Jewish Heritage Europe

… a note from the JHE Coordinator

Ruth Ellen Gruber in Krakow’s Jewish quarter, Kazimierz. Photo © Chuck Fishman

With the launch of our revamped web site, Ruth Ellen Gruber, the Coordinator of Jewish Heritage Europe, takes a moment to reflect on the development of JHE since we went online in 2012.

…a note from the JHE Coordinator 

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

As our thousands of users will have seen, our revamped web site went live at Passover in early April.

Besides a totally new look, the new site provides various new features and functionality – and, importantly, JHE is now fully responsive for easy use on smartphones and tablets as well as computer screens.

Among key changes, the Home Page now prioritizes the News Feed and allows users to browse the News items in chronological order or by Topic, and our Topics have been reorganized into “Super Topics” and “Sub-Topics” that all can be viewed in the News Sidebar.

The Country Pages are easily reachable via a drop-down menu from the main menu — as are our general resources, and we have added content and updated links on all pages.

There is also an interactive map on the Home Page banner, as well as a direct link to our Jewish Cemeteries Portal, which is being re-organized and expanded. Other new features will be added.

And we have a new logo — still the lion based on the carving on a gravestone in the Jewish cemetery in Botosani, Romania, but this time in a form that can be easily printed or otherwise used graphically.

Let us know what you think!

We are aware that, as with any reboot, there are still some kinks and glitches to work out, and some pages are still being updated and revised.

(One glitch is that our Email address got lost in the transfer – so please use the contact form to be in touch until we reactivate the Email.)

Updating and revising content for our new site allowed me to look back at how JHE has grown, and also to appreciate the remarkable development (and proliferation) of Jewish heritage projects and resources over the past six years.

Our News Feed, op-eds, and other articles have reported on restoration work on scores of synagogue buildings and Jewish cemeteries, as well as on documentation work, new resources, archaeological and other discoveries, clean-up sessions, and Jewish heritage tourism — as well as on a wide range of issues and concerns related to the preservation, care, promotion, and role of Jewish built heritage.

JHE is proud to have been involved in the organization of three major international conferences on Jewish heritage, in Krakow in 2013, in Vilnius in 2015, and in Venice in 2017: we have posted reports and videos. And I am honored personally to have presented and/or discussed JHE at conferences and other meetings and venues in Europe, the US, and Israel.

With nearly 1,400 posts from many countries, we believe that our fully searchable News Feed is by now the most comprehensive collective database of current news related to Jewish built heritage issues across Europe.

There is still too much going on to include – we don’t want to overwhelm our News Feed subscribers – so we share additional information on our social media feeds.

Interested in statistics?

Since we started keeping track in July 2012, JHE has had more than 856,000 page views. The top 10 countries from which our users accessed us over this period were, in descending order: The United States, Israel, the UK, Poland, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, and Hungary.

Meanwhile, we have hundreds of subscribers to our News Feed, and our monthly Newsletter goes out to around 3,400 subscribers. (You can sign up for both in the header of the web site). We have thousands more followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks for your engagement with JHE!

There are many ways that you can be involved. Send us information on your projects, and also information about Jewish heritage-related events that we can put on our Calendar. Let us know about new publications and send us books for review. Send in photos for our photo galleries. Submit ideas for our “Have Your Say” op-ed/personal essay column.

And — of course —  join the conversation with comments, shares, and likes.

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April 19, 2018

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JHE Coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber is an award-winning writer who has chronicled Jewish developments in Europe for three decades. Her books include National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe, whose first edition came out in 1992; Upon the Doorposts of Thy House: Jewish Life in East-Central Europe, Yesterday and Today; and Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe.

Click to watch a video of her discussing her three decades of involvement in Jewish heritage, in discussion with Shaul Bassi

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