The Ida Pearle and Joseph Cuba Archives for Southern Jewish History at The Breman Museum, the largest repository for Jewish research in the region, is calling on the Jewish community of Atlanta to preserve the history we are all currently living through.
People typically do not assign historic value to the items we create through our daily activities until many years later. All too often, important records get tossed away or lost in the clutter of our busy lives. When history is misplaced, future generations lose the ability to interpret and learn from our experiences.
This is a call to all members of the Jewish community: Rabbis, preserve your sermons; Jewish professionals, document the work of your organizations; and lay leaders, keep a journal of your thoughts and actions. These are significant items with real historic value. Some of the most accessed materials in the archives at The Breman Museum are meeting minutes, bulletins, correspondence and diaries. They help researchers gain insight into the operations of organizations and the worldview of people living through times of crisis. Understanding how the Jewish community coped and overcame challenges today can help future generations better prepare for similar episodes that will inevitably arise years from now.
The Jewish community of Atlanta is strong and resilient. It has overcome numerous past challenges and COVID-19 will be no different. The community response to the crisis is remarkable and already worthy of documenting. Jewish Atlantans should take pride in raising millions of dollars overnight for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, organizing volunteers to deliver groceries to those most at-risk, and the countless organizations that have quickly adapted to the new normal by making rich content available through virtual platforms in order to keep us culturally enriched while safely observing social distancing.
It is the mission of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum to connect people to Jewish history, culture and arts. As The Breman Museum is temporarily closed to help flatten the curve, all donations must be made electronically of correspondence, photographs, etc. To offer physical objects, please send images and dimensions. An appointment will be made to transfer objects to the archives when it is safe to do so.
Thank you for being historically conscience while we live through unprecedented times. Stay safe and healthy.
To help with this mission and aid the preservation effort, contact Jeremy Katz, senior director of archives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.