Always Something to Celebrate at JMM

Posted on October 19, 2018 by

To read past editions of JMM insights, click here. To read other posts by Trillion Attwood, click here.

The Jewish holy days of September/October are behind us but this year (thanks in part to our exhibit Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini) we’re conjuring up holiday spirits nearly every week.

Below are just a few ways you can join us in celebrating holidays (secular, religious and everything in between)! This is just a small selection –  for more details, check out the events page on our website.


We don’t typically celebrate Halloween at the museum but with our current exhibit we couldn’t resist the opportunity. This year we will be celebrating with not one but two Halloween themed events.

On Sunday October 28th we will be hosting Houdini’s’ Magical Halloween, a fun filled day for the whole family.  We will learn a little magic, prepare some delicious treats and enjoy some marvelous crafts.  For those wishing to learn some of Houdini’s magic we have two special workshops planned on card tricks and lockpicking. However, the highlight of the day will be two performances by Harry Houdini himself (well actually, magician David London playing Ehrich Weiss/ Harry Houdini). Our “Harry” will have a few tricks up his sleeve as he brings to life the story of the Hungarian Jewish immigrant who transformed himself into an international superstar. No ghosts or goblins but plenty of chains and lots of spirit.

Then on Wednesday, October 31st we are excited to be hosting the Official Houdini Séance.

Houdini died 92 years ago on Halloween and this will be the 91st consecutive Official Houdini Séance – and it’s first occurrence in Baltimore. Join us for this special evening that includes roving magician performances, expert presentations, the official séance itself, and a spectacular finale, along with wine and a light dinner (dietary laws observed).

Tickets are now on sale but selling fast so reserve your seat today.

Veterans Day

This year we will also be marking Veteran’s day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with a very special presentation with JMM Archivist Lorie Rombro exploring the surprising records of the 39th British Royal Fusiliers. Why does the JMM have accounts of a British military unit from WWI?  This regiment, nicknamed the Jewish Legion, was made up entirely of volunteers, most of whom were Jewish, and many of whom were recruited here in Baltimore.

The Jewish Museum of Maryland is very fortunate to hold a number of items donated by the Legion’s Baltimore volunteers. In this special program we will discover how the collection can illuminate the lives of the Baltimoreans who served and the bond between them, which lasted their entire lives.


And what could you be more thankful for than chocolate!  On November 18, the Sunday prior to the holiday, Sheilah Kaufman, food writer and cookbook author will be presenting a History of the Jews and Chocolate with a chocolate tasting!

Chocolate is the most craved food in the United States and a truly global history. In this presentation Shelia explores the history of Jews and chocolate while also imparting her expert knowledge of using chocolate in the kitchen.


On December 2nd we bring you another exciting culinary championship – The Great Jewish Bake Off! This year we take inspiration from both the seasons and Jewish culinary tradition.  As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes colder, no food is more comforting than a great bake. From mandelbrot to bagels, and challah to rye we all have a favorite, almost all of which are improved with a generous schmeer of cream cheese or butter. This year we celebrate those bakes that are often, but not always, improved with a schmeer of something delicious or as we have named them schmeerables.

We invite Maryland’s greatest amateur bakers from newbies to bubbies to participate in this important statewide search: The Great Jewish Bake Off of 2018!

Even if you choose not to compete, we encourage you to join us at the JMM for a day dedicated to baking, with tastings, tips from professionals and the announcement of Maryland’s greatest amateur baker. We’ll also have hands-on activities for the family!

Mitzvah Day

For the sixth year in a row we are pleased to again celebrate Mitzvah Day on December 25th in partnership with JVC. Inspired by the life of Harry Houdini we are excited to work with the Esperanza Center. This Baltimore-based organizations mission is to welcome immigrants by offering hope, compassionate services, and the power to improve their lives. We will be working together to create backpacks filled with school supplies (and homemade stress balls!) for their students. Activities are suitable for all ages and no artistic talent is required.

We are looking for donations of the school supplies listed below to help fill the backpacks. If you are unable to attend, dropping off supplies in the weeks leading up is a great way to support the program!






Craft Scissors

White out


Colored Pencils

After our Mitzvah morning, sit back and relax as we screen the TV mini-series Houdini, starring Adrien Brody.

Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions about these or any of our upcoming programs at We hope to see you at the museum soon.


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