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 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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