Why Do JMM Volunteers Keep Volunteering?

Posted on August 12, 2019 by

A blog post from JMM Volunteer Coordinator Wendy Davis. To read more posts from Wendy, click here.


A benefit for being a volunteer at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM) is being included in the annual appreciation event.  On Sunday July 1th, 2019,  JMM held ou rannual  Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to celebrate our 70+ team of volunteers.  It was a wonderful evening with good food, a raffle with great items, and a creative, informative, and participatory program designed by Joanna Church and Trillion Attwood.  Most of the Museum staff attended and those there warmly expressed their appreciation for us, the volunteers.

As I was preparing for the evening, I began to contemplate, “What do the JMM volunteers appreciate about the Museum that compels them to return month after month?”  So, I posed the question to the volunteers and received these heartfelt responses.


It’s very simple. The JMM is a wonderful institution, staffed by highly dedicated, professional and creative people who are great to be with. I really appreciate the learning opportunities afforded me in serving as a docent. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with museum visitors and learning from them as well.
Phil

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We have many things to share with the community. And for many years I have enjoyed being part of it. Bob

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I love volunteering at JMMD for several reasons. It is fascinating to meet such a mix of interesting people representing different cultures and religions. How wonderful to introduce them to our Jewish culture and history. It’s also very special to lead school groups from both Jewish and non-Jewish ones who come to learn about the synagogues and the current exhibits. What a wonderful way for me as a docent to gain more knowledge both from my fellow docents and from the literature telling the intriguing stories behind the scenes.

I am so pleased that I am able to be a part of the JMM family.

Rita

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I enjoy meeting the people who come for the tours and sharing our history. I also love learning things from the visitors. Helene G

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I’ve been volunteering at the Museum for many years.  I am appreciative of the hard work and thought that goes into putting on the exhibits, which have been wonderful.  As a volunteer I promote the Museum to others I am in contact with, as many people have never visited.  I enjoy interacting with the visitors and being able to answer questions they might have – advising them about the Circulator, restaurants in the neighborhood, etc.  It is also interesting to meet and converse with visitors from other cities, countries, etc. who visit the Museum and to get their perspectives.

Laraine

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1. I like to teach

2. I like to learn about Jewish immigration in general, from questions posed by the visitors, about the visitors’ own immigration histories

Michael

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I really enjoy being around the people I with whom I work, and the people I have met at the JMM.

Working with kids is one of my favorite pastimes.

Family connections got me started and keep me going.

Lois

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I continue to volunteer at JMM because: (1) it provides another outlet for me other than my community activities, (2) I enjoy the front desk work, meeting the public and inputting various types of statistical data to keep JMM records up-to-date, (3) I have the opportunity to see the changing exhibits, and (3) working with a caring and friendly JMM staff.

Harold

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I volunteer at the JMM because I enjoy the interaction with our visitors from near and far. Roberta

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Thanks Wendy. You always go the extra mile for all of us JMM volunteers. I’ve been involved with the non profit sector throughout my work life and in other volunteer roles. I can truly say that I have never encountered an organization that walks the talk better than JMM. You provide opportunities to learn, expand our knowledge, and make a meaningful contribution.

This applies to JMM as a whole and to you personally Wendy!!

Sylvia

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It has been a year since we first began our studies to become docents, and we are very happy that we made the decision to “give it a try.” The history is amazing, and being able to share it as we give our tours is a great experience. Becoming docents has also brought us closer to the Museum, we have been members for years, but are now attending many more programs and, of course, seeing all the exhibits. We live in Northern Anne Arundel County so the Museum has become like a JCC for us! Steve asked me to add that he loves the Gift Shop discount!

Thank you for this opportunity!

Karen & Steve Rubin

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I continue to volunteer at the JMM for a simple reason, a large part of my personal history is located in the Lloyd Street Synagogue and the neighborhood around it.  Not only did my father’s family live in the area, as so many others did, but my Great-Grandfather was a member of Shomrei Mishemeres, my Grandfather prayed here, and my father’s bar mitzvah took place in the Lloyd Street Synagogue on a snowy Saturday morning in January of 1935.  How could I not continue to support the JMM when so much of who I am comes from here.

Thanks.

Harvey

During this first year of being a Docent I have had the pleasure of sharing my love of Baltimore Jewish history with people from all over the world.  Being a volunteer has brought me joy and a sense of accomplishment. I appreciate being around the kind employees and volunteers at the Jewish Museum.   Being a volunteer provides for the opportunity to learn something new every single time I give a tour. The general”vibe” at the Jewish Museum is so positive, it’s just a great feeling to be there.   Thanks to you Wendy for being a great mentor.

Robbin B


 

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