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Collecting American Jewish experiences of the pandemic

A new web portal connects American Jews to Jewish institutions and collecting projects that are gathering and preserving materials related to Jewish life during the pandemic. The interactive website, Collecting These Times: American Jewish Experiences of the Pandemic (CollectingTheseTimes.org), was developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) at George Mason University, in partnership with the Council of American Jewish Museums, the Breman Museum, the Capital Jewish Museum, Hebrew Theological College, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.

The new website offers an easy way to find collecting projects and contribute images, videos, audio recordings, documents, and oral histories to institutions throughout the U.S. Users can also browse curated contributions from different Jewish communities, covering everything from Jewish ritual practices to schools,  summer camps, businesses, and many other aspects of Jewish life during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Collecting These Times currently connects users to over 70 collecting projects, including American Jewish Life, a digital collection developed last year by RRCHNM in collaboration with six Jewish partner organizations. To find a collection and contribute your own materials, visit collectingthesetimes.org and click Find a Collecting Project. Libraries, archives, researchers, educators, students, and others can access all content at no cost and share content with each other.

 Funding for the project comes from a group of Jewish funders, the Chronicling Funder Collaborative, that are supporting efforts to document diverse Jewish experiences of the pandemic. The Collaborative also awarded a grant to the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM), enabling it to partner with 18 member institutions to lead a broad-based oral history collecting initiative.

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