Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Yivo Institute For Jewish Research, Inc.

aka YIVO

New York, NY


The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is the embodiment of the collective memory of the Jewish people of Eastern Europe and Russia; it elevates Jewish historical consciousness and builds community identity by documenting, preserving and perpetuating the legacy of East European and Russian Jewish culture globally. The YIVO Library holds approximately 400,000 volumes and the largest collection of Yiddish language materials in the world. The Archives contains more than 23,000,000 artifacts, including manuscripts, documents, photographs, sound recordings, art works, films, posters, sheet music, and other materials. YIVO offers a wide array of educational and cultural programs, including cultural events and films, adult education and Yiddish language classes (including the Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language, the YIVO Winter Program, various scholarly publications, research opportunities and fellowships and internships.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mr. Jonathan Brent

Main Address

15 West 16th St

New York, NY 10011 USA


Yiddish programming, Jewish programming, library, Jewish research, education, history, archives, cultural institution





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (A05)

Jewish (X30)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

YIVO is tasked not only with protecting and preserving the largest and most comprehensive collection of materials saved from Eastern European Jewish civilization - some 23 million documents chronicling the 1,000 year story of the Jewish people in Europe- but also with transmitting the richness it contains, and inspiring future generations to continue its story to not only scholars, but to the worldwide community as well. YIVO can once again be a way into the future by linking past and present. YIVO has the opportunity to resume its role of an institutional leader and cultural agent, a cultural agent which by virtue of its Eastern European origins can also help bridge the gap between Israeli and global Diaspora Jewry. John Steinbeck asks "How will our children know who they are, if they don't know where they came from?" This is one of the questions that YIVO is here to answer.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Institute for Jewish Research

Where we workNew!

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Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

To elevate Jewish historical consciousness and build community identity by documenting, preserving and perpetuating the legacy of East European and Russian Jewish culture globally by: Ensuring the survival and accessibility of the historical records of Jewish civilization in Eastern Europe for future generations; Providing unique and invaluable resources for general, Jewish, and Holocaust education; Digitizing millions of documents from 1,000 years of Jewish history; Maintaining its team of outstanding teachers and scholars; Funding scholarships for students around the globe to study at YIVO; Providing research fellowships for scholars and experts in the field of Jewish studies; and Developing innovative new course materials, online resources, exhibitions and programs.

Archival and library preservation and public access projects; public outreach and community building; education; public programs; publishing; promoting research and scholarship; exhibitions and online courses and other resources; partnerships and scholarly exchange with other institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

YIVO has an annual operating budget of $3.2 million and a full-time staff of 28 professionals. Founded in Vilna, Poland, in 1925, YIVO amassed the largest collection of materials on East European and Russian Jewish life in the world. Today, as the largest surviving repository of European Jewish material culture in the world, YIVO is regarded as the epicenter of East European and Russian Jewish scholarship and education. YIVO has redesigned and upgraded its website, created an online archive and library, and has developed an online educational program to reach a global constituency. Funding for such programs has grown significantly over the past 5 years and today YIVO devotes over 70% of annual revenues to programs.

Fulfillment on deadline of major new projects, growth in educational programs, increase in patron usage; increased membership; patron support (major gifts); increase in media attention and statistics for social media. All these categories of support and activity have dramatically increased over the last 5 years

Over the past 5 years, YIVO has balanced its budget and significantly increased funding for programs (see above); in 2015, YIVO initiated the largest digitization project in its history—the 7-year, $5.6 million project to preserve and digitize YIVO's prewar archives and library, known as the Vilna Collection; In the last three years, YIVO has raised $5.1 of the $5.6 million dollars ahead of schedule; YIVO is now a partner with institutions in Israel, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Bard College, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and numerous other institutions in the U.S.; YIVO has expanded and renewed its board of trustees and continues to search for resources to expand operations globally and at the same time to reach its full potential in the U.S.

External Reviews



Yivo Institute For Jewish Research, Inc.

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

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Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity