Two recent cases of new media practices, produced by Lubavitcher (Habad) Hasidim and the Shoah Foundation (University of Southern California), make provocative use of technologies to address the passing of revered figures: Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe) and Holocaust survivors, respectively. In both instances, the deaths of these people are understood to pose daunting challenges to the continuity of their devotees’ commitment to future generations. The turn to new technologies—including video, the Internet, interactive holography, and virtual reality—strives to simulate “live” contact with the deceased. These endeavors create new cultural practices that rely on the ambivalent status of their subjects as simultaneously present and absent. These new media practices have telling implications for Jewish cultures as they grapple with concerns for continuity, remembering the past, and envisioning a transformed future.
"The Savior and the Survivor: Virtual Afterlives in New Media,"
Jewish Film & New Media: Vol. 8:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/jewishfilm/vol8/iss1/2