An innovative and poignant exploration of diverse Jewish communities throughout the diaspora.
It’s been two thousand years after most Jews were exiled from Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land, and two generations since the Holocaust led to the founding of modern Israel. Still, small yet resilient Jewish communities continue to endure and thrive around the world—sometimes in the most unlikely places, and often in the face of extreme persecution.
Journalist Annika Hernroth-Rothstein has spent two years of her life uncovering the hidden beauty of these largely forgotten Jewish enclaves. Drawing from her personal experience of growing up as a Jew in a tiny village in Sweden, Annika brings brilliant life to the history, culture, and most importantly, the fascinating people she’s met on her journey.
Part sociology, part history lesson, and always a love letter to the Jewish people, Exile is an indispensable guide to rediscovering forgotten pieces of a rich Jewish history.
Some of the countries explored include Sweden, Finland, Cuba, Turkey, Colombia, Iran, Tunisia, Morocco, Russia (Siberia), and Uzbekistan.
"This fascinating and deeply moving journey to the edges of the Jewish world tells a story of heroism and perseverance that enriches our understanding of contemporary Jewish identity. One wonders how much longer these communities will be able to endure, and that open question only makes this book all the more poignant and urgent."
– Yossi Klein Halevi, Senior Fellow, Shalom Hartman Institute
"An intimate and engaging tour d'horizon of the diaspora, Exile is an essential resource for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Jewish life outside of Israel and the United States. Annika Hernroth-Rothstein has writen a remarkable book and performed a crucial service for the Jewish people everywhere."
– Michael Oren is the former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and is the author of the New York Times bestselling Power, Faith and Fantasy and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East
“Too long considered merely a problem to solve, the Jewish diaspora isn’t an abstraction but, as Annika Hernroth-Rothstein reminds us in this important book, a gorgeous mosaic of rich traditions and complicated circumstances. Like the best observers of the human condition, she weaves together sweeping historical narratives and tender everyday moments to show us how Jews from Iran to Finland succeed in preserving both the shared and timeless memory of our people and the diversity of experience that makes our ancient religion eternally vibrant. It’s time we toured the vast and lively Jewish world out there, and we can ask for no better guide on this journey than Hernroth-Rothstein.”
– Liel Leibovitz, Senior Writer,Tablet Magazine, and Co-Host of the Unorthodox podcast
“Western observers often characterize Judaism as a religion, though this is far from the whole story. For at least 2000 years, the Jewish Family has embraced a wide diversity of belief - and non-belief. Exile introduces this family’s disparate branches, visiting them in their ancestral homes in North Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, and lovingly telling their stories.”
– Tal Keinan, Author of God Is in the Crowd: Twenty-First Century Judaism