Jewish Virtual Library

Last updated

Jewish Virtual Library
Jewish Virtual Library website screenshot.png
Type of site
Reference encyclopedia
Available inEnglish
Owner American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
Alexa rank50,596 (April 2018) [1] (13,599 in the US)
Current statusOnline

The Jewish Virtual Library ("JVL", formerly known as JSOURCE [2] ) is an online encyclopedia published by the American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). [3] It is a website covering topics about Israel–United States relations, Jewish history, Israel, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Judaism. [4] [5]

An online encyclopedia, also called a digital encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia accessible through the internet, such as Wikipedia. The idea to build a free encyclopedia using the Internet can be traced at least to the 1994 Interpedia proposal; it was planned as an encyclopedia on the Internet to which everyone could contribute materials. The project never left the planning stage and was overtaken by a key branch of old printed encyclopedias.

American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise

The American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) U.S.-based organization established in 1993 "to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship."

Israel–United States relations international relationship between Israel and the United States

Israel–United States relations refers to the bilateral relationship between Israel and the United States. Since the 1960s the United States is been very strong supporter of Israel, and promoted good relations between Israel and Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, while holding off the hostility from other Arab nations, especially Syria and Iran. The relations are a very important factor in the United States government's overall policy in the Middle East, and Congress has placed considerable importance on the maintenance of a close and supportive relationship.



The Jewish Virtual Library relies on history books, scientific studies, various encyclopedias, archives, polls, maps, and material from museums for its bibliography, as well as Wikipedia articles. [6] [7] Mitchell G. Bard is the encyclopedia's Executive Director. [8]

The Library has 13 wings: Anti-Semitism, History, Myths and Facts, Women, The Holocaust, Travel, Maps, Politics, Biography, Israel, Israel Education, Religion, Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress, and Vital Statistics and Reference. [9]

The JVL hosts more than 60,000 articles and nearly 10,000 photographs and maps related to Jewish history, Israel, Israel–United States relations, the Holocaust, antisemitism and Judaism, as well as various statistics, information about politics, biographies, travel guides, and a section on Jewish women throughout history. The website includes the complete text of the Tanakh and most of the Babylonian Talmud. [10]

The Jewish Virtual Library contains articles and studies conducted by AICE, principally involving American-Israeli cooperation. It contains information about Israel education in America, including information about Israel Studies [11] and course materials on Israel-related subjects. It also provides book and movie reviews and a "Virtual Israel Experience" online project. Episodes of the Tel Aviv Review podcast are hosted on the site. The website aims to document the relationship between Israel and each of the 50 states, and publish declassified documents from sources such as the CIA, State Department and British Foreign Service that reveal insights into those organizations’ attitudes toward Jews and Israel. [12]


A PBS web page for the film The Jewish Americans lists the JVL as a resource "For Statistics and Analysis About Jews in America Today", with the description, "A division of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, the Jewish Virtual Library is a comprehensive online Jewish encyclopedia, covering everything from Antisemitism to Zionism. More than 13,000 articles and 6,000 photographs and maps have been integrated into the site. Their Vital Statistics section has an exhaustive list of current statistics and comparative data." [13]

<i>The Jewish Americans</i>

The Jewish Americans was a three-part miniseries that originally aired on PBS during the month of January 2008. It was written and directed by David Grubin.

The Jewish Virtual Library is regularly cited by CNN, New York Times , [14] BBC, [15] CBS News, [16] Fox News, The Los Angeles Times , USA Today , Bloomberg, [17] and others. It is listed as reference by academic libraries at different universities in the United States in the fields of Middle East history and Jewish studies: at University of Waterloo, [18] University of Wisconsin, [19] King's College, London, Duke University, [20] University of Minnesota, [21] the American Jewish Historical Society [22] and Purdue University. [23]

John Jaeger, in an article published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, said of the JVL: "This library, once it is entered, is more like a living encyclopedia than it is anything else. One has options to click on, such as history, women, biography, politics, Israel, maps, and Judaic Treasures at the Library of Congress, with each launching a person into a different realm. The site is extremely well put together." [24]

Karen Evans of Indiana State University praised the online library for its "easily accessible, balanced information". [25] The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center wrote that "the Jewish Virtual Library offers a comprehensive encyclopedia of Holocaust related articles that are searchable by topic. [26]

Related Research Articles

Antisemitism is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.

Elie Wiesel Romanian-born Jewish Holocaust survivor, writer, professor, activist, and thinker.

Eliezer Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Holocaust denial Denial of the genocide of Jews in World War II

Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II. Holocaust deniers make one or more of the following false statements:

Yom HaShoah Israels day of commemoration for the Jews who perished in the Holocaust

Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah, known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. In Israel, it is a national memorial day. The first official commemorations took place in 1951, and the observance of the day was anchored in a law passed by the Knesset in 1959. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to the Jewish Sabbath, in which case the date is shifted by a day.

Stephen Samuel Wise American rabbi

Stephen Samuel Wise (1874–1949) was an early 20th-century American, Progressive Era, Reform rabbi, and Zionist leader.

Righteous Among the Nations honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis

Righteous Among the Nations is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The term originates with the concept of "righteous gentiles", a term used in rabbinic Judaism to refer to non-Jews, called ger toshav, who abide by the Seven Laws of Noah.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica is a 22-volume English-language encyclopedia of the Jewish people and of Judaism. It covers diverse areas of the Jewish world and civilization, including Jewish history of all eras, culture, holidays, language, scripture, and religious teachings. As of 2010, it had been published in two editions accompanied by a few revisions.

The world's core Jewish population was estimated at 14,511,000 in April 2018, up from 14.41 million in 2016. Demographer Sergio DellaPergola proposes an "extended" Jewish population, including people identifying as partly Jewish and non-Jews with Jewish parents, numbering 17.3 million globally, and an "enlarged" Jewish population figure that also includes non-Jewish members of Jewish households totaling 20.2 million. Additionally, the total number of people who hold or are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return — defined as anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, and who does not profess any other religion — is estimated at around 23 million, of which 6.6 million were living in Israel as of 2015. Figures for these expanded categories are less precise than for the core Jewish population.

Mitchell Geoffrey Bard is an American foreign policy analyst, editor and author who specializes in U.S.–Middle East policy. He is the Executive Director of the non-profit American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), and the director of the Jewish Virtual Library.

Antisemitic canards are unfounded rumors or false allegations that are defamatory towards Judaism as a religion, or defamatory towards Jews as an ethnic or religious group. Since at least the Middle Ages they often form part of broader Jewish conspiracies theories.

David Kranzler American historian of German Jewish descent

David H. Kranzler was an American professor of library science at Queensborough Community College, New York, who specialized in the study of the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust.

Rafael Medoff American historian of Jews and Judaism

Rafael Medoff (born c. 1959) is an American historian, the founding director of The David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which is based in Washington, D.C. and focuses on issues related to America's response to the Holocaust.

Antisemitism in the United States has existed for centuries. In the United States, most Jewish community relations agencies distinguish between antisemitism, measured in terms of attitudes and behaviors; and the security and status of American Jews, measured by specific incidents. Antisemitic incidents have been on a generally decreasing trend in the last century consistent with a general reduction of socially sanctioned racism in the United States, especially since World War II and the Civil Rights Movement. Cultural changes from the 1960s onward into the 21st century have caused a large shift in general attitudes such that, in recent years, most Americans surveyed express positive viewpoints regarding Jews. An ABC News report in 2007 recounted that about 6% of Americans reported some feelings of prejudice against Jews. According to surveys by the Anti-Defamation League in 2011, antisemitism is rejected by clear majorities of Americans, with 64% of them lauding Jews' cultural contributions to the nation in 2011, but still a minority holding hateful views of Jews remain, with 19% of Americans supporting the antisemitic canard that Jews co-control Wall Street. Holocaust denial has also only been a fringe phenomenon in recent years, as of April 2018, 96% of Americans are aware of the facts of the Holocaust.

Steven B. Bowman is an American scholar and academic particularly known for his research of Greek and Jewish relations throughout the past three millennia, with emphasis on Byzantine and Holocaust periods. He is a professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Cincinnati, where he teaches a wide range of courses in ancient and medieval Judaic Studies and modern Israel.

Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland

Jewish ghettos in German-occupied Poland were established during World War II in hundreds of locations across occupied Poland. Most Jewish ghettos had been created by Nazi Germany between October 1939 and July 1942 in order to confine and segregate Poland's Jewish population of about 3.5 million for the purpose of persecution, terror, and exploitation. In smaller towns, ghettos often served as staging points for Jewish slave-labor and mass deportation actions, while in the urban centers they resembled walled-off prison-islands described by some historians as little more than instruments of "slow, passive murder", with dead bodies littering the streets.

Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations

The Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations is part of the much larger Yad Vashem complex located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Along with some two dozen different structures within the Yad Vashem memorial – which is the second most-visited destination in the country after the Western Wall – the Garden of the Righteous is meant to honor those non-Jews who during the Holocaust risked their lives to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The entire site receives one million visitors annually. In the Garden, names of the Righteous among the Nations are engraved in alphabetical order on walls arranged according to country.

Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc. (JCR) was an organization established by the Conference on Jewish Relations in April 1947 to collect and distribute heirless Jewish property in the American occupied zone of Germany after World War II. The organization, originally named the Commission on European Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, was originally proposed in 1944 by Theodor Gaster of the Library of Congress, and one of its cofounders.

Iraqi Jews in Israel Ethnic group

Iraqi Jews in Israel, also known as the Bavlim, are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Iraqi Jewish communities, who now reside within the state of Israel. They number around 450,000.

Jewish Voice for Labour

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) is an organisation for Jewish members of the Labour Party. Formed in 2017, its aims include a commitment "to strengthen the party in its opposition to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism... to uphold the right of supporters of justice for Palestinians to engage in solidarity activities" and "to oppose attempts to widen the definition of antisemitism beyond its meaning of hostility towards, or discrimination against, Jews as Jews".


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet . Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. Arnold Dashefsky; Ira M. Sheskin (February 3, 2016). American Jewish Year Book 2015: The Annual Record of the North American Jewish Communities. Springer. p. 831. ISBN   978-3-319-24505-8.
  3. "Jewish Virtual Library". MERLOT . Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  4. "About AICE". AICE. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  5. "Jewish Virtual Library". The American University of Iraq Sulaimani . Retrieved January 17, 2018.[ dead link ]
  6. "Bookstore" . Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  7. According to the JVL, it received permission to use materials from the Library of Congress, from the American Jewish Historical Society, the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel), The Prime Minister’s Office, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and other resources
  8. "Jewish Virtual Library Website » AVI CHAI". AVI CHAI. June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  9. "Jewish Virtual Library Website". AVI CHAI Foundation . Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  10. "Profile - Jewish Virtual Library (JVL)". Lippman Kanfer Prize for Applied Jewish Wisdom. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  11. "'Israel Studies: An Anthropology' and the Jewish Virtual Library". European Association Of Israel Studies. April 20, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  12. "Will Jews Lose Their Online Library?". eJewish Philanthropy. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  13. "For Statistics and Analysis About Jews in America Today". PBS . Retrieved April 2, 2012. Provided as a resource on the web page the PBS film, The Jewish Americans .
  14. Kirkpatrick, David D. "Benjamin Netanyahu News". New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  15. Roberts, Sophie (January 2005). "To be Jewish is to question". BBC.
  16. Montopoli, Brian (December 11, 2009). "White House Hanukkah Party Spawns Anger". CBS News. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  17. Waters, Rob (March 4, 2008). "For European Jews, Living to 100 Is Partly a Tale of Two Genes". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  18. "Ereference Items for Jewish Studies - Library". University of Waterloo. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  19. "Jewish Virtual Library - Databases". UW-Madison Libraries. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  20. "Jewish Studies - resources". LibGuides at Duke University. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  21. "JEWISH VIRTUAL LIBRARY (FREE)". University of Minnesota Libraries. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  22. "University Jewish Studies". American Jewish Historical Society. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  23. "Post-Communist Jewish Identities: Jewish Heritage" . Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  24. Jaeger, John. "Association of College and Research Libraries "World religions on the Web: A guide to some of the most helpful sites"". C&RL News June 2002 Vol. 63 No. 6. (archived). Archived from the original on September 3, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  25. Karen Evans (October 2002). "Jewish Virtual Library at the Internet Reviews Archive, College and Research Libraries News, a division of the American Library Association at Bowdoin College". Archived from the original on November 2002.
  26. "Other Holocaust Centers". The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center. Retrieved January 19, 2018.