I’m on the Amtrak down to Washington, D.C. as I write this. Tomorrow (Monday) I start a new project that will likely be the biggest professional challenge I’ve ever faced and will carry profound personal significance as well.
Happy Cog East in Philadelphia was recently awarded the website redesign project for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a couple weeks ago they asked me to join the team. All day tomorrow and Tuesday we will be kicking off the project at the museum with our partners Ralph Appelbaum Associates (designers of the museum) and core museum staff.
A large part of the tremendous privilege I feel is because I am a Jewish American and thus have an indelible sensitivity to both the effects of the Holocaust on my ancestry and to the crucial role the U.S. played in ending the genocide.
I visited the museum for the first time when I was in the 7th grade and it had an intense effect on me. It’s impossible for me to dissociate the Holocaust itself from the Holocaust Museum, and almost any mention of the Holocaust immediately evokes visions of the shoe room. I have been back twice more and each time I learn so much more about and feel more connected to my history.
Another main reason for my excitement is that I am incredibly proud of strategic contribution I get to make to this prestigious organization by helping to better understand and better serve its wide-ranging constituencies.
And lastly, I’m thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with the folks at Happy Cog East, among the leading practitioners in the industry today. My deepest thanks go to Kevin Hoffman, Robert Jolly and Greg Hoy for involving me, and to Jeffrey Zeldman for his ongoing support.
I am so humbled by this opportunity and can’t wait to do the best work of my life. But I doubt it will feel like work at all — it will be a mitzvah.