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2 minutes to read Posted on Wednesday July 13, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Pavel Kats

Pavel Kats

Executive Director , Jewish Heritage Network

How the Jewish History Tours project is showcasing Jewish heritage across Europe

The Jewish History Tours project aims to engage the public with Jewish heritage through innovative tourism experiences built using digital collections. With the project halfway through, we hear about the self-guided audio tours it has developed.

Seen from above, hands pointing at a map, on which books and sunglasses also lie on
Detail from 'Tourist Still Life'
Dohnány, Miloš
Slovak national gallery

Producing the tours

Jewish History Tours is co-led by Jewish Heritage Network, which operates the Jewish aggregator of Europeana (Judaica Europeana), and its technological partner Pangeanic. Thanks to the partnership with AEPJ, a network of Jewish organisations, the project is developing a network of self-guided tours across multiple locations in Europe, all with a rich history of Jewish life. 

Now, halfway into the project, partners have developed tours in more than 10 locations in Europe and its vicinity: Berlin, Barcelona, Lublin, Sighet, Halberstadt, Ismir, Minsk, Polotsk and Baku.

The tours are produced by local partners, building on their knowledge of local Jewish history and the sites telling those stories. Often the tours include items from digitised collections made available by the project on Europeana. 

After a tour is prepared by the local partner, the project enhances it using a powerful suite of AI-powered tools: the tours are translated into European languages and an AI-generated voiceover is added. Both the translation and the voiceover are of near-human quality. The tours mentioned above will shortly have translation and voiceover added. 

Supporting tourism 

Strengthening the connection between heritage and tourism is a strategic priority of the European Union. Jewish History Tours addresses this priority by establishing a strategic cooperation between Europeana and Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, a powerful network of more than 40 European touristic routes, collectively representing several thousand destinations and sites.

Each tour from the Jewish History Tours project is published on platforms aimed at tourists. All the tours are published on Clio Muse Tours, an award-winning Greek startup and a partner of the project, and on izi.Travel, the open storytelling platform. The tours will also be published on local platforms (such as Azerbaijan Travel) and platforms dedicated to Jewish heritage tourism (World Jewish Travel). The project is actively exploring partnerships with commercial partners in the tourism world (hotels, travel companies) to increase the reach of the developed tours.

Europeana is a strategic partner in this project, not only publishing a wealth of new materials about Jewish life in Europe but also enjoying its innovative technology for location-based enrichment of digitised collections. As part of the project, Europeana is working to enhance the API with an ability to query by location.

Find out more and get involved

As the project continues building self-guided tours in various European locations (soon to be expected: Alsace, Moldova, Malaga), we are inviting other heritage organisations, platforms for tourists and tourist businesses as well as destination marketing organisations to reach out by emailing to explore partnership opportunities with the project.

You can also explore and enjoy the tours on the J-Story platform.