Abstract: Following the collapse of the Soviet empire, the Jews of Eastern Europe--nearly obliterated by the Nazis, then persecuted by Communist regimes--are rediscovering their culture and religion. Texas-born Hoffman, a former staff writer for the Jerusalem Post , made 10 trips to Eastern Europe in 1989 and 1990 to produce this searching, alert portrait of a people poised between hope and despair. In Czechoslovakia and Poland, he found, small "caretaker communities" of Jews, non-Jews and part-Jews have united around the mission of preserving their countries' Jewish heritage. In contrast, Romania and Bulgaria have seen their Jewish populations depleted by the younger generation's mass exodus to Israel. In East Berlin, reports Hoffman, the tiny Jewish community has been fragmented by the swift, sudden reunion of East and West Germany. He discerningly looks at Eastern European Jews' responses to resurgent anti-Semitism and at their ambivalence toward the older Jewish leadership that accommodated itself to Communist rulers.