Yesterday, beneath a beautiful sky and a slight fall chill, 15 people of all ages were joined by rabbis from 2 of the 3 congregations in the area at Temple Israel’s cemetery to mark several generations of Omaha RestingSpots. After a short prayer service by Temple Rabbi Linder, volunteers spread out and began mapping the large cemetery in North Omaha.
After a few hours, several sections were complete. The Omaha Jewish Community, which adopted RestingSpot last month as the tool to map every Jewish grave in Omaha, is now nearly finished in accomplishing this task. Thanks to the generosity of its residents by participating in a series of mapping events, future generations will now simply download the RestingSpot mobile app and find their ancestors, without ever having to contact a single cemetery office or find a printed map.
In addition, family members and friends can now begin filling in biographical information, uploading photographs and share memories at RestingSpot.com.
A great satisfaction for us was watching 8-year-old Micah Gilbert borrow his mother’s iPhone for the day and add several RestingSpots to the platform. If that doesn’t impress you enough, he posted about his experience on his blog(!) here: Micah’s Brain
When you have the opportunity to watch an 8-year-old boy standing in a cemetery row, his father several rows away, and then an elderly gentleman in a different section, it becomes instantly clear how important this project is for every city in the world. When Micah is 40 years old, there will be another 8-year-old boy standing near where he was yesterday, and he will be using the data that Micah and the others provided to locate a family member.
Some of the older limestone markers have deteriorated to the point where they are barely legible. Thankfully, many of those are now preserved on RestingSpot.com. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the wonderful Jewish community of Omaha. If you want to schedule a mapping event for your community, and there is any way we can be of assistance in helping you plan one, please let us know!