Pictures of Jewish Life

This webpage contains links to photos, films and paintings of Jewish life in the Diaspora. It is constantly being developed: if you have any suggestions for additional sources, I'd be very happy to hear from you. 

Jewish life

Jewish Diaspora Images
Jewish Postcard Collection

Europe: From the shtetl to the city

Photographs of Jewish life in villages, towns and cities are included within the sites of different communities compiled under the JewishGen compendium, Shtetl Links.

Online photographic exhibitions include: 
And I Still See their Faces: Images of Polish Jews
Jewish Kids before the Holocaust
Beyond the Pale: History of the Jews in Russia

People of a Thousand Towns: Online Albums

A video featuring some of the photographs from Roman Vishniac's Photos of a Vanished World has been posted on YouTube. (Here is a brief article about Vishniac's work). Besides Vishniac's classic book. I also recommend the book compiled by his daughter, Mara Vishniac Kohn, Children of a Vanished World, which presents selected photographs alongside nursery rhymes and children's songs.

Other photograph sites:
Once upon a shtetl

Paintings of life in the Shtetl:
Ilex Beller
Shoshana Eden

"The Shoemaker's Son", by Shoshana Eden

Sephardic Jews

Sephardic Jews, My Lost Heritage

North Africa

Berber Jews
Memory - Jewish life in Morocco


The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive's Virtual Cinema has a number of films that you can view for free on the Internet. These films can provide an idea of how our ancestors might have lived in Poland before the Holocaust. Films include the following five taken in 1939 before the holocaust:

Jewish Life in Bialystok
A Day in Warsaw
Jewish Life in Cracow
Jewish Life in Lvov
Jewish Life in Vilna

Here are some other films about Jewish communities, the Holocaust, early Zionism and Israeli statehood.