Jews played a significant role in the founding and subsequent development of modern anthropology.  Two of its four principal founders, according to Jerry Moore, in his study Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists,1 were Émile Durkheim and Franz Boas.  Of the twenty-one major theorists profiled by Moore, seven were Jews, or of Jewish descent.  Similarly, Jews are the subjects of one-third of the forty-two biographical entries contained in The Dictionary of Anthropology.2  Two of the five major biographical articles in the Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology3 deal with the work of Boas and Claude Lévi-Strauss.  Listed below are the names of prominent Jewish anthropologists and of other Jewish scholars who have contributed to the development of anthropology.  See also Jews in Sociology and Jews in Linguistics.

1. Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists, by Jerry D. Moore (Rowman and Littlefield, New York and Oxford, 1997).
2. The Dictionary of Anthropology, edited by Thomas Barfield ( Blackwell, Malden, MA and Oxford, 1997).
3. Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology, edited by Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer (Routledge, London and New York, 1996).

4. Jewish father, non-Jewish mother.
5. Jewish mother (née Lois Brieger), non-Jewish father.
6. Jewish mother, Klara Moiseevna Desner.
7. Paternal grandfather (Julius Oblatt) and maternal grandmother (née Henriette Alphen) were Jewish.

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