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. 


The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

Online Albums - YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Jewish Kids before the Holocaust
A moment before desolation: Rare photographs of Polish Jewry. Gil Weissblei, The Librarians.
In the shadow of death: The revival of Jerusalem in Lithuania. Gil Weissblei, The Librarians.

Sephardic Jews
Sephardic Jews, My Lost Heritage

North Africa
Diarna: The Geo-Museum of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Life
Berber Jews
Memory - Jewish life in Morocco

Videos and Films

Glimpses of Jewish Live before the Holocaust - Yad Vashem

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.

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.


Life in the Shtetl:
Ilex Beller
Shoshana Eden

"The Shoemaker's Son", by Shoshana Eden