Source: YIVO Online Encyclopedia
Originally released in hardcover form by Yale University Press in 2008, the YIVO Online Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe covers 1,000 years of Jewish history in Eastern Europe, with more than 1,800 articles on every topic imaginable — from religion to literature, and from politics to popular culture.
This encyclopedia seeks to reflect all aspects of Jewish life in its variety and multiplicity: religious and secular; male and female; urban and rural; Hasidic and Misnagdic; Yiddishist and Hebraist; Zionist and assimilationist; Russian and Polish; Romanian and Ukrainian; Lithuanian and Galician; even Karaite and Rabbinite. The fundamental test for inclusion has been historical and cultural significance. The YIVO Encyclopedia is intended to be an ecumenical work: nondenominational, nonideological, and nonconfessional.
The homepage of the encyclopedia has several points of entry into its contents:
The Search box allows visitors to search the entire contents of the encyclopedia.
The Main Navigation is at the top of every page and has links to the main areas of the Web site: Browse; Maps; Images, Audio & Video; Documents; For Educators; For Researchers; and Help.
The Explore a Topic area has general-interest articles that showcase some of the diverse contents of the encyclopedia. The topic pages are organized by the following subjects: Arts, Daily Life, Places, Language & Literature, History & Politics, and Religion. These pages are a great place to start if you want to get a general feel for what the encyclopedia has to offer.
New features added to the electronic edition include archival materials such as handwritten letters and manuscripts by famous Jewish personalities, as well as interactive maps and dozens of audio and video recordings that depict slices of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, from weddings to political events and from cantorial performances to street scenes.
Two interdisciplinary lesson plans for middle- and high-school classrooms are provided on the site. Each one- or two-unit lesson includes a PowerPoint presentation, suggested learning and extension activities, handouts, and ideas for including content from the online YIVO encyclopedia in a classroom activity or homework assignment.
Also provided is a Synoptic Outline of Contents which provides a general view of the conceptual scheme of the encyclopedia.