Jewish Virtual Library
|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, potentially preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (March 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Type of site
|Owner||American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise|
|Slogan(s)||"Everything you need to know, from Antisemitism to Zionism"|
|Alexa rank||42,904 (May 2014[update])|
The Jewish Virtual Library (JVL) is an online encyclopedia published by the American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE).Launched in 1998, it is a website covering topics about US-Israel relations, Israel, and the Jewish people.
The JVL relies on history books, scientific studies, various encyclopedias, articles, archives, polls, maps, and material from museums for its bibliography, as well as Wikipedia articles. 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), and Prime Minister’s Office, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin (author of Jewish Literacy), and other resources. Foreign policy expert Dr. Mitchell G. Bard is the encyclopedia's Executive Director.
A previous version of the AICEs "about" page described one of its principal objective as "to enhance Israel's image by publicizing novel Israeli approaches to problems common to both our nations and illustrating how Americans can learn from these innovations. AICE also works with individual states that are establishing and expanding their ties with Israel. In particular, we produce reports documenting how these states can, and do, benefit from cooperation, trade, and academic & cultural exchanges with Israel."
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. The JVL includes 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 Jewish women throughout history. The website includes the complete text of the Tanakh and most of the Babylonian Talmud. The JVL contains articles and studies conducted by AICE, principally involving American-Israeli cooperation. In addition, it has information about Israel education in America, including information about Israel Studies 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.
Online versions of the "Myths and Facts" featured in Dr. Mitchell G. Bard's book Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict are also available on the Jewish Virtual Library.
A new and improved version of the Jewish Virtual Library was launched on January 24, 2017, which features a more responsive and modern design. The Jewish Virtual Library boasts an average of over one million users per month.
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."
The Jewish Virtual Library has been cited by CNN, New York Times, BBC, CBS News, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Bloomberg, among others. It is listed as reference by academic libraries at Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, University of Washington, King's College, London, and the University of Delaware.
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." Karen Evans of Indiana State University wrote that the site is comprehensive, with "easily accessible, balanced information".
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- Karen Evans, Jewish Virtual Library at the Internet Reviews Archive, College and Research Libraries News, a division of the American Library Association at Bowdoin College, Oct 2002