Imagine going to Friday night service at Temple Sinai. As you go through Stern Hall, the names of people whose Yahrzeit’s are remembered that week are prominently displayed on a touch-screen monitor. During the service, the Rabbi might read one or 2 short bios of people being remembered. The Cantor might sing one of 2 favorite songs of people being remembered. Family members might read original writings of their beloved. When you return to Stern Hall for the Oneg, you click on one or two names to view their online-scrapbooks where all of the above-mentioned artifacts are found. From the comfort of your home, you can always see the entire scrapbook of the deceased and learn and remember their stories. You can also add your memories of them to their online-guestbook.
Temple Sinai, and Judaism can and should modernize the way we remember the deceased. As it becomes increasingly difficult to visit grave sites, many people yearn for new ways to remember their beloved. Many people also yearn for structured ways for how they want to be remembered. As the internet becomes ubiquitous, it offers us a way to help people do both.
Congregants and members of the community should be encouraged to subscribe to the Temple Sinai Memorial Website. They should be encouraged to build and maintain their online-scrapbook. Their online-scrapbook could contain such things as short bios, long bios, photos, videos, original poems, songs, visual art, essays, etc. While alive, they can designate who may view their online-scrapbook and who may update it. Temple Sinai scrapbooking experts could assist. When they die, the Temple Sinai Memorial Website Custodian would make the online-scrapbook available to the public, schedule Yahrzeit’s and make online-guestbook available for people to add their memories of the deceased.
New revenue for Temple Sinai should be recognized from fees associated with online scrapbooking, hiring scrapbooking experts through the Temple, and paying for eternal care. This project should also attract new members to Temple Sinai. Also, since scrapbooking is a relatively new profession, people with disabilities should be strongly encouraged to be scrapbooking experts.
The Temple Sinai Memorial Website should be a model pilot for other temples, synagogues and other religious institutions.
I suggest the next step is to engage an entrepreneur who can complete tasks including;
- Fully develop and document the Temple Sinai Memorial Website concept
- Perform market research to desirability, competition, pricing, etc.
- Design website mock-ups
- Design a marketing campaign
- Develop a business plan
- Obtain board approval
- Seek funding – if needed
I look forward to assisting with this project.