Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Eternal Exile

Shivah Stars

Print Email
Ilya Zhitomirskiy.(David Goldman/NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week’s section is dotted with Jewish names: New York City Opera impresario Irwin Schneiderman (father of N.Y. attorney general Eric); breast-cancer activist Evelyn H. Lauder; Irving Franklin, inventor of the modern baseball batting glove.

But it seems appropriate to remember Ilya Zhitomirskiy, who was found dead Saturday in San Francisco, likely the victim of suicide, at 22 (I know). With three friends from NYU, he created Diaspora*, a social network intended to be the open source antithesis of Facebook—and what could be more Jewish than that (and that name!)? Born in Moscow to two mathematicians, Zhitomirskiy was, according to Diaspora* mentor Eben Moglen, the most idealistic of the site’s founders.

Ilya Zhitomirskiy Dies at 22; Co-Founded Social Network [NYT]
Earlier: The Facebook Diaspora*

Print Email

The death of Ilya Zhitomirskiy is certainly a tragedy, and Diaspora* is certainly an interesting start-up. But is there any real evidence that Zhitomirskiy was Jewish. The memorial services for him are not being held in Jewish funeral homes.

an admirer says:

Ilya’s family in Philadelphia is Russian Orthodox. A charitable fund has been set up in his name.

The Diaspora* blog has many memorials, such as


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Eternal Exile

Shivah Stars

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel