Museum Matters – January 2014

Posted on January 6, 2014 by


How did it get to be 2014 already?  It seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the opening of Passages Through the Fire:  Jews and the Civil War and now there are just 58 days remaining in its run at JMM.  We had large audiences over the holidays – more than 100 came on December 25th alone – and we continue to get great feedback on the exhibit and our 3pm “1861 Tours” of the Lloyd Street Synagogue.  If you’ve been procrastinating about visiting, move us up your list of New Year’s resolutions.  In fact, a rigorous 1861 Tour can be used in lieu of that daily commitment you made to visit the gym.


Upcoming Programs

Please note that unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). For more information and to RSVP for specific programs, contact Trillion Attwood: (410) 732-6400 x215 / For more information on JMM events please visit



The Second American Revolution and Broadening Concepts of American Citizenship, 1850-65

Book discussion of America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, edited by Edward L. Ayers

Discussion facilitator: John Matsui

Sunday, January 12, 11:00am

Free Admission

This Maryland Humanities Council Book Talk takes place at the Edward A. Myerberg Center, 3101 Fallstaff Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

Anthology book cover

Join us for the first of two Civil War related book discussions. This discussion will use Ayers’ Anthology primarily consisting of original documents to explore some of the key themes relating to the Civil War including the debates over slavery, succession, emancipation and immigrant rights.

Register for this talk today so you can have a good read ready for the cold winter months. Copies of the book are available and can be borrowed at no cost from the Museum.

Conversation facilitator, John H. Matsui graduated from Princeton.  His current research focuses on conflicting political ideologies in Civil War America and their effect on Union military occupation policies in Virginia. His current post as Assistant Professor of History at the Virginia Military Institute – near the tombs of Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson – is most ideal.

This is a Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War partner program! Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series, is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Additional support has been provided by the Maryland Humanities Council.


Faith and Freedom in the Civil War

Sunday, January 19, 1:00pm

Program Free with Museum Admission

Museum building3-2013

Join Barbara Franco, Founding Executive Director of the newly-opened Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum, as she explores how the religious foment, innovation, and change wrought by the Second Great Awakening influenced thinking about moral issues of war and slavery, and how Americans of all faiths who met at Gettysburg grappled not only with life and death, but with divergent ideas of faith and freedom that would shape the nation’s future.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies, Barbara Franco has worked in museums and historical organizations throughout her career.  She is currently Executive Director of the Seminary Ridge Museum, which opened on July 1, 2013 on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Gettysburg — one of the lasting legacies of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War.


Whose side are you on? Baltimore’s Immigrants and the Civil War

Sunday, January 26, 1:00pm

Speaker Nicholas Fessenden

Program Free with Museum Admission


Maryland was deeply divided during the Civil War, and Baltimore was the scene of the conflict’s first casualties on April 19, 1861. Baltimore’s immigrants, Germans, Irish, and Jews, and their children, composed 35% of the city’s population. Nevertheless, histories of Maryland’s Civil War make scant mention of this important segment of the community. While there were divisions among the immigrants themselves, their majority support of the Union was a factor in keeping Maryland on the Union’s side during this critical period.

Nicholas Fessenden, a Philadelphia native, was educated at Yale and Columbia University in history. He taught History at Friends School of Baltimore from 1972 to 2010 and also on an adjunct basis at Towson University and Maryland Institute of Art. Since retirement, he has focused on Baltimore’s immigration history and has been working with the group Baltimore Immigration Memorial to establish a small immigration museum in Locust Point.


Late Night on Lloyd Street: Best Yiddish Workshop Ever

Wednesday, January 29, 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Free Admission


Why Yiddish? Why not?!

The thousand-year old Jewish language traveled from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the new world.  For one fun evening the mame-loshn will be making a stop at the JMM.  Join us as we celebrate the chutzpah, the herring, and the zaftik humor of this extraordinary language with music, film, interactive games. The great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem once wrote: lakhn iz gezunt, doktoyrim heysn lakhn, laughter is healthy, doctors prescribe laughter. For one freylikh evening we will explore tsuzamen, together the ways Yiddish can make us become a better mentsh.

Adi Mahalel is a visiting Instructor of Yiddish Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Adi earned a joint degree in Hebrew Literature and in Humanities through the Ofakim honor’s degree program at Haifa University. Adi’s other areas of interest include Yiddish poetry, Jewish American theater and Israeli Yiddish literature. He has taught courses in Yiddish language and culture. Adi is also a regular contributor to the Yiddish Forward and other Yiddish publications.

As with all Late Night on Lloyd Streets there will be plenty of snacks and drinks.

This program is generously supported by the Grandchildren of Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meyerhoff Philanthropic Fund.


February 2014

Reading Your Way Through the Civil War, Part Two: “March” by Geraldine Brooks

An Imagined Civil War:  Civil War Fiction Book discussion of March by Geraldine Brooks
Discussion leader: Anne Sarah Rubin

Thursday, February 20, 6:00pm
Free Admission
This Maryland Humanities Council Book Talk takes place at Enoch Pratt Library, Light Street Branch

March book cover
Anne Sarah Rubin leads our second book program as she discusses the Pulitzer Prize winning March by Geraldine Brooks. The conversation will consider the relationship between March and Little Women, some of the biographical connections to Louisa May Alcott, and the way in which the novel reflects an alternative Civil War experience.

Register for this talk today, so you can have a good read ready for the cold winter months. Copies of the book are available and can be borrowed at no cost from the Museum. Register now with Trillion Attwood or 410-732-6400 ext.215

Anne Sarah Rubin is an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Digital History and Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  She received her AB from Princeton University and her MA and PhD from the University of Virginia. Dr. Rubin is currently President of the Society of Civil War Historians.

This is a Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War partner program! Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion series, is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. Additional support has been provided by the Maryland Humanities Council.


Family Day: Lincoln Comes to Baltimore 
Sunday, February 16, 11:00am to 3:00pm
Abraham Lincoln living history performance at 1:00pm
Program Free with Museum Admission

What better way to celebrate President’s Day weekend then by joining us for an Abraham Lincoln themed day filled with family fun activities.  Actor Jim Getty will bring Lincoln to life in this unique living history performance. JMM Program Manager, Trillion Attwood will interview the 16thPresident about his recollections of the role that Jews played in the Civil War.


More Programs

The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit or check out BIYA on facebook.



Current exhibits

Exhibits currently on display at the JMM include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, The Synagogue Speaks! and Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War on display through February, 27, 2014.

Hours and Tour Times

The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm. We offer tours of our historic synagogues each day at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00. We are delighted to announce the debut of a new themed “1861 Tour” of the Lloyd Street Synagogue that focuses on Baltimore’s Jewish community during the Civil War. This tour is offered Sunday-Thursday at 3:00pm (in place of the regular tour).

Get Involved

The JMM is looking for volunteers to help staff our front desk, work in the gift shop, and lead tours as docents. No prior knowledge or training is required. All that is needed is an interest in learning about the JMM, our historic sites, exhibits, and programs and a desire to share this knowledge with the public. All volunteers are provided with thorough training. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen at 410.732.6400 x217 or


Revamped and revitalized, membership at the JMM is now better than ever – with new categories, benefits, and discounts to enrich every visit to the Museum for you and your friends and families.

All members receive our monthly e-newsletter, along with a 10% discount at the Museum store, free general admission to the Museum, free admission to all regular programs, attendance at exclusive member opening events and discounted weekday parking at the City-owned garage at 1001 E. Fayette Street. Your membership provides much needed funding for the many programs that we offer and we hope we can count on you for your continued support. Memberships can be purchase online! For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or

Gift Shop

Check out our amazing variety of books on the Civil War in the JMM Museum Shop.

Civil War books

Call Esther Weiner, Museum Shop Manager, 410-732-6400, for details.  Your copy can be mailed to you or to a recipient as a gift. Remember, JMM members receive a 10% discount on each order.





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