Never Groundhog Day

Posted on February 3, 2017 by

Museum Matters: February 2017

For many of us today is indelibly marked by the curmudgeonly newscaster portrayed in the movie by Bill Murray.  The protagonist is condemned to relive the same day – a truly awful day – over and over again.

I am happy to report that at JMM there is no Groundhog Day.  Even on a grey morning in February there is the bright promise of new exhibits ahead. This week we’ll be working behind the scenes on five different exhibit projects!  First on our list is Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity, opening on March 5 (public opening begins at noon). Look for a complete list of related programs in our March 2 Museum Matters newsletter.

But even as we prepared to install Remembering Auschwitz we are also measuring the walls for our next project, Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland, scheduled to open June 18.  We have something very special planned for our exhibit opening (details next month) but now is the time to renew your membership to make sure you can join us.

We are also making final arrangements to host Discovery and Recovery: The Iraqi Jewish Archives Project – our opening events for this exhibit are on October 15.  But our team isn’t just working on 2017.  In this week’s Baltimore Jewish Times look for an article about the Scrap Yard national traveling exhibit we’re creating for next fall.  Last but not least, we just completed the conceptual phase for our new core exhibit Belonging(s): What Connects Us.

So no matter what you hear today from Punxsutawny Phil, our winter break will be short – and we won’t be sleeping through it!


Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.

Movie Screening – Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia
Sunday, February 12th at 1pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for the Maryland premiere of Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Following a one-hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, “craftsmen”, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as “evil-eyed” and “hyena-people.” They have been deprived of basic rights, including ownership of land.

Following the screening we will be talking with the director Irene Orleansky live from Israel via Face Time.

The Balkan Sephardim: Their Stories, Our Heritage
Sunday, February 19th at 6:30pm
Speakers: Edward Serotta and Dr. Joseph Benatov
FREE – Reserve Your Seats Here

In 1492, when the Jews of Spain—the Sephardim–were expelled from their home of a thousand years, they sought refuge in many lands. In what became modern-day Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia, Jews lived alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors. For 400 years, the lived peacefully suffering neither ghettos nor pogroms. But as the Ottomans withdrew and the ugly 20th century took shape, they were marked for destruction.

Join us for a screening of multimedia films and conversation with Dr Joseph Benatov of the University of Pennsylvania, and Edward Serotta, director of Centropa. We will discuss the tragedy and the resilience of the Balkan Sephardim, their role in the broader story of Sarajevo, and how Centropa uses the story in schools throughout the world.
More info here.

Got Shabbat in Federal Hill!

Friday, February 24, 5:45pm
Location: 1530 Battery Avenue Baltimore, 21230

Join Beth El Federal Hill and B’nai Israel with the Jewish Museum of Maryland and DBJCC for a fun-filled family Shabbat. Questions? Contact Lara Nicolson | 410.559.3532 |


Auschwitz through the Lens of the SS
Wednesday, March 1st at 7:00pm
Speaker: Rebecca Erbelding, Museum Archivist
Location: Chizuk Amuno Congregation
FREE – Registration is Required

Shortly after World War II, an American intelligence officer living in Germany made a surprising discovery—a personal album of photographs chronicling SS officers’ activities at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn how this unique collection made its way to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the detective work undertaken to identify those pictured. More info here.

Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists  whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity: Lori Shocket (The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learnt through their work exploring the Holocaust. More info here.

Stories of Survival: Bluma Shapiro
Featuring a live Crankie performance by Maura Roth-Gormley
Sunday, March 12, 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Bluma Shapiro is a Polish Holocaust survivor whose Holocaust experiences included confinement with her family in a ghetto, slave labor and deportation to several concentration and death camps including Auschwitz.  Ms. Shapiro’s testimony will be illuminated by Crankie artist Maura Roth-Gormley. More info here.

A Cabaret Evening
Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture
Presented by The Jüdische Kulturbund Project
Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

An evening of learning and music with the team behind The Jüdische Kulturbund Project.  Gail Prensky, executive producer, will enlighten us about the history of the Nazi-era group. Vocalist Sarah Baumgarten and pianist Patrick O’Donnell will present a number of pieces previously performed by the Jüdische Kulturbund. More info here.

The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints: Facts and FAQs
Speaker: Marlene Yahalom
Sunday , March 26th at 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Marlene Yahalom Director of Education of the American Society of Yad Vashem will speak about the Auschwitz Birkenau blueprints which are on display in “The Architecture of Murder” section of Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. More info here.

Movie Screening: Bogdan’s Journey  
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Anna Sommer Schneider, Georgetown University
Location: The Gordon Center
Ticket Information Here

Maryland premiere of Bogdan’s Journey: Bogdan Bialek, a Catholic Pole, launches a crusade to persuade the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment in their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom. More info here.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Esther’s Place is heading to New York City this month for the annual NY NOW show – the premier market for all that’s new and on trend in specialty retail.  We expect to bring back lots of unique merchandise for the shop, so to make room on the shelves, we’re offering a special discount of 10% off the medically-themed Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit merchandise.

The first night of Passover is Monday, April 10, so you have just enough time to stop by and pick up a new Seder plate (or two!).  We’re also adding more pieces to our collection to coincide with our upcoming exhibit Remembering Auschwitz (opening March 5). You can look forward to seeing products that help us remember, including memorial candles, beautifully crafted picture frames and new book additions to our Holocaust-related reading section.

Also of Interest

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.

Ongoing at the JMM


Exhibits currently on display include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!

Hours and Tour Times

Combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel are offered: Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times

Please note that the JMM is open on Sunday, December 25 from 10am-5pm and on Sunday, January 1, from 10am-5pm.


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Learn More about membership.
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Get Involved

The JMM is always looking for volunteers! Click Here to learn more.
Click Here for complete hours and tour times


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