Gesher L’Europa – A Bridge to Europe from the National Library of Israel

Stained glass window of the National Library of Israel (Alamy/Eddie Gerald)

To access the new Gesher l’Europa website, click here.

The Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe works closely with its sister organization, Yad Hanadiv in Israel. They are co-operating with the existing National Library of Israel to create a new state-of-the-art Library for the State of Israel and the Jewish People fit for the 21st century.  The new building will not only be an extraordinary physical destination in one of Jerusalem’s premier locations, but will be the pre-eminent online destination hub for digital content drawing on the unique repository of archival material at the Library.

Together with the National Library of Israel, RFHE is developing programmes to ensure and strengthen co-operation between the Library and European scholars, activists and community organisations.  Recent initiatives include:

At the Source: A training and development programme at the National Library of Israel (NLI) for archive and library professionals working with Jewish documentary heritage across Europe.

Jewish European Ephemera Collection: A window into Jewish life, bringing contemporary ephemera – printed materials with a short life-span, such as invitations, flyers, greeting cards, notices and tickets  – from Jewish communities around Europe.

A Digital Geniza – Collecting COVID-19 Ephemera – Please DON’T DELETE that email from your Rabbi offering to zoom the Shabbat service straight into your lounge. SAVE that notice from the kosher supermarket reassuring customers that there will be enough matzah for Passover. DOWNLOAD your synagogue’s poster offering support for vulnerable people in the community. COPY that Facebook link from the Jewish community in Latvia showcasing its app to recruit volunteers. CLICK on the message from leaders of the Italian Jewish community offering psychological support services to its members. BOOKMARK Hamodia, an Orthodox online newspaper, branding itself as ‘your coronavirus info hub.’ These ephemeral digital fragments are documenting Jewish history in real-time”. Use your hand – be part of the evolving story and click the computer mouse to send digital ephemera, in any language, to ephemera@nli.org.il.

Educational Materials: creating resource packs with pedagogical guidelines for schools drawing on primary resources at the Library. To receive updates about Education at the National Library, please click here.

Cultural Events: the National Library of Israel has showcased its collections at the European Days of Jewish Culture, the Venice 500 commemoration and was present at Jewish Book Week in London in March 2017 and at the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival in June 2017.

The Librarians – this blog of the NLI features stories based on resources from the library and beyond.