Entries in this volume are arranged alphabetically. Within each entry, asterisks (*) identify people, places, literary works, and concepts and movements for which separate articles exist. Often, in the course of an essay or at its conclusion, references to other relevant entries are indicated in UPPERCASE letters. Articles often refer to interesting and important individuals for whom there are no designated entries. A comprehensive Index of Names at the end of the volume directs readers to all the entries in which a particular person is mentioned. The Contributors listing at the beginning of the book identifies each author and the entry or entries she or he has written.
Some articles have been grouped by topic for the reader's convenience. For example, substantive entries about Jewish writers and writings in various times and places appear alphabetically under Literature. Similar groupings are found under Art, Bible, Film, Holocaust, Israel, State of, Journalism, Middle Ages, Music, Poetry, Sports, Theater, United States, and Women, among others. Articles related to one or more of these topics also stand alone, but cross-references direct readers to them.
The entries in this volume are relatively brief; none is longer than 3,000 words and most are far shorter. They are also highly focused, exploring specific subjects in some detail. In many ways, this book complements The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture (ed. Judith R. Baskin and Kenneth Seeskin, 2010), whose far longer historical and thematic essays provide comprehensive overviews of particular eras and subjects.