This week sees the launch of jewish-places.de — a new, interactive web portal to Jewish people, places, and history in Germany. It looks like it will be an extraordinary resource.
Described as an Interactive Map About Jewish Life in Germany, the web site is alread up and active, but the official launch is September 13.
In recent years, the study of local and regional Jewish history in Germany has made significant advances. The results are available in a wide range of websites and archives, but are often hard to locate or only viewable in person. The new Jewish Places website aims to consolidate research on Jewish life in Germany on one interactive map with appealing visualizations. This gives interested users of all ages an opportunity to learn visually about the connections between Jewish life and local history and to explore them from anywhere.
In some ways jewish-places.de is similar to Poland’s Virtual Shtetl, which provides historical and Jewish heritage information to around 2,500 towns, cities, and villages in pre-war Polish lands. But it also involves wikipedia-like features.
Users will be able to search for information and photos about Jewish heritage sites in hundreds of German towns and cities. These include communal sites such as synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and mikvaot, but also secular sites such as Jewish sports clubs and cafes. Users can also search for material about individuals and even find virtual guided walks to some towns or neighborhoods, or following in the footsteps of a personality.
Users will also be able to contribute their own information.
They can upload or input text, images, or videos of synagogues, associations, and many other Jewish institutions and reach a broad audience.
The initiative involves input from a network of institutions that have long carried out research on German Jewish history and heritage. These include:
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alemannia Judaica
- Bet Tfila – Forschungsstelle
- Die Leo Trepp Stiftung i.G.
- Institut für die Geschichte der deutschen Juden
- Jüdisches Museum Berlin
- Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
- Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum für europäisch-jüdische Studien
- Salomon Ludwig Steinheim-Institut für deutsch-jüdische Geschichte
- Wikimedia Deutschland
- Zentralarchiv zur Erforschung der Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland an der Universität Heidelberg
- Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland
The project was developed with support from, among others, Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin in the U.S., the German Federal Agency for Civic Education, and the F.C. Flick Foundation against Xenophobia, Racism, and Intolerance.