Emily Wang is a 3rd year Digital Media Major at UC Santa Cruz who participated in the UCSC Center for Jewish Studies Summer Fellowship at Diarna. Diarna Fellows use digital mapping and database technologies to virtually preserve and ensure unimpeded access to endangered Jewish heritage sites across North Africa and the Middle East. Diarna.org pioneers the synthesis of digital mapping technology, traditional scholarship, and field research, as well as a trove of multimedia documentation. All of these combine to lend a virtual presence and guarantee untrammeled access to Jewish historical sites lest they be forgotten or erased.
Why did you want to be a Diarna Fellow?
I wanted to contribute, document, and preserve cultures and histories! Also to learn about digital mapping and how virtual documentations can help to reach wider audiences.
What sites did you research?
Monte Sinai Synagogue, Milan Shoah Memorial, Jewish Cemetery of Puerto Vallarta, Chabad of Puerto Vallarta, Synagogue of Asti, Ghetto of Ancona, Rodfe Sedek Synagogue, and the Old Cemetery on Monte Cardeto.
What was the most interesting site you researched?
Milan Shoah Memorial. A significant site that deserves more attention. Full of rich history and a platform (literally) for a more hopeful future.
Any takeaways from the experience?
I got more comfortable with research and writing for sure. This experience also keeps my time management skills in check.
Ways in which you were able to improve skills through internship
Weekly one on one meetings with Anne at Diarna (my supervisor): I’ve learned how to work with a supervisor closely. They are there to help you and the program to succeed, so don’t be afraid to throw ideas around and ask for help. It is easier than you think to get help and wonderful resources! Weekly group meetings with the interns: Helped me to reduce my fear of public speaking and improve my presentation skills. It was also a very valuable time to learn from other interns and get the help that you need for writing a better site write up.