American JewBu: Jews, Buddhists, and Religious Change. By Emily Sigalow. Princeton University Press, 2019. 256 pages. $29.95 (hardcover). ISBN-13: 978- 0691174594.
In her book American JewBu: Jews, Buddhists, and Religious Change, Emily Sigalow brings an ethnographic study of self-definition into the scholarly conversation about Jews in the United States, Buddhists in the United States, and how nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century liberal American Jews thought and think about themselves and religion. She says in her introduction, “Despite this popular and scholarly notice, we know comparatively little about the relationship be- tween Judaism and Buddhism in the United States” (p. 3). This is to say, she acknowledges that we know, both at a popular level (she lists a number of Jewish celebrities who are also avowed Buddhists) and an academic one, that the phenomenon exists, but not how people them- selves experience the phenomenon. Sigalow sets out to rectify this gap in knowledge.