Once In A Blue Moon

Posted on September 4, 2020 by

Museum Matters: September 2020

Blue moon you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Written by Richard Rodgers & Moss Hart (1934)
#1 Doo Wop Hit for the Marcels (1961)

Ever wonder “what is a ‘blue moon’” and “why is it so rare?”. Well, a blue moon is a phenomenon caused by the disparity between the cycles of the moon and the annual cycle of the sun, resulting in some years having thirteen full moons rather than twelve. There is ample debate online as to why this event is called “blue” but it is pretty clear it has nothing to do with the color of the moon or the mood of moon watchers (with apologies to Moss Hart). In modern parlance, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month having two full moons. This is pretty rare in the Gregorian calendar but absolutely impossible in the Hebrew calendar (thank you, Adar II).

So why do I wax on about phases of the moon? It’s because the next thirty days feature not one, but two stellar events (or to keep with the metaphor, two “full moons”). Our first celestial object is Jews in Space, our first major exhibit opening since we closed in March for COVID 19 (yes, I am talking about a physical exhibit in the Museum!).

If you’ve gone a little stir-crazy staring at the four walls of your room, JMM is pleased to offer a safe opportunity to peer into the wonders of the universe. We are still operating with limited hours, a requirement for advance reservations, and a host of distancing and cleaning protocols.. Reservations to see the exhibit in person are available to JMM members right now. Reservations for the general public begin on September 10th.

Our second big event in the next thirty days is the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Hosted live by WYPR’s Sheila Kast, the ceremony will feature commentary by Dr. Jonathan Sarna, a Lloyd Street Synagogue history quiz, door prizes and more! You can watch the stars come out on October 1 without ever leaving home, as this event will be fully digital.

When is the next blue moon?  From an astronomical perspective, you’ll have to wait until Halloween (and if you miss that one, it’s another three years until it happens again). But from JMM’s perspective, the blue moons begin this September (bomp-baba-bomp-ba-bomp-ba-bomp-bomp… vedanga-dang-dang-vadinga-dong-ding).



Jews in Space: Curator’s Talk with Melanie Meyers

Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Register for this Live Stream Event Here

Museums as Agents of Change with the Capital Jewish Museum

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at  7:00pm EST
Register for this Live Stream Program Here

The Many Lives of Lloyd Street: A Synagogue Celebrates 175 Years

Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:00pm EST
Register for this Live Stream Event Here


Remember – JMM Members get a 10% discount at Esther’s Place every day!


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