Jewish Life

YIVO launches initiative to gather stories of Jewish life during the pandemic

NEW YORK – The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has announced a new initiative to collect first-hand accounts of the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Jewish life. The collecting has commenced via an online form accessible at

Stefanie Halpern, Director of the YIVO Archives, explains, “From its earliest years, YIVO collected the experiences of the Jewish people in their own words. Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic affects the world in unprecedented ways, we are launching a new archival initiative to ensure that everyone’s stories and experiences during these difficult times can be saved for future generations.”

The YIVO Archives is built from the stories and experiences of the Jewish community. YIVO’s materials document times of prosperity, times of change, and times of great adversity. Now the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is asking the Jewish community once again to share its stories and help us document Jewish life during this time.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research was founded in Berlin, Warsaw and in Vilnius (Vilna) in 1925 as the Yiddish Scientific Institute with the support of leading intellectuals and scholars. Its mission was to document, study and preserve Jewish life in all its forms. World War II forced YIVO to relocate from Vilnius, Lithuania to New York City, where it has continued its mission since 1940.

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