Riga Ghetto Mueseum
To honour the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the Riga Ghetto Museum tells the story of Jewish life in Latvia before and during the Holocaust. Unfortunately, the only people who could experience these poignant stories were those who actually travelled to Latvia. What they needed was a way for people anywhere in the world to experience the museum. Furthermore, the museum is 100% dependent on donations. Despite keeping operating costs extremely low (with only one full-time employee), they struggle to keep their doors open. In a country as poor as Latvia, they’re almost completely dependent on foreign donations.
Cory McCleod, a friend and co-worker met Rabbi Barakhan in Riga, Latvia and Cory and the Rabbi's unyielding passion to honour the memory of those who suffered in the Holocaust in Riga was deeply moving. David provided the strategic direction to honour the Rabbi's work and felt the museum deserved a much wider stage. So we started working on a new website for the Riga Ghetto Museum in our free time.
From the outset, we felt that we had to go beyond just creating a simple brochure website. If we wanted people around the world to engage with the museum, we also had to tell the story of the Riga Ghetto. The result was a website that featured six survivor stories told in the graphic-novel style and an interactive tour of the Riga Ghetto. The interactive tour combined Google Street View, side-by-side archival photos, and audio from the USC Shoah Foundation. This digital experience allowed anyone to literally walk the sixteen blocks of the Riga Ghetto and experience the memories of survivors where they occurred.
We felt an absolute need to communicate beyond the traditional Holocaust tropes; photos of eyeglasses, piles of suitcases. We wanted folks to empathize with the stories of six survivors of the ghetto. We wanted people to walk in their shoes, before and after the horrific events.
Not only was this site recognized internationally winning many awards including ADDY Awards, a Webby nomination, Comm Arts Site of the Week, an Awwwards Site of the Day and many others. It increased awareness of the museum.
The Riga Ghetto Museum planted 15 trees in our honour, though we always felt the project itself was honour enough.