If you want to know about virtually anything related to American Jewish life in a hurry, then the American Jewish Desk Reference is for you. Put together by the American Jewish Historical Society, this is an extraordinary encyclopedia tracing Jewish roots in America back to 1585, when Joachim Gaunse (Ganz) landed on Roanoke Island. The book if filled with facts, trivia, profiles and important historical data. Most major Jewish organizations are profiled as are well-known, and not so well-known individuals. This is not the book to buy for a narrative of American Jewish history, but it is good for finding out who is a Jew, basic information on the American Jewish experience and fun facts.
Sources: Mitchel Bard is the Executive Director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise