Dead Sea Scrolls [Photo Source: Kathy Reichs]

In today’s day and age – thanks to modern innovations in technology – travelling to Israel, purchasing Israeli products and communicating with Israeli’s has never been easier for people living outside of the Jewish State. Today, modern technology has made another facet of Israeli culture and history accessible to everyone – The New Museums in Israel National Portal. The following is a quote from the Israel Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs website:

The Museums in Israel National Portal is the new virtual home for dozens of Israel’s museums, providing visitors with unlimited access to more than 63,000 photographs, items, and exhibits with a touch of a button. The five year project, which began in 2012, through a joint venture of Israel’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Prime Minister’s Office, and Israel’s Heritage Division, is the first of its kind large scale initiative to consolidate Israel’s museums under one digital roof. The portal, which features works of art, archeological artifacts, extensive Judaica, and original historical documents from prehistoric times to today, will add tremendous value to students, researchers, and visitors interested in a number of fields. In addition to some of Israel’s most outstanding collections, the portal also gives visitors access to millions of items featured in Europeana, the European digital cultural library, through an agreement signed between the two parties.

What is unique about the Museums in Israel National Portal is the diversity and range of items featured in the database, creating a magnificent mosaic of Israeli culture and heritage. Visitors can view world-famous pieces such as the Israel Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls from the late 1st century BCE, alongside lesser known treasures such as the Thereisentadt Martyrs Remembrance Association‘s “Puppet of Boy in Green Suit”, created by Walter Freud in the Thereisentadt Ghetto between 1942-1944. The portal offers an interactive and seamless experience in which visitors can explore individual museums and exhibitions or use keywords to search for a specific topic. Each image included in the database is accompanied by a detailed description which refers to the historical background and artistic significance of the item.

Earlier this morning, I gave the website a try. I first clicked on the items button to see what artifacts I could find. Next, I clicked on the “Type” subsection. After that I clicked on the “Jewish Items” tab and was brought to a page with a bunch of beautiful Judaica items. I selected the “Torah Crown” image and came to the page that you can see below.

Torah Crown Museum image

The item I selected was not an item currently located in Israel, but there are many items that are located in Israel, such as the Israel Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls. One word of caution: The websites load time can be a slow, upon making a search for a particular item.

Enjoy the website, the art, the history and the culture and when you have a chance, come visit Israel!