According to their website, the Institute “strives to revolutionize Israel’s foreign policy while strengthening the international image of the Jewish state… Our work to advance Israel’s international diplomacy and bring about durable solutions, occurs through three main channels: The Diplomatic Counter-Terrorism Desk, the Diplomacy 2030 Desk, and the Academic Desk.” The Institute additionally produces the ARENA Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, which is available for free on the their website. ARENA provides sharp analysis of contemporary events in Israel, the Middle East and international affairs more generally.

Alliance Center for Iranian Studies (ACIS) is an interdisciplinary research center focusing on the promotion of knowledge and understanding of Iran. The Center was established in November 2005 as the first of its kind in Israel, and officially inaugurated in 2006 as The Center for Iranian Studies (CIS) at Tel Aviv University (TAU)  under the auspices of the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities. Today, it is the largest center for Iranian studies in the Middle East (outside of Iran).

Through innovative research, conferences, colloquia and lectures by local and visiting scholars, the ACIS promotes exchanges across a variety of disciplines between scholars who focus on various aspects of Iranian studies, including Iran’s history, society and religion as well as its role in the region and in the world.

The ACIS also promotes research of Iranian Jewry under the auspices of the Dr. Habib Levy Program.  In its various activities, the Center seeks to provide researchers, students and the general public with a better understanding of the complex cultural and historical processes characterizing Iran and Iranian Jews.

The American Jewish Committee Archives include articles from the annually published American Jewish Yearbook provide succinct summaries of important topics relating to Zionism and Israel.

The American Presidency Project provides valuable first-hand quotations of positions voiced in speeches, statements and remarks of American presidents, as well as people in an administration.

The AVI CHAI Foundation is a private educational foundation that focuses on the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism,  and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people. It was founded and endowed by Zalman C. Bernstein. It supports a myriad of institutions, organizations and projects all connected to the continuity of the Jewish people.

The Begin Center includes a comprehensive timeline of Begin’s life, numerous media banks, articles written both by Begin himself and others about him, as well as general information about the Begin Heritage Center, Museum and Foundation. Material may be found in French, English, Russian, Spanish and Hebrew. One of the site’s strongest features is its YouTube channel, housing many historic and contemporary video clips from Israel about Begin and other issues.e.

The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies is affiliated with Political Science Department at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. The research and publications of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies reflect national security and foreign policy issues affecting Israel. Center researchers produce regular analyses, providing excellent context to contemporary issues. Their numerous publications are in English and Hebrew with access online to a fine archive of analyses (“Perspective Papers”) that go back to January 2005. The website houses several other excellent research items; it conducts regular seminars on issues of immediate interest, often summarized on the website.  

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.

The Ben Gurion Archives focus primarily on Ben-Gurion’s estimable contributions to the state. There are a number of other collections located at the archives including those of Abba Hillel Silver and Hillel Kook. The website itself is a search portal for what resides in the archives, and it is in Hebrew.

Housing the Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Center, Beit Ha’tfutsot offers visitors and researchers access to databases of thousands of genealogies of Jewish families from all over the world. According to their website, “Over 5 million individuals have already been recorded in the continuously expanding database. Visitors from all backgrounds can explore their ancestry, record and preserve their own family trees for future generations…” Providing a wealth of information about the facility and its databases, the website provides all necessary materials and forms for an individual to both research and submit information about Jewish genealogy from all corners of the globe. For those who are either living in or visiting Israel, they maintain an updated listing of very worthwhile exhibitions and events held at their Tel Aviv University facility. Traveling to Israel almost requires a visit to the Museum and a review of its holdings.

BICOM provides “daily, expert news summary and analysis of events in Israel…, taking British journalists and opinion formers to Israel and the Palestinian territories…, organizing events and seminars in the UK…, and bringing analysts, journalists and politicians from the region to Britain…” BICOM’s website contains  useful features, including easy to digest bulleted analyses of current events as well as a regularly updated lists of pertinent news articles. Their free podcasts, available on the site, are likewise informative with broad coverage of  topics relating to Israel and the Middle East.

CAMERA Founded in 1982, CAMERA the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America is a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East. According to its website, CAMERA is a non-partisan organization,  that takes no position with regard to American or Israeli political issues or with regard to ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.  CAMERA’s website offers a wide variety of collected news articles, op-eds and scholarly analyses relating to the Middle East and Israel. With their focus being on media analyses, their website acts as both a recommended news reading list as well as a forum for presenting intelligent examinations of the sources themselves.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a Washington based independent think-tank that publishes cutting analyses on all international topics, with frequent pieces related to political reform in the Middle East, Islam in politics, and other policy related issues connected to the Middle East. Its home page is particularly user-friendly. Monthly contributions from its “Arab Reform Bulletin” are particularly worthwhile. 

The Central Zionist Archives demonstrates the depth of inquiry and analyses that Zionist specialists provided to one another and to the outside world in making the Zionist case.

The Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University publishes an occasional paper series and other publications where Israel’s domestic and foreign policy issues are regularly and thoroughly discussed, as well as broader contemporary Middle Eastern issues that affect concern American, European, and regional interests. Their materials are archived and easily accessible.

There are many daily digests of articles dealing with Israel. Three are suggested. For a daily synopsis of issues effecting Israel domestically or regionally, try Independent Media Review and Analysis (IMRA).  IMRA remains an excellent daily round up/digest of articles, polls, interviews, press reports, and agreements that deal with a variety of issues affecting Israel and its people and the Middle East at large. Titles of articles cited are linked to their contents with sources. IMRA is an Israeli based service that culls its items from Israeli and Middle Eastern language outlets. It often provides useful polling data regarding Israeli and Palestinian political attitudes, and otherwise unreported speeches and interviews with news-makers. IMRA closely follows remarks and speeches made by Palestinian leaders wherever they may be.  IMRA was founded in 1992 by Dr. Aaron Lerner and Dr. Joseph Lerner.

Four other digests of daily articles are easily accessible and worthy of mention. The Daily Alert, which is published by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, presents articles on a daily basis that pertain to Israel in one way or other. The Daily Alert breaks down its daily offerings into news items, observations, and analyses. The articles deal with Israel’s internal settings and external relations. The second, MEMRI is a uniquely valuable asset for anyone interested in reading what is written, said, and debated in the languages and media of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Its home page is superbly organized according to topic, country, issue, and language. Besides translating materials into English, MEMRI provides translations in nine other languages. Both of these digests offer free subscriptions.  Third, The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace  publishes five days a week, its Israel and the Middle East Update. It is a daily news update that includes excerpts from a variety of news sources – including Israeli press translated from Hebrew, respected American and Arab news outlets, and analysis/reports from reputable thinktanks. Each newsletter also includes two full-length articles that illuminate some of the most pressing issues facing the region.  Fourth, Palestinian Media Watch is an Israeli research institute that studies Palestinian society from a broad range of perspectives by monitoring and analyzing the Palestinian Authority and Hamas through its media and schoolbooks. PMW’s major focus is on the messages that the Palestinian leaders send to the population through the broad range of institutions and infrastructures they control.

The Daniel Elazar Online Library – Professor Daniel J. Elazar (1934-1999) was a leading political scientist and specialist in the study of federalism, political culture, the Jewish political tradition, Israel and the world Jewish community. As founder and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in 1976, he headed one of the first independent Jewish “think tanks” concerned with analyzing and solving the key problems facing Israel and world Jewry. He was a prolific writer; most notable among them was a four volume study of the Covenant Tradition in Politics, as well as Community and Polity, The Jewish Polity, and People and Polity. As no other scholar has done, Elazar’s writings analyzed, the origins and development of Jewish political culture and how Jewish communal organizations were critical in preserving Jewish identity before and after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD. Elazar also wrote extensively on Israel-Diaspora relations.

The David Project is an Israel advocacy organization that provides training and resources for high school and college students to empower them to be persuasive advocates on behalf of Israel.

If you only have time to read one weekly assemblage of Middle Eastern newspapers, whether you are a sophisticated observer or a beginning analyst, try the Dayan Center website at Tel Aviv University.  The Center publishes a weekly compilaton of five to ten articles from the region under its Middle East News Brief. Each brief contains English language articles from the Arab, Turkish, or Iranian press. Some of these articles were originally published in English; some were translated by individuals or by a translation service. Once you identify a newspaper or author that is substantial and even trustworthy,  bookmark them as favorites. We still recommended that you continue to catch the weekly Middle East News Brief from the Dayan Center to learn from a variety of outlets and authors that the Dayan Center considers reputable in analysis, but may not agree with the conclusions presented.

Eye on Israel is an interactive map of Israel that allows users to navigate the country, zoom in on cities and towns, and view the land through the lens of different time periods.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), founded in 1955, is comprised of more than 80 world renowned scholars, military and political figures, and business people. According to their site, they “conduct research on pressing issues— the war on terrorism, developments in the Middle East, nuclear proliferation, relations with China, Russia, and Japan— and long-term questions, such as the roles of religion and ethnicity in international politics, or the nature of Western identity and its implications for the U.S. and the Atlantic Alliance.”  Of particular value is their Butcher History Institute “Teaching about the Middle East.”  Their site enables public and private school teachers to view video presentations of contemporary topics all with historical perspective and context. The site contains linked articles associated with those teaching presentations. In addition, their easy-to-navigate website houses the institute’s quarterly journal, Orbis, as well as regularly updated articles, E-books and essays written by FPRI’s staff and others.

Across the globe, there are dozens of other think-tanks and research institutes that do not focus exclusively on the Middle East or Israel per say, or only have limited publication series where Israel or the Middle Eastern region or its origins are the main foci.  Many have programs, fellows, or researchers that publish position papers and research analysis that pertain to the Middle East and Israel. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies  focuses on contemporary Middle Eastern issues, terrorism, the UN, Energy, and Human Rights.

The Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), founded in 1955, is comprised of more than 80 world renowned scholars, military and political figures, and business people. According to their site, they “conduct research on pressing issues— the war on terrorism, developments in the Middle East, nuclear proliferation, relations with China, Russia, and Japan— and long-term questions, such as the roles of religion and ethnicity in international politics, or the nature of Western identity and its implications for the U.S. and the Atlantic Alliance.”  Of particular value is their Butcher History Institute “Teaching about the Middle East.”  Their site enables public and private school teachers to view video presentations of contemporary topics all with historical perspective and context. The site contains linked articles associated with those teaching presentations. In addition, their easy-to-navigate website houses the institute’s quarterly journal, Orbis, as well as regularly updated articles, E-books and essays written by FPRI’s staff and others.

There are a large number of newspapers that cover the Middle East with some depth and appear in English or with English translations. Many (if not most) of their writers, analysts, and reporters have historically been angry and bitter toward Jews and toward Israel (its people and leadership). If you can get past some of the vile descriptions of Israel, we recommend reading the Middle Eastern press to understand better a whole host of important issues, including local Arab politics, inter-Arab affairs, attitudes toward Iran, toward radical Islam, and topics that Israelis (as neighbors) and others are concerned about— such as the future and nature of political change in Arab states.  It is most illuminating to read Arab analyses of their governmental systems, ethnic issues, sectarianism, oil politics, and relationships with foreign countries, economic and social issues.  Some of the better and more analytical writers may be found in the following newspapers (here again the reader will have to create their own filters for which writers, writing on which topics are reputable):

There are newspaper outlets, like al-Jazeera and others, that provide overarching services but blur distinctions between covering events and putting a political bias or coloring to them (even though their reporting is often penetrating). The Middle Eastern media in general blurs this distinction— but so do reporters at many English and other language outlets, as well. Many of the outlets mentioned above often cover social, religious, and economic issues which affect the region (and therefore Israel’s place in it).

Situated on the University of Maryland campus as an academic center, The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies is dedicated to study and research on Israel in all its variety. It also presents programs of political, cultural, and general interest relating to modern Israel. In addition to guiding students to a minor in Israel Studies at Maryland, its home page opens to a publications and research section that includes valuable thought pieces about contemporary Israel.

The Historical Jewish Press offers a compilation for the archive enthusiast who seeks historical information about Israel’s earlier years or from the pre-state period. Browse this website and you will be taken to almost three dozen Hebrew, Yiddish, German, and English newspapers that were published in Palestine and Europe, tracing the early rumblings of Zionism— its organization, leadership, and philosophical differences.

The other is Institut français des relations internationales. IFRI is the principal institution for independent research and debate in France dedicated to the analysis of international questions and global governance. IFRI’s policy-oriented research is useful for political and economic decision-makers as well as academics, opinion leaders, general learners, and civil society representatives. IFRI publishes materials on the EU, EU-Mediterranean Policy, EU-Middle East issues, and reprints excellent articles on Israel and the Middle East from other notable think-tanks. It has an English language site.

According to their website, “The Museum’s ability to preserve the memory of the Holocaust relies on its collections, which include photographs; artifacts; films; music; archival documentation; books; testimonies from Holocaust survivors, perpetrators, and eyewitnesses; and more… The online Collections Search provides detailed descriptions of the Museum’s diverse collections…” Many sources connect the destruction of European Jewry with Palestine of the period. While the majority of resources housed by USHMM are only available on location at their D.C. campus, and not digitally, one can search their collections as well as access publications, information about events and lectures as well as a multitude of other online resources about the Holocaust, combatting anti-Semitism and genocide around the world.

The Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya is a research institute and think-tank dedicated to developing innovative public policy solutions to international terrorism. The Policy Institute applies an integrated, solutions-oriented approach built on a foundation of real world and practical experience.  

Containing a wealth of articles, analyses and information, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conducts research in the multiplicity of fields that comprise security studies and impact on strategic issues relating to Israel’s national security. Basic research complements analysis of issues of the day.  The practical application of INSS research takes the form of ‘out of the box’ thinking and the design of policy options for decision makers in government, the defense establishment, the strategic community, and the private sector.  Located in Ramat Aviv, next to Tel Aviv University, INSS experts and researchers include academics, scholars, former diplomats and civil servants providing incisive and thoughtful analyses of events in Israel and in the region and beyond that impact Israeli security and politics. Their quarterly publication, Strategic Assessment and more frequent INSS Insight, are of particular values to anyone interested in top-of-the line and up-to-date about Israeli domestic and foreign policy matters.

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 Collection covers several subject areas: Zionism; the Arab-Israeli conflict; social and historical issues; Israel in international relations; tourism; the arts; minority groups; archaeology  literature about Israel in languages other than Hebrew; Hebrew literature translated into other languages; journalism; Israel-related official publications issued by international organizations such as NATO and the United Nations.  The Israel Collection includes newspapers, periodicals, maps, audio-visual material, posters, films, DVDs, ephemera, photographs, and the personal archives of prominent individuals in the fields of culture, philosophy and art. The photo and map collections, along with the book library in multiple languages are simply a joy to peruse.

The Israel Defense Force has an extensive, well designed website.

In terms of understanding and following domestic political issues in Israel, there is nothing to equal the The Israel Democracy Institute. It is a non-partisan, Jerusalem-based “Think-and-Do Tank” that devises ways to strengthen the moral and structural foundations of Israeli democracy. Its fellows and programs are of the highest quality; they focus on political reform, national security, religion and state, and constitutional law. Established in 1991, IDI supports Israel’s elected officials, civil servants, and opinion leaders as a resource for policy makers as well as a forum for ideas. The staff and researchers at IDI work diligently to promote the values and norms appropriate for Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Founded in 2012 as an independent, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, the Israel Institute supports scholarship, an array of fellowships aimed at research and exchanges to build a multi-faceted field of Israel Studies. The Institute seeks to support education and scholarship aimed at understanding the diversity and complexity of contemporary Israel. The website provides numerous college course syllabi in PDF format, dealing with Israel domestic and foreign. These syllabi are free to download.

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.

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.

Established in 1949,ISA’s operation is regulated by the Archives Law of 1955. The archives have gathered historical records (of all types) of state institutions, keeping them for posterity, and making them available to the public in accordance with viewing regulations. ISA regularly releases documents of interest and publishes “Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel” series, commemorative volumes in memory of Israel’s late presidents and prime ministers, private archives, selections of documents dealing with a particular topic such German reparations, the Suez War, Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, other literature and bibliographies of Israel’s Government. ISA houses a variety of audio-visual records, including films documenting events from the time of the British Mandate onwards, such as the trial of Adolf Eichmann, audio recordings and video tapes with testimonies of central figures in Israel; audio recordings of speeches, Knesset sessions, ceremonies and many other events, as well as a collection of some 100,000 photographs.

Most of the post-1948 material is in Hebrew but a considerable portion of the earlier material, and some of the documents from the earlier years of Israel, are in English and other foreign languages. Notice should be taken that much of the material listed on the site is not digitized and not a great deal in English. Hence, do not expect to find a trove of material to download or to use on line, but there are some items that are declassified, accessible, and worth browsing.

Residing in the archives are the originals of Israel’s fundamental documents of the State of Israel, (foremost of which is the Declaration of Independence), the Law of Return, the laws of the state and international agreements and treaties which the state has signed over the years, such as the Armistice Agreements with the Arab states, the peace treaties with Egypt and with Jordan, the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the “Oslo Accords” and the exchange of letters with the PLO, and more.

The Israel Supreme Court site is designed to enable you to become acquainted with the court system and obtain information about it.

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics Includes categories ranging from Society and Population, Household and Families, Labor and Wages, Israel’s Economy, Industries, Environment, Government and Local Authorities, and current economic indicators. A good portion of the information may be found in English, though the majority of material is in Hebrew. Most of the data cited in tables, reports, and maps covers the last five or ten years, but not much referenced to earlier decades. The site includes a valuable section titled, “Publications and Products.”

Israeli English language newspapers (some articles translated from Hebrew) can be easily found at:

Click here for a listing of all Israeli online newspaper publications and access to their individual websites.

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:

Founded in 1965, Located in Rome, the Istituto Affari Internazionali’s main objective is to promote understanding of the problems of international politics through studies, research, meetings, and publications. Its home page states that its broad mission is to increase the opportunities of all countries to move in the direction of supranational organization, democratic freedom, and social justice. In addition to conducting conferences, researchers publish several times a week analyses of European matters and on topics that pertain to the greater Mediterranean area.

The aims of the Jabotinsky Institute, founded over 70 years ago, are to foster and disseminate the legacy of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky and the National Movement, and to encourage scholarly research on these subjects.  The Institute’s main components are the Jabotinsky Museum and the Archives of the Jabotinsky Movement, both of which showcase the movement’s history, factions, institutions and prominent personalities. The archive contains 600 dossiers of testimony, 1300 audio tapes of speeches, broadcasts, 1150 newspapers and periodicals, posters, stamps and other items connected to the History of Zionism, Eretz Yisrael, the Revisionist Movement, the underground movements during the Mandate, and material about Betar in Eastern Europe and Eretz Yisrael.  From the website, one  one can search the archive in English and Hebrew, with vast amounts of material in European languages, and recall materials to undertake on-line research.

Founded in 1976, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is an interdisciplinary and independent non-profit think-tank that publishes high quality analytic pieces on issues relating to Israel and the Jewish world. Researchers, fellows, and contributors associated with JCPA write on international law, Israeli security, Jerusalem, Middle East diplomacy, US-Middle East policy, European-Middle East policy, Iran, and radical Islam. Notably, the JCPA website provides access to the Institute for Global Jewish Affairs, which houses excellent assessments of Jewish communities world-wide and anti-Semitism as practiced in its varied overt and covert ways. JCPA houses a compilation, “Israel at War: Primary Sources,” covering the War of Independence to the 2012 Gaza War,

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.”

JAFI has served as the link between Israel and the world Jewish Diaspora for more than eighty years.  In addition to providing services for aliyah and rescue and re-settlement, JAFI runs the Partnership2Gether (which pairs communities in Israel with Jewish communitities in the Diaspora) project and offers a variety of educational resources.

While traditionally thought of as the place to go to plant trees in Israel, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) website also has educational resources and programs including ideas for Israel themed tzedakah projects, games, puzzles, and projects for a variety of ages.

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.

The Jewish Policy Center covers a broad range of Middle Eastern regional topics. It publishes an excellent quarterly, inFocuseach dedicated to a specific theme, for which subscriptions are available. On the website home pages of the previous three think-tanks, one may find excellent analyses of contemporary interest.

Washington based and founded in 1976, JINSA  advocates on behalf of a strong U.S. military, a robust national security policy, and a strong U.S. security relationship with Israel and other like-minded democracies. It has a robust website, publications covering Middle East security issues and US Foreign policy toward the region. It has a small staff of fellows and  offers programs connected to the US military.

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.

The Lookstein Center for Jewish Education is a membership organization located at Bar –Ilan University in Israel that promotes Jewish education in the Diaspora through professional development and leadership programs, curriculum development and networking for Jewish educators.

Mitvim is based in Ramat Gan, Israel. Established in May 2011, Mitvim offers a range of articles and papers dealing with Israeli foreign policy, security issues and a monthly report on US-Middle East relations. Some of it publications focus on the Israel-Arab peace process.

Established after WWI, The League of Nations had administrative oversight over Palestine and other areas made free by the German and Turkish defeat in WWI. For Palestine, the annual reports of how Palestine was governed as the Zionists slowly built their national home are instructive for their insights and depth.

According their website, “[LBI’s] 80,000-volume library and extensive archival and art collections represent the most significant repository of primary source material and scholarship on the Jewish communities of Central Europe over the past five centuries. German-speaking Jews had a history marked by individual as well as collective accomplishments and played a significant role in shaping art, science, business, and political developments… LBI is committed to preserving this legacy and has digitized over 3.5 million pages of documents from its collections—from rare renaissance books to the personal correspondence of luminaries and ordinary people alike, to community histories and official documents.” Plentiful sources on German-Speaking Jews connection to Zionism and immigration to Palestine. With many collections available digitally, LBI’s website can be a useful and fun tool for a variety of purposes and users.

The Moshe Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University is an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the study of the modern history and contemporary affairs of the Middle East and Africa. The Center does not take positions or recommend policies. Through research, publications, conferences, documentary collections, and public service, it seeks to inform civil society and promote dialogue on the complexities of the ever-changing Middle East. The analyses that the Dayan Center publishes are of the highest caliber of excellence and intellectual rigor of any place in the world! As noted above, The Dayan Center also provides a weekly digest, Middle East News Brief, where it publishes half a dozen newspaper articles from all over the region that reflect the past week’s events. Also find at the Dayan Center’s website, its monthly publication in Hebrew and English, Iqtisadi. It is a monthly e-newsletter providing subscribers with economic analysis of key players and events affecting the marketplaces and societies of the Middle East.

The National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem tells the historical, cultural and intellectual story of the Jewish people worldwide, the State of Israel, and the Land of Israel and the region throughout the ages.

NLI’s treasures include the largest collection of written Judaica ever amassed, significant handwritten works by luminaries such as Maimonides and Sir Isaac Newton, exquisite Islamic manuscripts, and archival collections of leading cultural and intellectual figures including Martin Buber, Franz Kafka, and Natan Sharansky. NLI holds the greatest collection of Jewish and Israeli music recordings, as well as world-class collections of manuscripts, ancient maps, rare books, photographs, communal records, ephemera, and more.

For K-12 educators, the National Library of Israel has curated treasures geared for students, with corresponding activities and information for the classroom. From the Cairo geniza to the Balfour Declaration and beyond, the education resources of the Library can enrich your classroom.

Virtual Programs

The National Library of Israel hosts numerous programs and events that are inspired by the Library’s treasures. People from around the world tune in to the Library’s virtual programming, which is free and open to the public. You can enjoy recordings of previous programs by searching the Library’s “vault.”

Musical Recordings

The largest collection ever amassed of Jewish and Israeli musical recordings is open to you via the National Library of Israel. Enjoy the National Library of Israel’s daily song and explore the full music collection of recordings, archives, compositions, news clippings, photographs, programs, and more.

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 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.

Oranim Academic College is the largest teacher training college in Northern Israel, and the Shdemot Center for Jewish peoplehood offers a wide variety of educational services, including school trip organization, kibbutz family experiences, and school twinning programs.

The Center’s website, which is available in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, houses videos about the center’s projects, a small collection of Peres’ speeches, videos, and numerous in-depth studies focusing on enhancement of the two core relationships. All materials are free and the center’s archive accessible at its Tel Aviv facility.

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.

Pew Research Global Attitudes Project – The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducts public opinion surveys around the world on a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. Over 300,000 interviews in 59 countries have been conducted as part of the project’s work. The project is directed by Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan “fact tank” in Washington, DC, that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The surveys provided are organized by topic, with the Middle East and North Africa providing insightful public opinion snapshots of Americans and the region’s inhabitants. Care should be taken to put all poll results into a context of events happening at that moment that might influence otherwise longer term trends.

The Reut Institute undertakes unique research. In a non-partisan manner, Reut focuses on issues that pertain to the working and future of Israel, combating assaults on Israel’s legitimacy, national security, the Palestinian issue, Israel’s economy, and importantly, the relationship of Israel to the Jewish world. It creates task forces that thoroughly investigate a topic and publishes assessments and reports. Established in 2004 by Gidi Grinstein, its underlying premise is to provide cutting-edge aimed at assuring that 21st Century Zionism will contain the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in a secure, prosperous, and democratic state. Reut sees its research as a positive catalyst for innovative change in assuring its objectives.

The Saban Center at The Brookings Institution has the highest of reputations for publishing quality articles, books, and shorter pieces on the Middle East, US foreign policy toward the region, and sometimes on matters relating to Israel or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Located in Jerusalem The Shalom Hartman Institute’s programs and faculty focus on engaging and redefining conversations about Judaism, religious pluralism Israeli democracy, diaspora-Israel relations, and other faith communities.

Stand With Us was originally established to combat anti-Israel bias in general, it now focuses on the campus primarily. It has grown into an international Organization with 18 offices in five countries. According to their site, they seek “to explain Israel’s actions to the public, help college students, deal with ill-informed journalists, or sponsor public demonstrations.” Its site contains information about the organization’s initiatives and booklets and brochures about Israeli politics and advocacy.

Two among many stand out as the best of the European think-tanks and institutes that include major publications on the Middle East and Israel. One is the Berlin based, highly prestigious fifty year-old think-tank, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. It has researchers that focus on German and European policy toward the Middle East and North Africa and frequently produce items that pertain to Israel, the region, and Europe—but not all of its publications can be found in English.

TaL AM Hebrew and Heritage Curriculum covers Hebrew language, Bible, and prayer, as well as introductions to rabbinic literature and Jewish history in the older grades. The subject areas are spiraled and aligned to facilitate multi-lateral reinforcement of vocabulary, language skills, thinking and learning skills, and the thematic integration of concepts and values. It was developed by the Bronfman Jewish Education Center in Montreal and is used in over 400 day schools worldwide.

Established in 1992 at Tel Aviv University, The Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace and Research promotes systematic research on issues connected with peacemaking and conflict resolution. It conducts periodic (mostly monthly) surveys that gauge trends in Israeli public opinion, keeps a database on Israeli Palestinian and Israeli Arab cooperation, and encourages teaching, research, and intellectual collaboration on peacemaking conflict resolution. Its monthly peace index is published in collaboration with the Jerusalem based Israel Democracy Institute.

The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel is an independent, non-partisan, socioeconomic research institute based in Jerusalem. The Center conducts quality, impartial research on socioeconomic conditions in Israel, and develops innovative, equitable and practical options for macro public policies that advance the well-being of Israelis. According to its website, The Center strives to influence public policy through direct communications with policy makers and by enriching the public debate that accompanies the decision making process. One of the Center’s formidable annual publication Israel:Social-Economic Review. The Center publishes short papers on health, labor studies, social welfare, economics, education and other topics. For example it has a top flight analyses “The Economic Background of the Social Protest of Summer 2011.”  Almost all of its data are available in English.

The Tikvah Fund is a philanthropic foundation and ideas institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.” The site offers online courses, live webcasts, a variety of written materials, and free podcasts about topics relating to various aspects of Jewish thought and Israel. The podcasts, part of the “digital library” section of the site, feature world-class thought leaders speaking on a variety of topics.

Time Travel – Israeli ephemera from the Yishuv forward, a collaborative project of the National Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The objective of the “Time Travel” project is to collect and scan Israeli ephemera and make them accessible to the general public. The project is sponsored by the Arcadia Fund and is a collaborative undertaking with UCLA. Some 25,000 ephemeral items have been scanned to date. Major topical areas collected include material about the Army, Sports, Excursions, Holidays, Book Publishers, Culture, Economy, Election Propoganda, Authorities and Organizations.

Most Israelis enjoy an occasional foray into the Palestine of their grandparents, be it in Ottoman times, under the British Mandate, or in the early years of the State. Such journeys into the past are usually taken via books and films, though these often fall short of an authentic portrayal of the past. They present a filtered, rather than unmediated, account of everyday life and the public domain of the region.

A more reliable reflection of the reality at the time might be found in historical press resources, such as those available on the National Library’s JPress site. Nevertheless, as we know, even the most diverse and dynamic of newspapers ultimately offer only a subjective perspective on social and cultural circumstances that prevailed at the time of their publication. Ephemera however, have the potential to provide us with a truly unmediated and authentic picture.

The term “ephemera” derives from the Greek word for things that last only a day. It is now used to refer to publications that were originally intended for short term use only: posters, publicity and advertising flyers, bookmarks and any other printed matter not produced for posterity. And therein lies the power of ephemera: these everyday items can be used to piece together the social norms, intellectual and political trends, cultural products, religious customs and economic realities of the time.

A glance at our surroundings, from bulletin boards, to mailboxes, storefront signs and more, illustrates the degree to which ephemera reflect public life on every level. From government agencies and large organizations to small, localized initiatives, ephemera are in evidence in all walks of life and every part of the country. Along this spectrum, different perspectives on various aspects of our lives are on display. This remains true, even today when so much of our public existence is mediated by the Internet, and it was most certainly the case in generations past.

The Project
The objective of the “Time Travel” project is to collect and scan Israeli ephemera and make them accessible to the general public. The project is sponsored by the Arcadia Fund and is designed to include active public participation, not merely to deliver a final product. The National Library invites individuals who have collections of ephemera to make contact so that their collections can be integrated in the project, either physically or via digital reproduction. The public is also asked to assist in gathering information about such collections. All those who are interested in the documenting of Israeli society and culture are invited to participate in the National Library’s efforts to gather contemporary ephemera. The project will involve recruitment of volunteers to describe and classify the ephemera uploaded to the Internet, as a means of drawing on the entire public’s vast knowledge resources.
The main stages of the project are:
• Mapping of ephemera resources and collections all over the country –documentation organizations, archives, and private collections
• Digital scanning of ephemeral items
• Provision of public access to the times
• Public involvement in characterization of items
The project will take place over three years, and process 150,000 ephemeral items.
The project is a collaborative undertaking with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), a world leader in the collection and scanning of ephemera.

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. 

Listening to expert testimony about all issues foreign and domestic is a major source for congressional policy orientation.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is a public educational foundation dedicated to scholarly research and informed debate on US interests in the Middle East. Under the guidance of a distinguished and bipartisan Board of Advisors, the Institute seeks to bring scholarship to bear on the making of US policy in this vital region of the world. Drawing on the research of its scholars and the experience of policy practitioners, the Institute promotes an American engagement in the Middle East committed to strengthening alliances, nurturing friendships, and promoting security, peace, prosperity, and democracy for the people of the region. WINEP could easily be the most outstanding institute worldwide (with a few exceptions) for its cogent and timely analyses of the Middle East and US policy toward it.  There is a new analysis of a current topic issued almost daily, with lengthy pieces published periodically as well. This is a must see.

 The Middle East Program of the Wilson Center pays special attention to current affairs, gender issues, Iran, Islam, democracy, and civil society, youth, civil society institutions, Islam, and the changes at hand in the Middle East today. It sponsors programs, conferences, lectures, and symposiums in Washington, and has affiliated with it a scholars program. Finally it has a small but excellent series of publications written by scholars and analysts from across the globe.

An online portal to over 23,000,000 manuscripts, letters, pieces of music, art and many other historical documents and records, the YIVO Institute’s website is a valuable tool for students, researchers and curious learners alike. Documents and sources of European Jewish life and thought before, during, and after the evolution of Zionism abound. According to their website, “The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was founded by scholars and intellectuals in Vilna, Poland, in 1925 to document and study Jewish life in all its aspects: language, history, religion, folkways, and material culture. YIVO had a special focus on the Jews of Eastern Europe, but collected books, manuscripts and other artifacts from Jewish communities around the world.” Their well organized, English language website is easy to navigate and houses searchable libraries and archives as well as comprehensive explanations of how to use the online collections.