JMM: The Salon

Posted on January 19th, 2011 by

In the past, the JMM has held salon events.  You know, floor to ceiling stacked with arts, coffee and croissants, people speaking about the artwork in a meaningful way.  But yesterday the lobby of our Herbert Bearman Campus became a very different type of salon.  A hair salon.

Enter Photo Archivist & Develop Coordinator Rachel Kassman.  She had hair.  She hated her hair.  She asked Education & Program Coordinator Elena Rosemond-Hoerr to cut her hair.  Because Elena has been cutting her own bangs for a while and has yet to cut them so short she couldn’t come to work.

So around 5 yesterday Rachel donned a number of children’s smocks, sat on a bench in the lobby, and got a fantastic new hair cut.

Rachel, pre hair-cut

First, I made Rachel pose for a “before” shot.  Because we’re always looking for fresh blog content.


Then, I applied the prechool size children’s smocks.  To protect her fancy shirt.

Then the cutting began.

That smile on her face is nerves, by the way.

The back

The back of her head, during the cut.

The finished product!

And finally, the finished product!  A lovely JMM style haircut for a lovely JMM employee!  What can we say, we wear many hats over here.

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A New Look!

Posted on December 15th, 2010 by

A post by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr, Education and Program Coordinator.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, today we have a very special announcement.  After a very long process, much head and heartache, and many rounds of edits and revisions, the JMM web presence has a brand new look!

Starting this summer, the JMM began working with Red Thinking, a talented group of web designers and Skeevis Art, a web development company.  As anyone who has ever worked on a large design project can attest, the process is grueling.  The JMM staff is diverse and opinionated and it took a lot of intensive discussion to find a design that worked visually and functionally for everyone.  I am happy to say, however, that we were finally successful.  And in the middle of the night on Monday the new website (and the new blog) went public.

Drumroll, PLEASE….

The main visual feature of the new site are the large circles parading across the top.  We loved these because they’re fun, colorful, inviting, and (we think) appealing to all audiences.  Plus, as soon as we saw the very first mockup we instantly wanted to play with the site!  That, my friends, is the sign of a great design.

Homepage, bottom

One of the things we wanted most out of this redesign was a place where everyone’s interests and pet projects could be celebrated on the front page.  As you readers may know, starting in September all JMM staff were required to blog monthly.  Each staff member, from Dr. Barry Lever to Ilene Dackman-Alon has different goals and a different mission at the JMM.  Their blog posts represent their interests and all their hardwork.  This little space on the front page highlights the most recent blog post (and the next upcoming event) allows the diverse interests of the staff.

Sidebar for the Visiting Section

Another thing we were really hoping to do was better utilize the sidebar that shows up on each page of the website.  Instead of getting rid of it, we customized each section to show a different thing, something specific to the section.  For instance, in the Visiting section we will be highlighting a different neighboring museum (like the Carroll Mansion, shown above).  In the Events section we have a poll asking visitors what types of programming they’re interested in.  In Collections & Research we have the top items that we are currently searching for.  Get the picture?

The point is, we’re pleased.  So pleased.  Red Thinking & Skeevis Art did a wonderful job, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with for our next website- the Chosen Food site!

See the website at http:///

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The Beginning of a New Year

Posted on October 12th, 2010 by

Ilene Dackman-Alon is the Program Director

Over the past month, the work week has been so sketchy with short work weeks due to the fall Jewish holidays. When I arrived at work last week, I had a feeling similar to when I was young during the first week of school. The first week of school was always so exciting filled with new friends, new opportunities and new beginnings. I guess I am feeling this way as I am excited about the JMM’s upcoming program calendar filled with something for everyone both young and old.

This Friday, 8 October, we will begin this season’s Tot Shabbat programs. Tot Shabbat programs are geared for downtown families with very young children. Young children, along with their parents, caregivers and grandparents were actively engaged in songs, stories and a challah snack all in connection with the Sabbath. This program is co-sponsored by the JMM and the JCC’s Beyond the Borders“, a program which is funded by The Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Fund for the Enrichment of Jewish Education.

Later in October, the Druid Hill Park will be celebrating its 150th year and the JMM will be sponsoring bus trips to the park – Druid Hill Park- Nostalgia and Beyond. Barry Kessler, former JMM curator will give a behind the scenes tour of Druid Hill Park as it is and as it was. Barry will speak about how the park served the Jewish community from the 1920’s until 1960 and what those memories means to the Jewish collective conscience; as well as talk about the new efforts to bring the park back to its former glory.

In connection wit the JMM’s newest exhibition, A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People, the JMM is proud to present programming that highlight interfaith dialog and study. This year’s Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture will feature Father John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics and the director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies program at the Catholic Theological Union. Fr. Pawlikowski will deliver a lecture in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the historic declaration on the relationship of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions.

I am also eager and anxious to continue with weekly my visits to Patterson High School, a large Baltimore City Public School and continue to work on the JMM’s latest educational initiative, Student Immigration Stories. The SIS program is just one of the Museum’s many education programs and this one fulfills our mission – to teach about Baltimore’s history as a haven for immigrants and refugees in the past and present. The JMM has developed a wonderful relationship with this school and we are working specifically with Ms. Sally Franklin’s ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) class and Jennifer Zunikoff, a professional storyteller in the area. This particular initiative looks at contemporary immigration to Baltimore.

The students participating in the project are learning how to craft their personal immigration stories with the help of the storyteller. The power of the first-person narrative makes this program a compelling educational experience. With the help of facilitated questions, and the use of visualization and guided imagery, these techniques help the students formulate their personal stories as well as provide opportunities for the students to learn from their classmates.

The goal of the Student Immigration Stories program is to address the needs in schools whose student populations are rapidly diversifying due to an influx of immigrants from different countries. Many school administrators describe a general atmosphere of unease at schools where there is a large immigrant population and where the student body at large demonstrates a lack of tolerance or willingness to accept students from foreign countries. It is the hope this program will serve as a forum for students to gain understanding and acceptance of their fellow students.

The weekly visits are very powerful and it is a humbling experience to listen to the students describe their lives in their native countries. During our last session, Jennifer (the storyteller), asked the students these questions. “If you could bring one thing from your native country to Baltimore- what would it be? And if you could bring one thing from Baltimore back home to your native country what would it be? The students’ answers were amazing. Some of the students from Nepal said that they wanted to bring the lushness of the jungle and the majestic Mt. Everest to Baltimore. Some of the students from Central America said that they would bring our law enforcement system, Patterson High School along with their beloved teacher, Ms. Franklin back to their native countries of El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

The power of the first-person narrative makes this an especially compelling educational experience. I listen to these students in the class and I am blown away by the courage and strength of the students to share their intimate stories. Their stories allow me to be transported to different countries and places all over the world. Their personal stories allow me to find connections and a common ground with each of the students. It is the hope that the students in the schools will also find common ground and connections with these students who share their stories of immigration.

It’s going to be an exciting programming season at the JMM- LET THE PROGRAMS BEGIN!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland


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