Now, a Virtual Shtetl
Polish museum project
An as-yet unanswered question: Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Virtual Czar? The Museum of the History of Polish Jews—which isn’t projected to open until 2011—has launched a Virtual Shtetl. It’s less a Pale of Settlement village than a Wikipedia-style website, purportedly filled with historical information on some 800 Polish shtetls. In truth, it’s an odd and not particularly robust site, currently offering only a smattering of photos and information on the village. But the museum hopes descendents of shtetl-dwellers will add more data to the site, beefing up its content. If it works, it will yield a useful trove of data when the museum actually opens—and, until then, it at least serves useful marketing purposes. And reminds us to keep our eye out for Virtual Cossacks.