Type of site
|Owner||American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise|
|Alexa rank||50,596 (April 2018[update]) (13,599 in the US)|
The Jewish Virtual Library ("JVL", formerly known as JSOURCE) is an online encyclopedia published by the American–Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE). It is a website covering topics about Israel–United States relations, Jewish history, Israel, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Judaism.
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. Mitchell G. Bard is the encyclopedia's Executive Director.
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 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.
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 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."
The Jewish Virtual Library is regularly cited by CNN, New York Times, BBC, CBS News, Fox News, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Bloomberg, 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, University of Wisconsin, King's College, London, Duke University, University of Minnesota, the American Jewish Historical Society and Purdue University.
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 praised the online library for its "easily accessible, balanced information". 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.