The Last Jews of Kerala

Edna Fer­nan­des
  • Review
By – January 27, 2012

The Last Jews of Ker­ala details the fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry of the 2,000 year old lit­tle­known Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in India’s Ker­ala region, from its incep­tion to its apex to its impend­ing extinc­tion. Author Edna Fer­nan­des gives the work a human side by describ­ing not only the his­to­ry but her inter­ac­tions with the present gen­er­a­tion of these Jews, who now num­ber few­er than fifty. The read­er joins Fer­nan­des in what feels like her per­son­al jour­ney of dis­cov­ery. The sub­ject is fas­ci­nat­ing and poignant, the jour­ney both lan­guid and intense. Fer­nan­des’ strongest suit is her abil­i­ty to intro­duce a theme, seam­less­ly inter­weave it with­in the sto­ry, and con­clude by unfold­ing a cohe­sive tapes­try. Read­ers inter­est­ed in Jew­ish his­to­ry will not be disappointed.

Yehu­da Kran­zler has a B.A. from Johns Hop­kins, where he was co-edi­tor in chief of the Johns Hop­kins Black and Blue and edu­ca­tion chair­man of the Johns Hop­kins Hil­lel. Mr. Kran­zler is a licensed social work­er and treats chil­dren and ado­les­cents in New York.

Discussion Questions