Digitization of Jewish Heritage of Slovenia

bilateral project
Basic Info


The aim of the Slovenian-Israeli bilateral project "Digitization of the Jewish Heritage in Slovenia" is to document and digitize preserved Jewish material and associated immaterial heritage in Slovenia and its inclusion in the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art, the largest online depositary of Jewish art and visual culture in the world, accessible to anyone. In the scope of this project, which is in the domain of digital humanities, a special "Slovene" module of the Jewish Heritage Index will be created, which will represent the basic archival, field and comparative research of Jewish heritage in Slovenia.

The documentation and digitization includes Jewish synagogues, cemetery chapels, medieval Jewish quarters, historical and modern buildings, important Jewish settlements, relevant facilities connected to their economic activity, Jewish tombstones and fragments of tombstones in museums, existing Jewish cemeteries and tombstones at military cemeteries, Holocaust memorials, ritual and cultural items kept in museums, in the Jewish community and in private collections, Hebrew manuscripts and Hebrew books in archives and libraries, as well as archival material testifying to Slovenia’s Jewish heritage (old photographs, documents).

The project is based on the latest methodological principles and documentation and digitization methods adopted by the Center for Jewish Art (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) in its nearly 40 years of existence. However, for the needs of the project, this methodology is slightly adapted to suit the challenges of the Slovenian space, which is specific in the context of particular historical circumstances. This concerns, in particular, the documentation and digitization of medieval Jewish quarters and major monuments that no longer exist, or their image, form, and content have been changed. We will upgrade the documentation by including 3D visualizations of selected Jewish monuments.

The project is the first systematic study of Jewish heritage in the region, based on archival and other research of material heritage, as well as artistic and historical objects and collections, and places it in the context of Central European and global Jewish heritage. It will enable the digital preservation of Slovenian Jewish heritage and make it accessible to the research community all over the world, while it will also further scientific research and its popularization through the Slovenian Jewish Heritage web portal, which will be in English. The inclusion of Slovenian Jewish heritage in the Jewish Art Index will contribute to its contextualization and placement into the wider world of Jewish heritage. The project represents a model for the digitization, digital conservation and promotion of Jewish heritage in other regions and countries where Jewish heritage has not yet been adequately documented and presented.

The key advantage of the project is the cooperation and mutual exchange of expertise between the Slovene and Israeli sides, since in many segments an unilateral implementation of the project would be difficult, owing to professional and linguistic specifics of the project. The joint work comprises field documentation of Slovenian Jewish heritage according to the methodology of the Center for Jewish Art, a joint seminar, an international conference in Israel on the topic of Jewish heritage in Slovenia, and the production of descriptions, as well as the transmission of the data and metadata collected in the Index of Jewish Art. This will enable Slovenian researchers to conceptualize local Jewish heritage on a global scale, while the Israeli researchers will be able to deepen their understanding of local material and adapt the methodology to the specifics of the Slovenian territory.


Jewish cemetery
Jewish Heritage
Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art