Among its unique collections and on-line accessible are rich digital collections of Jewish, Zionist and Israeli music, housed at the Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Song. These include rare recordings from many artists and periods, among them Naomi Shemer, Hannukah (Carlcbach), Israeli independence, Judeo-Spanish, etc. Choose a digital collection; listen to an array of songs and original recordings, perhaps 10,000 or more, while you peruse the rest of the National Libraries collections, including the Hebrew press from Zionism’s beginnings.
ISRAEL21c offers analysis and reporting about contemporary Israel that go beyond the conflict. ISRAEL21c is an online news magazine offering the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel found anywhere. It is a vast resource of thousands of originally written and produced articles, videos, and blogs by some of Israel’s leading journalists. Free from bias or prejudice, ISRAEL21c is a uniquely apolitical non-profit organization. ISRAEL21c publishes it content daily, and through a weekly newsletter that reaches 50,000 subscribers. Focusing beyond the Middle East conflict, ISRAEL21c offers topical and timely reports on how Israelis from all walks of life innovate, improve, and add value to the world. Articles show how Israeli efforts have contributed to the advancement of health-care, environment, technology, culture, and democratic values worldwide. The site redefines the conversation about Israel, offering fair and balanced actions by country, and has useful diagrams.
The Israel Defense Force has an extensive, well designed website.
Take a virtual tour with the Google Art Project or visit the Museum website. Located in Jerusalem, the Israel Museum houses a phenomenal collection of ancient, medieval, and modern artworks. In addition to its fine collection of non-Judaica, it houses collections of photographs, paintings, Jewish ceremonial objects, and a wide array of other Judaic items.
The Israel Supreme Court site is designed to enable you to become acquainted with the court system and obtain information about it.
The Knesset website provides a bounty of information about past and current happenings in Israeli politics, as well as historical information about all past Knesset members, their positions, and years of service. The website provides excellent descriptions on how the Israeli parliament works. Its navigation is easy, permitting access all information and sources.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has a lot of valuable information and also serves as a portal to other websites. It details the ministry, foreign relations, government, Jerusalem, treaties, peace processes, terrorism, anti-Semitism/Holocaust and international development. There are also sections titled History of Israel (with official maps) and Facts about Israel.
On their website, you will find a comprehensive list of Israel’s government and government-related websites. This list includes links to: Government ministries, other government sites including local governments and kibbutzim websites. Also: Archeology in Israel, Culture, and the Arts, Economic and Business, Education, Health and Medicine, Aliyah information, Youth and Student organizations, New and Media, Elections and Politics, Public Organizations, Tourism, 100 years of Zionism, and Sports.
Additional noteworthy Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs links include:
Available in English and Hebrew, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies is a treasure trove of statistics and studies on Israel. The Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, a collaborative effort between the Institute and the Municipality of Jerusalem, provides readers with 25 years’ worth of statistics from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on a wide-variety of topics. The site likewise provides access to countless other studies and articles about a multitude of topics relating to Israeli society, religion, economy, ecology and demography. The Institute is correct in that its website does maintain “a balance of highly qualified academics and practitioners, and provides a constant flow of relevant, accurate, and in-depth data, policy papers, and professional analyses for use by decision-makers, researchers, and the general public.”
The Jewish National and University Library was established in Jerusalem in 1892. Over the years it accumulated both ancient and new works pertaining to Jewish intellectual heritage, as well as books published in various parts of the Jewish world. When the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was established in 1925, the Library was officially named “The Jewish National and University Library” and the scope of the collections was greatly expanded. Its e-library and digital collections are exciting adventures into the cultural and literary adventures of Zionism, and its varied Jewish roots of the last several centuries.
The Jerusalem-based Jewish Peoples Policy Institute (JPPI) contains a wonderful mix of analyses that put Israel in the broader context of the life of world Jewry. There are truly first rate analyses that deal with Jewish issues of identity and equality, and demographic and religious challenges facing Jews in Israel and elsewhere. Subject areas include strategy and geography, Israel-Diaspora relations, anti-Semitism, Jewish Europeans, American Jews and other topics. Trends among Jews and the changing definitions of Jewish peoplehood are highlighted features in the Institute’s assessments. Their publication library is well organized and their media section contains an impressive collection of JPPI events and talks, including those by scholars, diplomats and Israeli politicians. According to their site, “JPPI’s activities are action-oriented, placing special emphasis on identifying critical options and analyzing their potential impact on the future. To this end, the Institute works towards developing professional strategic and long-term policy perspectives exploring key factors that may endanger or enhance the future of the Jewish People.”
The Knesset offers a thorough website for both those familiar, and not-yet-familiar, with the Israeli Parliament system.
Founded during World War I, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) was the first Jewish organization in the United States to dispense large-scale funding for international relief. World War I left in its wake the seeds of many additional catastrophes—pogroms, epidemics, famine, revolutions, and economic ruin—and JDC played a major role in rebuilding the devastated communities of Eastern Europe and Palestine. For a century it has assisted Jews in distress, helped many immigrate to safe havens, supported and resettled survivors from the Holocaust, and provided relief to Jews in the Muslim world and Jews living behind the Iron Curtain. After the fall of Communism, the JDC established cultural and educational programs to foster a sense of Jewish identify in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The JDC remains active in 70 countries, assisting Jews and non-Jews around the globe.
In January 2015, the JDC Archives completed cataloguing, microfilming and digitizing all of their post-Holocaust era collections (1945-1954). This material is available to scholars, genealogists, and the general public. For the history of Zionism and Israel, the post WWII period was a turning point when so many issues intersected, including British-US differences over the future of Palestine, UN politics, stifled Jewish immigration to Palestine, Jewish Palestine’s preparation for the impending conflict with the Arabs, and the emergence of American-Jewish support for a Jewish state. The archives have uploaded 1.7 million digitized pages, that include memos, reports, photographs, correspondences, etc. Useful finding aids make casual inquiries, deep, rich and engaging. https://www.jdc.org
The National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII), one of the pillars on which social policy in Israel rests, operates under the National Insurance Law, passed by the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in November 1953. The NII provides current data on wages and insurance benefits and publishes policy reports and surveys (single parent families, disabilities, work accidents, unemployment benefits, social gaps, etc.) in Hebrew with abstracts sometimes available in English. NII claims that it aims to “provide weak population groups and families in temporary or long-term difficulties with a financial basis for subsistence.” Each December the NII publishes an annual survey of work completed, covering a granular assessment of poverty levels in Israel.
The Israel Diplomatic Network: Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations’ site introduces Israel’s positions on important U.N. related issues, and offers a full range of information about Israel’s activities in the United Nations, its different bodies and agencies.
The website of the President guides users to detailed information about the Presidency in Israel. Available in Arabic, Hebrew, and English, the website is clearly organized. Knowing how the Israeli president differs from an American president is a key to understanding the multiple differences between parliamentary and presidential systems of government.
Information about the Prime Minister, his office and advisers, Cabinet Ministers and past Prime Ministers can be found on the Prime Minister’s Office website.
Housed at the Hebrew University, the Spielberg Film Library is a wonderful way to transport your peers and students to the way it was in Eretz Yisrael/Palestine/Israel. There are literally hundreds of digitized films. There is a searchable index. The films cover the earliest days of Zionism, some pre-dating WWI, with a goodly number of them depicting land settlement, health, city, the arts, town, rural life, kibbutzim, immigration, Israel’s birth and early years. Many are in Hebrew which should provide excellent opportunities for exercises in language comprehension. There are treasures of ethnic Jewish music as well as those of key historical events, such as the UN partition vote, Abba Eban reading Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and a whole series of films dealing with Israel’s wars. Anyone teaching or learning about Zionism or modern Israeli history or society should avail themselves of this rich and unmatched and seemingly endless film collection.
Maps of the Middle East for classroom use are easily accessible using ‘smart classrooms’ and ‘white boards’ and available at the University of Texas Libraries Middle East Map Collection.