Group Contract for the Agudas Israel Synagogue Research Team
Group Members: Kevin Stallings, Mikayla Bennett, Evan Bretan
- Mission Statement
For our project, we are intending to create a historically-relevant and accessible website pertaining to the Agudas Israel Synagogue in Hendersonville, NC and the impact of the Jewish community during the early years of settlement and the construction and funding of the Synagogue. This period ranges before the 1920s to the roots of the families who eventually settled into Henderson County and a couple decades after the Synagogue was funded and finished. We are intending to tell the story/stories of the founding members and their families, how the Congregation came to be, and how the Jewish community existed socially within Hendersonville, from inside and outside the community.
We would like for our website to be a helpful and interactive tool to assist readers in exploring Jewish culture within Western North Carolina, but specifically learning about the history of the Congregation of Agudas Israel. The audience we are striving to address are various scholars, local or otherwise, who are curious about the role of Jewish culture in this part of North Carolina, interested parties who are curious about the early history of the Synagogue in Hendersonville, and the members of the Agudas Israel Congregation themselves. We wish to represent the history of Agudas Israel properly through the sources that we find in the Agudas Israel Synagogue collection, while, at the same time, respecting the Jewish community of Hendersonville, NC.
In designing the website, we are aiming to achieve an attractive and accessible layout for the information and various interactives that will be housed within the website. Additionally, we do not want to overwhelm our readers with too many pages, which can make our website convoluted and confusing.
The main pages we intend to include are:
- A Home Page providing readers with a general overview of the website and including links to various interactives on the website.
- An About Page to explain our process and purpose, as a group, for creating the website. Will be complete with contact information.
- One or Two Pages pertaining to, arguably, the most important families during the early years of the Agudas Israel Congregation. These families were the founding members of the Congregation and were involved in many activities and committees during the earliest decades of the Synagogue.
- One Page devoted to the Synagogue itself and its associated properties. Information on the funding, expansion, and perhaps remodeling will be on this page, along with the common services and activities that were arranged by the members of the Congregation during the early years.
- One Page devoted to the social history of the Jewish Community involved with the Agudas Israel Synagogue, along with the context of the outside community/communities. How the Agudas Israel group interacted with one another and outsiders in Hendersonville, especially Christians, will be on this page.
The website we create will be constructed within WordPress.org, with various added plug-ins to add more context and information for the visitors to interact with. Although we have not chosen a specific theme for this website yet, we are hoping to use a theme that will look clean and be accessible, whether on a smartphone or a computer layout.
Specific tools we are planning on utilizing in order to complete this website include Timeline JS, Juxtapose, Thinglink, and some sort of Map tool – but not Timemapper or Storymap.
For Timeline JS, a timeline will be necessary to trace the arrivals of various Jewish families to Hendersonville, the progress of the Synagogue’s establishment, and various other events related to the Jewish Congregation of Agudas Israel. With Timeline JS, we can also use this tool to plug in various primary sources written by some of the founding members, or their descendants.
Juxtapose is a tool we would like to utilize in order to bring the context of the past to the present, laying over the oldest version of the Agudas Israel Synagogue building with a photo of the present day. Various other photographs can be manipulated the same way to give more context, but from our research there are several places that have vanished or changed completely from the early records to the modern day.
Thinglink is a tool we would prefer to use over StoryMap or TimeMapper due to its flexibility. With StoryMap or TimeMapper, the issue becomes having too many events in one place, since most of the events will be at the Synagogue. With Thinglink, we can place points and information over a map at any given place, without having to worry about specific locations. However, we would also include a map of the Synagogue’s location within Hendersonville, which we can accomplish with a Google Map plugin or similar plugins.
- Schedule of Milestones
February 20 (Monday): Initial Draft of Contract Due.
March 6 (Monday): Revised Version of the Contract Due.
March 20 (Monday): First meeting with Games Programming group after Spring Break. Most or almost all of the research needs to be finished. Website needs to be close to completion for the 29th.
March 24 (Friday): Theme for the website should be finalized on and chosen.
March 29 (Wednesday): Website needs to be almost, or basically, finished. We will be showing them to the Games Programming group(s), and need to have them look as complete as possible.
April 19 (Wednesday): Final Product Due Today.
- Division of Work and Responsibilities
Each team member is responsible for contributing to the research process and helping scan photos and documents that will be featured on the website. Days for researching are officially scheduled as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays around 1 PM for roughly 30 to 60 minute periods, however, individual or other scheduled research times are encouraged to speed along the research process. Relevant information should be placed in the designated Google Folder in order to keep the research together neatly.
- Timeline JS: Kevin Stallings
- Thinglink: Mikayla Bennett
- Juxtapose and Map Plugin: Evan Bretan
- Assistance can be given on plugins by other members, but plugins assigned to a member need to be completed by the member at a similar level of quality to the other plugins.
- Home Page: All Group Members
- About Page: All Group Members
- Founding Families Page(s): Kevin Stallings
- Synagogue Page: Evan Bretan
- Social Relations Page: Mikayla Bennett
- Assistance on other pages can be carried out by other members of the group, but the pages need to be completed by the member assigned to each page and flow together neatly.