Behind the Silk Curtain

HOW are the Jews faring in the land of the mullahs? JEWS OF IRAN is a photographic chronicle of what life is like for the 20,000 Jews of the Islamic republic (down from 100,000 before the 1979 revolution). The pictures were made by Hassan Sarbakhshian, a Muslim photographer who worked for the Associated Press until his credentials were revoked by the government who accused him of being sponsored by Israel.

Sarbakhshian and his wife, Parvabeh Vahidmanesh, a journalist and human rights activist, spent two years visiting Jewish sites and private homes, participating in religious ceremonies and holidays, and talking to countless Jewish people to produce a book brimming with lush colorful images and insightful comments on Jewish daily life in Iran.

After they emigrated to the United States, they brought their project to the attention of Lior Sternfeld, a Jewish studies professor at Penn State University, who helped turn their work into this beautifully rendered volume. (Penn State University Press, 118 pages, $29.95)

Jews of Iran