Jewish Virtual Library

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Jewish Virtual Library
Type of site
Reference encyclopedia
Available in English
Owner American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise
Slogan(s) "Everything you need to know, from Antisemitism to Zionism"
Alexa rank 45,016 (December 2017)[1] (13,599 in the US)
Commercial No
Launched 1997
Current status Online

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


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.[4][5] Foreign policy expert Dr. Mitchell G. Bard is the encyclopedia's Executive Director.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] The website includes the complete text of the Tanakh and most of the Babylonian Talmud.

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[9] 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.


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."[10]

The Jewish Virtual Library has been cited by CNN, New York Times,[11] BBC,[12] CBS News,[13] Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Bloomberg,[14] among others.

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".[15]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library". MERLOT. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library". The American University of Iraq Sulaimani. Retrieved 17 January 2018. 
  4. ^ "Bookstore". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library Website » AVI CHAI". AVI CHAI. June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  7. ^ "Jewish Virtual Library Website". AVI CHAI Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Library". Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "'Israel Studies: An Anthropology' and the Jewish Virtual Library". European Association Of Israel Studies. April 20, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. "Benjamin Netanyahu News – The New York Times". Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  12. ^ Roberts, Sophie (January 2005). "To be Jewish is to question". BBC. 
  13. ^ Montopoli, Brian (December 11, 2009). "White House Hanukkah Party Spawns Anger". CBS News. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  14. ^ Waters, Rob (March 4, 2008). "For European Jews, Living to 100 Is Partly a Tale of Two Genes". Bloomberg. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  15. ^ 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.[citation needed]