Making Jewish history, one Facebook post at a time

Facebook post searching for gay marriage Mazel Tov sign.
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 New York 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 version that made its way to Pomerantz. Still, I’m starting to contemplate the longer-term implications of my social media activity:

[Setting: Pearly white gates, middle of the night. 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?

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