The Jewish European Ephemera Collection


Add Your Piece to the Story

The Jewish European Ephemera Project is a core project of Gesher L'Europa in working to bring history to life by collecting contemporary ephemera from Jewish communities across Europe. Part of this initiative, the recently established the Global Jewish COVID-19 Archive will document the unprecedented impact the  coronavirus pandemic is having on Jewish culture, tradition, law, and society globally. 


Ephemera are printed materials with a short-lived interest or purpose. Ephemeral materials are very diverse and include items such as, but not limited to, calendars, posters, menus, tickets, flyers, advertisements, newsletters, greetings cards, postcards and invitations, synagogue timetables, and items relating to various Jewish rituals.

Ephemera are the accidental survivors of time. They are the items that are easily lost or forgotten, the items people would not necessarily think to keep, but that will later define our communities and our culture for future generations. These seemingly unimportant documents or images will tell our story piece by piece.  


Think of the items as a time capsule; the objects and documents that are left will represent a specific community or town in 50 or even 100 years down the line.


The Gesher L’Europa Ephemera project is working together with nearly 150 communities spanning 25 different countries in Europe to gather local Ephemera and preserve this important piece of Jewish history for the future. In addition, individuals and communities across Europe and the world are sending in items more specifically related to the pandemic as part of the Global Jewish COVID-19 Archive.


One man’s trash is real treasure for the National Library of Israel. Now you can be a part of shaping the picture of your community and the local Jewish culture for future generations. Join us in collecting the various gems from within your communities.


Our collection boxes are scattered across communities in Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in Eastern Europe, thanks to the help of our partners at the JDC. We hope to continue growing our network in other countries throughout the continent.


The materials collected from across Europe are integrated into the Ephemera collection of the Archive Department of the National Library of Israel, documenting and preserving them for future generations.


Become part of our ephemera network. Contact us at [email protected].