Paperback pp xxxix, 436. ISBN 0567 08525 2. Diaspora, or dispersion, has been a feature of Jewish life for more than 2,500 years. While Jewish tradition emphasises the central importance of the land of Israel for Jewish life, Jews have been scattered abroad, either voluntarily or as a result of coercion, for most of their history. Study of the diaspora communities is concerned with cultural and political aspects of the life of a national grouping in many diverse social contexts.