Making Jewish history, one Facebook post at a time

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia put out a call to action on Facebook: Exhibitions coordinator Shira Goldstein wanted to track down a rainbow-colored ‘Mazel Tov’ sign spotted by the lens of a NY Times photographer.

One month later, Becca Rosen at The Atlantic informed readers that I played a small role in connecting Goldstein to the sign’s creator, Cody Pomerantz:

How exactly the search made its way to Pomeranz is a bit unclear. Here’s what we do know: His colleague at CAP, Hannah Slater, is the one who put the whole thing together. On Friday the 28th she opened up Facebook and saw a post from a friend of hers named Adam Berman, who had shared it from a friend of his, whom Slater does not know. The text was signed by yet a third person, “Adam S.,” whom neither Slater nor Pomeranz knows. “I have no idea how many people may have shared the message before I saw it,” Slater says.

By my count, it took eight or nine Facebook posts to connect Shira Goldstein to Cody Pomerantz. In that respect, it doesn’t feel like a significant achievement that the text of my post was the one that made its way to Pomerantz. Still, I’m starting to contemplate the longer-term implications of my social media activity: 

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[Setting: Middle of the night, of natural causes and advanced in age (if I’m lucky). Angel on administrative duty purses his lips and snorts as he flips through maddening volumes of paperwork.]

Angel: “Not gonna lie. You’re kind of on the fence here. Did you do anything of historical significance during your time on Earth?”

Adam S: “Umm… I once re-posted something to Facebook and got a gay marriage -related posterboard to a Jewish museum in Philly.”

Angel: “What did it say?”

Adam S: ”‘Mazel Tov to everyone.’ In rainbow letters.”

Angel: “Wait a minute, YOU’RE Adam S? We’ve been looking all over for you! You’re a shoe-in.”

Adam S: “Seriously? I mean, I’m flattered. I just thought the whole gay marriage bit might be a bit of a gray area in these parts.”

Angel: “Dude, that was, like, 50 years ago. Hey guys, meet Adam S. He’s a slacktivist genius. Let’s L-I-M-B-O!”

Adam S: “Wait, you don’t do the hora in Heaven?”

Angel: “Hora? Ha! Love these newbies.” Hey Boruch, crank up that Miami Sound Machine!

Adam S: You mean Miami Boys Choir?

Angel: Miami Boys choir — hilarious! Where do you come up with this stuff?

Adam Soclof is JTA’s Associate Director of Outreach and Partnerships and coordinates presentations and advertising/marketing opportunities for the news agency. A digital archives enthusiast, Adam has authored more than 300 blog posts for The JTA Archive Blog and was responsible for its social media presence and weekly newsletter, This Week in Jewish History. Adam has presented at several conferences in the form of game shows, interactive social media campaigns and Powerpoint presentations. Follow him on Twitter: @hypersem

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