Jewish Virtual Library

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]

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


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]

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]


  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.
  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.
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