Vendor Spotlight: Seven Questions with Author Mark Carp

Posted on November 19th, 2018 by

A blog post by JMM Office Manager and Shop Assistant Jessica Konigsberg. For more posts from Jessica, click HERE.

“Reality is what we make it,” Mark Carp in Naomi’s “AMERICAN” FAMILY.

November is National Novel Writing Month and in celebration, we are delighted to feature Esther’s Place vendor and long-time JMM Member: Baltimore author Mark Carp. Carp has authored numerous novels that explore the complexities of individuals, relationships, and societies, and frequently take place in historical settings. Carp has written seven books (including six novels) and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and an MS degree from Johns Hopkins University.

I recently met Mark Carp when he delivered his newest novel to the Gift Shop, a book titled Mr. Show Business.

The book tells the story of former TV star Jackie Goldheart and his last chance at stardom via an unexpected family connection; this latest book follows another recent publication, Naomi’s “AMERICAN” FAMILY, which tells of two Jewish teenagers and their vast ambitions when they immigrate to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Other Carp titles found at Esther’s Place include The End of Hell, The Extraordinary Times of Ordinary People, Abraham: The Last Jew, and Segalvitz.

Local novelist Mark Carp.

I was intrigued to learn more about this Baltimore writer who enjoys turning his creative insight and lens onto Jewish culture and experience, and so I posed to him seven questions. Below is what I learned.

My first question to Carp was about his creative process. Carp shared that he gets up at 5am to write. He explained further: “The process starts with a germ of an idea and then I let my instincts, formed from experience and/or research, take over. In my writing, I try to hold nothing back. I believe the writer must be unafraid and have the integrity of his beliefs.” In response to my question about his current projects, Carp explained he is working on two novellas to be published together and which, “reflect the social, political and philosophical climate of today.”

The Baltimore and Maryland Jewish communities inspire Carp’s work primarily through his personal experience. He said, “I’m a product of this environment and my nurturing and experience seems to be prevalent in my work.”

I also asked for a little-known fact about Carp’s creative process. His fact: he doesn’t believe in fate, yet believes he was fated to write The End of Hell, a World War II novel about two Jewish soldiers who are among the liberators of Dachau. The End of Hell is available for sale at Esther’s Place.

Carp’s favorite stories, in his own words, are those where “there are inherent conflicts which must be overcome, though there are seldom perfect solutions.” He added, “I have often been inspired by stories where the real-life characters, because of their wisdom, have prevailed in spite of incalculable odds.” In response to my question about how his books are best enjoyed, Carp told me, “Read with care and think about the meaning of the stories.”

 For my final question, I asked Carp to share a favorite JMM experience. He shared three—including two exhibits and a public program: “the Voices of Lombard Street exhibition, the World War II exhibition [Ours to Fight For: American Jews in the Second World War] and a talk on Louis Brandeis.”

In addition to diving into a Mark Carp book, celebrate Novel Writing Month at Esther’s Place with two more novels recently featured at our public programs. On November 13, we held a book took with author Georgia Hunter, exploring her bestselling novel, We Were the Lucky Ones, and earlier this year, in July, we held an author program with Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel. Copies of both books are available at Esther’s Place.

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JMM Insights: Membership Looks Good On You!

Posted on November 16th, 2018 by

This month’s edition of JMM Insights is from Deputy Director Tracie Guy-Decker. Read more posts from Tracie by clicking HERE. Missed any previous editions of JMM Insights? You can catch up here!

I think a lot about what it means to belong. Not only is it the subject of a future permanent exhibit, I believe the need to belong (or the rejection of it) drives a great deal of human behavior. At JMM, we tell you stories of Jewish Maryland. Our tales will make you question, make you laugh, make you think and feel deeply—no matter who you are—because it is stories that make us human.

Nearly all of our stories have something to do with belonging, whether it’s the recent immigrant who desperately wanted to belong in America, the Holocaust survivor who knows the dire consequences of being told they don’t belong, or the rags-to-riches scrap dealing family who succeeding in belonging through determination and grit.

When it comes to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, we believe everyone belongs. Luckily for us, there are some who choose to make their belonging official by purchasing a membership.

There are perks to making it official! All members receive free admission to the Museum every day including to nearly all of our fascinating and engaging programming (between 50 and 60 a year!). Members are also entitled to a 10% discount at Esther’s Place: the JMM Store and invitations to exclusive, members-only events.

And don’t forget the free parking, weekdays at the Parking Authority of Baltimore City, Fayette Street Garage (Baltimore and N. East Streets).

Perhaps the most important benefit of membership is knowing you’re helping to discover, preserve and tell the stories of Jewish Maryland—stories that belong to all of us—today and into the future.Membership is an important way our family and our fans support us. Not only do your membership dues provide essential resources (about 5% of our revenue), we are often judged by public and private funders by how many members we have, and how many visitors we see each year. That means that every time you visit and bring a friend, you are helping us achieve our mission.

For individuals and families who choose to make it official at the Premium Level of our membership program (Lombard Street Club, Living History Circle, Lloyd Street League, and the 1845 Society), there are some extra perks, including reciprocal admission at select Jewish museums nationally and history museums locally.

Members in the Living History Circle, Lombard Street League and 1845 Society all receive a museum-selected publication each year. Past selections include the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project that accompanied Remembering Auschwitz, the catalog for Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America, and Paul Simon: Words + Music. (If you are a member of one of those groups, watch your mailbox for this year’s selection sometime in the month of December.)

Because we believe everyone belongs, and because we’ve heard requests for it, we are delighted to announce that we have created a new Grandparents’ Package membership. This membership level will allow families to make it official for Grandparents, their adult children (up to 2), and their grandchildren (up to 4 minor grandchildren). This allows Bubbie and Zayde to include the little ones on their membership, even when they don’t live in the same household.

Speaking of households, members at the Family level may notice that we’ve renamed your membership. As a part of our effort to ensure that everyone feels as though they belong, we’ve renamed the membership to be as inclusive as possible. Don’t worry, only the name has changed. The benefits remain the great perks they’ve always been!

When it comes to perks of membership, our guest passes are among the most popular.

We have good news in that department, too. Effective immediately, for new and renewing Senior Members, the membership now comes with one free guest pass per paid member (i.e. one guest pass for a Senior Member and two for a Senior Couple). This is a new benefit at this level.

If you’ve read this far, and you are a member, I have a reward for you—watch your mailbox for a special Hanukkah gift from the Museum in early December. And thank you.

If you’ve read this far and you’re not yet a member, what are you waiting for? We can’t wait to welcome you officially.


Questions about membership? Contact Sue Foard, membership coordinator, at / 443-873-5162.


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Once Upon a Time…02.09.2018

Posted on November 13th, 2018 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church by email at

JMM 1994.94.12

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: February 9, 2018

PastPerfect Accession #: 1994.094.012

Status: Unidentified! Do you recognized these folks at a student exhibition at the Baltimore Art Center, c. 1950?

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