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16-volume Encyclopedia Judaica, First in 70 Years, Completed

Completion of the new Encyclopedia Judaica–the first in 70 years–was celebrated with a champagne party here today. The 16-volume-plus-index work that was five years in the making, was hailed by its promotors as the largest Jewish publishing project of the century. The encyclopedia will be distributed in the Western hemisphere by the Macmillan Co. for about $600 a set.

The official publication date is Jan. 24 when President Zalman Shazar of Israel will receive a complimentary set. Mayor Teddy Kollek will proclaim Encyclopedia Judaica Day in Jerusalem. The project was begun under the editorship of the late Prof. Cecil Roth who was succeeded after his death last year by Dr. Geoffrey Wigoder. The encyclopedia contains contributions from some 2,000 scholars, about 1,200 of them in Israel and 600 in the United States.

A complete set contains over 11 million words in more than 13,000 pages. There are 8,000 illustrations, maps, charts and diagrams. The encyclopedia was printed by Keter Ltd., a subsidiary of the Israeli Klai Holding Co. The idea for a new Encyclopedia Judaica was first conceived by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress. Keter plans a shortened version of the encyclopedia in Russian for immigrants from the Soviet Union.

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