Celebrate your Special Day at the JMM!

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by

As this is the season for graduations, weddings and parties, I thought I would highlight how you can incorporate the JMM into your plans. Our facilities would be perfect for milestone celebrations, wedding ceremonies and receptions, luncheons, bar/bat mitzvahs, corporate receptions, holiday parties or meetings. We are only blocks away from Little Italy and the Inner Harbor with free parking nearby. We have several spaces which can be rented including Lloyd Street Synagogue, the Davidson Lobby and the Hendler Board Room.

Celebrating a bar mitzvah

Celebrating a bar mitzvah

For those who do not know, Lloyd Street Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Maryland and the third oldest still standing in the country. In my two years at the museum, we have hosted Bar Mitzvahs in Lloyd Street Synagogue (including the great-great grandson of Rabb Avaham Schwartz who led Shomrei Mishmereth Ha Kodesh beginning in 1908 and remained its leader for the next thirty years). We have also hosted Bat Mitzvah celebrations, meetings, wedding anniversary dinners and even 90s’ themed Purim parties in our lobby.

Simcha in the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue

Simcha in the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue

While we are not able to hold events during Shabbat or during Jewish holidays, our space is generally available to rent before or after public hours, which is before 10 am or after 5 pm Sunday-Thursday. Lloyd Street Synagogue can seat an optimal 150, the Davidson Lobby can hold 75 seated or 150 standing and the Board Room can seat an optimal 20. We can provide 6ft and 8ft tables and black chairs at no additional charge and would also be glad to connect you with a list of kosher caterers.

AN evening event

AN evening event

If you would like to learn more about our rental policies, I would encourage you to visit our website. You can also email me or call 443-873-5167 to discuss availability and pricing. Keep in mind that we offer discounts to small synagogues and non-profits. I would also be more than happy to show you the spaces. We hope that you will consider having your event at the JMM!

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A Closer Look

Posted on May 25th, 2017 by

A blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

 

Our collections database – which I love, don’t get me wrong – is set up to present the user with a main screen for each catalog record, containing an overview and thumbnail image of the particular object, photo, book, or archival item.  The image can be enlarged somewhat, but in either case it mostly serves as a quick reference during a search, providing enough of a visual that the user (i.e., me) can decide if it’s worth a closer look.  Frequently, pulling up the larger image file is quite rewarding.

Gift of Earl Pruce. JMM 1985.90.21

Gift of Earl Pruce. JMM 1985.90.21

For example, here is a street view that caught my eye recently as I scrolled past: the 1910s block of Madison Avenue, Baltimore, in December of 1912.  It is cataloged in our database as a photo of the Clover Club (previously known as the Concordia Club), occupying the middle of the block. In the small version, you can just barely make out that there are a few figures in the image. I decided to zoom in on the higher-resolution file, and voila! More than a static street scene, the photo shows several people at work.

window washing

At the far left, there’s a woman standing on a ladder washing the windows of No. 1910.  Either she didn’t know the photo was being taken, or she didn’t care; she’s just going about her business.

To her right is the Carroll Apartments, as identified by a small sign next to the door; a uniformed doorman, or someone else in an official capacity (he has keys hanging from his belt), is standing on the stoop, looking toward the photographer. It’s not clear if he’s deliberately posing, or if he was just pausing on his way to get some work done.

To her right is the Carroll Apartments, as identified by a small sign next to the door; a uniformed doorman, or someone else in an official capacity (he has keys hanging from his belt), is standing on the stoop, looking toward the photographer. It’s not clear if he’s deliberately posing, or if he was just pausing on his way to get some work done.

Next is a double-front building, with a central stoop. This is the Clover Club, handily identified with clovers in the window coverings (perhaps crochet lace curtains).  There might be a woman in a white dress or uniform (perhaps a maid?) turning away in the open doorway…?  What do you think?

Next is a double-front building, with a central stoop. This is the Clover Club, handily identified with clovers in the window coverings (perhaps crochet lace curtains). There might be a woman in a white dress or uniform (perhaps a maid?) turning away in the open doorway…? What do you think?

The Clover Club was a Jewish businessmen’s social club, organized in 1896 as the successor to the Concordia Club. It moved around a bit, but by the early 1900s it was located at the pictured address, 1914-1916 Madison Avenue; in 1920 the club moved to 2249 Eutaw Place.  Later, the Madison Avenue building (and adjacent sites) were owned by Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, and later still it served as the home of the Young Woman’s Christian Association. Some of the block has been torn down, but a quick check of Google maps shows the Clover Club’s doorway and stoop still attached to the front of what is now 1912 Madison Avenue.

 

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Family Fare: Baltimore Jewish Food Businesses Part 6

Posted on May 24th, 2017 by

Article by Jennifer Vess. Originally published in Generations 2011 – 2012: Jewish Foodways

Part VI: Marketing and Expansion: “We have to expand whether we want to or not.”[1]

Miss parts 1-5? Start here.

Tulkoff's Horseradish Advertisement, c. 1960s. JMM 1998.18.14

Tulkoff’s Horseradish Advertisement, c. 1960s. JMM 1998.18.14

In the time of the neighborhood deli and corner grocery store, proximity and word of mouth brought in business to the small shops.  People walked to the closest bakery or learned from their friends if a better confectionary might be a few blocks further away.  But by the early twentieth century, advertising and marketing became necessary for survival and particularly for growth.  As more and more people owned cars and installed refrigerators, going long distances to stock up on food became more feasible.  Sticking close to home wasn’t really necessary any more, opening up far more options for consumers.  For owners who wanted to stay in business or for those who wanted to expand, advertising and marketing became crucial.

Advertising came in many forms.  Large businesses with a big workforce and money to invest could buy ads of varying sizes in the local newspapers.  The Jewish owned businesses in Baltimore reached out to the Jewish community through the Baltimore Jewish Times.  Smaller businesses gave money in return for being featured in programs for local events, such as the Pioneer Club dance of 1937.  Owners could show their support for the community as well as promote themselves.  Businesses might also distribute fliers with their specials, or cover Baltimore with signs.

Name recognition has always been important to businesses.  Turn of the century dairies used bottles imprinted with their names and logos.  The small shops that became big businesses in Baltimore such as Hendlers Creamery, Silbers Bakery, and Tulkoff’s Horseradish Products Company, put their name and logo on product labels, signs, cake tins, and bags.

Pint bottle from Snesil Dairy. Courtesy of Marion Snesil. JMM 1984.16.1

Pint bottle from Snesil Dairy. Courtesy of Marion Snesil. JMM 1984.16.1

Aside from ads, packaging, and slogans, businesses big and small used promotional techniques to set themselves apart from their competitors and expand their customer base.  Paul Wartzman, whose family owned Wartzman’s bakery once commented that, “Stone’s was the most successful bakery. They catered to a lot of non-Jews because they came out with a gimmick: hot rolls every half hour. I’ll never forget that. They killed all the other bakers. People would rush in for their hot rolls every half hour.”[2]  Nates and Leon’s deli meanwhile drew in the crowds by offering something no one else did – round the clock service.  Twenty-four hours a day customers could find a sandwich.  This was particularly attractive to the people leaving nightclubs in the early hours of the morning.[3] Stones Bakery and Nates and Leon’s had more than just gimmicks in common – they both catered to the broader Baltimore community, expanding beyond the local Jewish residents.  Expansion was a key step in the survival of Jewish food businesses.

As marketing brought in new customers some small businesses outgrew their first floor shops.  Wolf Salganik began as a butcher in a single building with his home on the second floor, but by the 1930s he and his sons had taken over multiple buildings where they carried out their wholesale meat processing on three floors.[4]  Harry Tulkoff followed a similar pattern, starting out in a small grocery store in the 1920s then buying up several, connected buildings to convert into a single processing plant on Lombard Street before eventually moving out to their current larger location.  Hendlers Creamery, Saval Foods Corporation, Silber’s bakery, Baltimore Spice, and others did likewise.  Some of these businesses grew and sold out to other corporations, but others still exist today, still running and still growing and still in the family.

Early Saval Foods location. JMM CP 21.2011.8

Early Saval Foods location. JMM CP 21.2011.8

Expansion could mean creating an entirely new business.  The corner grocery store was the forerunner of the modern supermarket, but supermarkets are more than just big grocery stores – they are a new entity that moved away from early twentieth century specialization to generalization.  Baltimore saw its first supermarkets before World War II.  Businesses like Food Fair (a national supermarket chain that started in the late 1920s) and the local, Jewish-owned Food-O-Rama and Shreiber’s supermarket changed how families shopped. “The Shreiber Brothers did the impossible. They made a store where you had not just meats, but you had groceries. Then they brought in their own baker.  By adding on they had the supermarket. It [may have been] the first supermarket in the entire country.”[5]  Today, in addition to regional and nationwide chains Baltimore has local supermarkets such as Eddies, and Seven Mile Market, the latter not just Jewish owned but also aimed at the Jewish community.

Schreiber’s Grocery, 1959. JMM 1998.16.2

Schreiber’s Grocery, 1959. JMM 1998.16.2

Impact and Legacy

The stories of family-owned Jewish food businesses have not stopped being created.  Many small shops closed, leaving behind only the fond memories of scents and tastes that can never be duplicated.  Other businesses that began long ago still exist today run by third or fourth generation owners providing the old standards while staying close to their historical roots.  And new businesses continued to open.

Restaurants, bakeries, and delis continue to open, owned and operated by Jewish men and women – often to serve the Jewish community.  Local entrepreneurs (or transplants from elsewhere in the US) establish new businesses, and so do recent immigrants.  Families from places like Israel, Iran and Russia arrive in Baltimore and start their own restaurants or bakeries or delis, using their knowledge and skills of food from their former homes to support their families.  Jewish family food businesses have long been a part of the local economy, and though the world is very different today than it was a hundred years ago, the stories of living and eating and family fare remain constant.

Continue to Sidebar One: The Bluefeld Catering Story:People came from all around”

Notes:

[1] Howard Saval, 1982 Baltimore Sun

[2] Paul Wartzman interview, June 5, 2006, OH 686, JMM.

[3] Mina Shavitz interview, March 33, 3002, OH 648, JMM.

[4] Gordon Salganik interview, n.d., OH 318, JMM.

[5] Louis and Philip Bluefeld interview, August 6, 1979, OH 75, JMM.

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