Today the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is launching American Jewish Life, a digital collecting project that will document and interpret the experiences of individuals and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the Center’s larger Pandemic Religion project, American Jewish Life has been created in partnership with the Breman Museum; the Capital Jewish Museum; the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life; Hebrew Theological College; the Houston Jewish History Archive at Rice University; and Yeshiva University. The six Jewish institutions who have partnered with American Jewish Life are broadly representative of the geographic and theological diversity of American Judaism.
Most of the initial items on American Jewish Life represent the prior collecting of our partner institutions. Others have been contributed by visitors to the Pandemic Religion site.
You may wish to browse some of the items that have already been contribute:
- A mask made out of kippahs.
- A video of the virtual passing of a Seder plate.
- A photograph of a socially distanced funeral with a limited number of attendees.
- Rabbinical statements, including from the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County (New Jersey) and the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
Collection is only the first stage in this project. In the coming weeks and months, we will also work with our partners to richly interpret the experiences and responses of Jewish communities during this time.
We invite anyone who is interested in the project to make a contribution, or to offer suggestions and raise questions. You can contact John Turner (the project director) and Lincoln Mullen (the project co-director) via email at email@example.com.