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DIARNA: PROJECT OF DIGITAL
HERITAGE MAPPING
1ST TIME SLINGSHOT FINALIST

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While every organization running an innovative program talks about
its technology, Diarna is doing something we’ve never seen before.

Boston, MA 02115
#311
304 Newbury Street
By skillfully combining cutting-edge digital mapping technology, 3D
renderings, archival images and first-hand photographs and videos,
Diarna (meaning “our homes”) is preserving the history and heritage
of Mizrahi Judaism. In the last 100 years, when Jews across North
Africa and the Middle East have left their homes behind because
of economic, political and religious turmoil, they have also left
the remnants of once great Jewish communities. Diarna seeks to
document 2,500 years worth of historic sites from the cradle of
Jewish civilization that are being swallowed up by the desert, looters

EMAIL jguberman@heritagemapping.org
PHONE 203.380.8031
CONTACT Jason Guberman-Pfeffer
and the march of time. These sites, without preservation, will soon
be lost to history.

Diarna’s Founder and Executive Director, 23-year-old Jason


Guberman-Pfeffer, has developed a database of 650 historic Jewish
sites from Morocco to Iran. He and his team of three others, plus
volunteers, are now plotting them directly into the free mapping
program Google Earth, making them available for easy download.
Diarna combines satellite images, archival and contemporary
photographs, stories and videos from each site to create a multi-
media education system that can be easily shared and applied to
the preservation of any historic community.

Evaluators marvel at how Jason and his team have “managed to


INCEPTION 2008
BUDGET $138,000
BOARD CHAIR Jay Sage

accomplish so much so quickly with mostly in kind and pro bono


resources.” Other evaluators exclaim, “This is absolutely fabulous”
and “Now, this is innovation.” Impressed with the expansion
possibilities on the horizon, one evaluator points out that “by using
Google [Earth] to connect younger and older Jews with a part of
their heritage,” Diarna can “preserve an understanding of what these
once vibrant Jewish communities were like.” Diarna is still in its early
days, but Slingshot is interested to see how it will make an impact
on the Mizrahi community and how other communities will be able
to integrate this new technology into their own work.