Among the Nations tells the story of the world’s most isolated Jewish communities, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Former Soviet Union and the margins of Europe. 

Over 2,000 years ago, a shipwreck left seven Jewish couples stranded off India’s Konkan Coast, south of Bombay. Those hardy survivors stayed, built a community, and founded one of the fascinating groups described in this book—the Bene Israel of India’s Maharasthra Province. This story is unique, but it is not unusual. We have all heard the phrase “the lost tribes of Israel,” but never has the truth and wonder of the Diaspora been so lovingly and richly illustrated. To create this amazing chronicle of faith and resilience, the authors visited Jews in 30 countries across five continents, hearing origin stories and family histories that stretch back for millennia.

Sixteen chapters featuring photographs and stories of the world’s most isolated Jewish communities, from:

- The hills of northeastern India, on the border of Myanmar

- Sub-Saharan Africa, in Ghana, on the border of Ivory Coast

- The last Jewish villages in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

- Jews at the heart of the Amazon

- Marranos coming out of hiding in Portugal and Mexico

- Jewish gauchos and ostrich barons, in the Argentine pampas and the South African veld

A foreword from Tudor Parfitt, and over 500 full color photographs and illustrations accompany these beautiful stories, and many more. The culmination of 16 years of collaboration between writers and photographers, Scattered Among the Nations is a stunning work of research and storytelling, and a rich visual documentation of the planet’s most isolated and unusual Jewish communities. Above all, it is a testament to the power of the Jewish people, and the connection that binds such different groups into one great tribe.

Author Biography

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. Bryan led the effort to create Scattered Among the Nations, Inc. (www.scatteredamongthenations.org), a nonprofit organization educating about Jewish diversity and assisting isolated Jewish communities in gaining the recognition and resources to meet their needs.


Jay Sand, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a musician, educator, writer, and world traveler who has been documenting isolated Jewish communities since the 1990s. After years of presenting multimedia “Jews of Africa” presentations, in 2009, he founded All Around This World (www.allaroundthisworld.com), a global music and world cultures program for young children and their grown-ups.


Sandy Carter is a Bellingham, Washington photojournalist who previously co-authored the book, Women in Medicine: A Celebration of Their Work. She has photographed numerous documentary projects which have appeared in exhibitions and publications worldwide. 

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