Snowmageddon, Again???

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by

Snow – it’s all everyone is talking about this week. You can’t turn on the radio without nonstop coverage of school closings (never mind that a flake has yet to fall) and updated forecasts.

So instead of joining the fray and creating yet more pandemonium, I thought it might be fun to take a more lighthearted look at how Marylanders have historically coped with snow by taking a look through our photograph collection.

One of our earliest collection of snow filled photos is actually not a local scene but was taken by members of the Friedenwald Family (yes, the same family who is a subject of our upcoming Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit) while they were visiting Switzerland for the VII Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.

1984.023.016 – Snow covered mountain in Switzerland

1984.023.016 – Snow covered mountain in Switzerland

1984.023.049 – I especially love this photo of men with their simple gear. Amazing to think they were able to mountain climb without stocking up on an array of fancy gear from REI or LL Bean!

1984.023.049 – I especially love this photo of men with their simple gear. Amazing to think they were able to mountain climb without stocking up on an array of fancy gear from REI or LL Bean!

Apparently playing in the snow is something that Marylanders – young and old – have always enjoyed as seen in these photos going back to the early 1900s. It is especially delightful to see a snow storm through the eyes of children.

1996.050.027i.004 – Ruth Weinberg, 1908

1996.050.027i.004 – Ruth Weinberg, 1908

1991.065.001.028c - boy in snow

1991.065.001.028c – boy in snow

CP.42.2012.001 – Charlotte and Michael Weiner, 1954/55

CP.42.2012.001 – Charlotte and Michael Weiner, 1954/55

Finding creative ways to enjoy the snow is also a timeless pursuit.

1996.163.064 – Fred and Walter Groebel playing in the snow

1996.163.064 – Fred and Walter Groebel playing in the snow

2009.026.199 – This could be my favorite photo of all

2009.026.199 – This could be my favorite photo of all

2010.020.283 – Sinai Nurses enjoying the snow, March 1942

2010.020.283 – Sinai Nurses enjoying the snow, March 1942

2009.014.005 – John Marsiglia with his dog, Mickey in Pikesville, 1992/1993 – Of course, not everything about the snow is fun but I’m sure the work goes much quicker when you have a pet by your side.

2009.014.005 – John Marsiglia with his dog, Mickey in Pikesville, 1992/1993 – Of course, not everything about the snow is fun but I’m sure the work goes much quicker when you have a pet by your side.

So good luck braving out our first epic storm of 2016. Be sure to take some photos to remember it by!

deborahA blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

 

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Once Upon a Time…05.08.2015

Posted on January 26th, 2016 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 at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

2010020043Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  May 8, 2015

 

PastPerfect Accession #:  2010.020.043

 

Status:  Partially Identified! Sinai Hospital School of Nursing class of 1947. Rita Solow Morris is in the front row. Elaine Roman is in the front row, 5th from left

 

Special Thanks To: Barbara Israhdy

 

 

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Number #2 – Check!

Posted on January 25th, 2016 by

As I write this blog, the weather reports are calling for a major blizzard to hit the Baltimore/Washington corridor.  The idea of snowstorm is kind of nice- thinking about it happening over the weekend-not really having to be anywhere except home with family, a fire, and lots of good food and drink.  However, my mind wanders back to two weeks ago, over Winter Break, enjoying 80 degree days in Hilton Head and Charleston, South Carolina.

The purpose of the trip to the south was to relax, ride bikes and visit Number #2 – Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim (KKBE).  Why did do I care about Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim.  Part of the visitor’s experience at the Jewish Museum of Maryland is to take a tour of the Lloyd Street Synagogue.  We tell our visitors that the Lloyd Street Synagogue (LSS)  is the third oldest synagogue in the country still standing in its original spot.  Touro Synagogue in Newport Rhode Island is Number #1 – built in 1759 and is the oldest existing synagogue building in  the United States.  Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim is Number #2 and we as the owners of the Lloyd Street Synagogue here at the JMM are Number #3!

Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim

Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim

The Jewish community of Charleston can be traced back to 1695.  Jews were attracted to the civil and religious liberties of South Carolina, and by 1749, these early pioneers organized the congregation, Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim (Holy Congregation House of God). Similar to the early Baltimore Jewish community, the congregation worshipped in people’s homes until 1794, they dedicated a synagogue described then as the largest in the United States, “spacious and elegant.”  The building was destroyed in the great fire of Charleston in 1838, and the new building was constructed in 1840 on the same Hasell Street site.  The building is one of the country’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture.  The Kalal Kadosh Bet Elohim sanctuary is the second oldest existing synagogue building  in the United States and the oldest in continuous use.  It was designated a national landmark in 1980.

The sanctuary.

The sanctuary.

I was curious to as the similarities and differences between KKBE and the LSS.   The first thing that really struck me was the presence of an established Jewish community so early in the our nation’s history.  KKBE was established prior to the Revolutionary War- so it was very interesting to learn about the early Jewish Americans who settled in the US prior to the war.  KKBE has a letter on display from President George Washington dating from  1790 extending his congratulations to the congregation.  In thinking about Baltimore’s early Jewish community-the Jewish community is really not established until 1830, more than  50 years after the Revolutionary War.

The actual building of KKBE is very similar to  the LSS in that both buildings are built in Greek Revival architectural style.  The KKBE has six columns when compared to the LSS’s four columns.  The columns in Charleston also appear to be considerably  taller than the LSS too.   Both buildings have very  large doors for entranceways in the center of the buildings.  The Hebrew prayer and English translation of the Shma are on the outside of the synagogue in Charleston.  Both synagogue building have boot scrapers located outside the door.  My favorite detail of the “lego bricks” underneath the portico of the LSS can also be seen at KKBE.

My favorite detail of the “lego bricks” underneath the portico of the LSS can also be seen at KKBE.

The“lego bricks” of KKBE.

We walked inside the sanctuary, and the space is very beautiful and in ways similar to the LSS.  The ark is very impressive and is made of Santo Domingo mahogany.  The local tradition in the South is to keep the doors of the Ark open.   The Torah scrolls are enclosed behind glass inside the wooden frame.

The ark.

The ark.

The organ is in the back of the congregation and was installed in 1840 introducing instrumental music into its worship service. Since then KKBE has been connected with religious reform and the congregation was one of the founding members of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, making it  one of the earliest reform congregations in the country.   The organ is placed -very much in the way that I imagined the organ to have been installed by the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in 1870’s inside the LSS. in the back of the sanctuary on the balcony level.

The organ.

The organ.

One of my favorite things at KKBE was a beautiful mural that they had displayed in the social hall that depicts the “Patriots of Beth Elohim”. The figure on the horse represents the young Revolutionary patriot and legislator Francis Salvador who was killed and scalped by Tory-led Indians.  He was one of more than 20 Beth Elohim congregants who fought in the American Revolution, symbolized by the standing figure holding a Bible who represents Abraham Alexander, a Revolutionary officer and religious leader of Bet Elohim between 1764 and 1784.  The soldier seated with the broken sword and bowed head represents some 180 Jewish South Carolinians who served in the Civil War.  The tablet with the rampant lions and flames represent the brave Maccabees who fought for religious freedom in the second century BCE.  The soldier and the flag on the left represent KKBE members who served in subsequent wars.

“Patriots of Beth Elohim”

“Patriots of Beth Elohim”

I am so happy to place a checkmark on my bucket list – I have been curious to see KKBE, especially after so many visitors to the JMM have shared their own observations and stories about the rich history of the Jewish community in Charleston. I enjoyed making the connections between the two historic  buildings and I look forward to doing more research over the next few months as we try and showcase the Lloyd Street Synagogue as, “The American Synagogue.”  More details to follow!   Stay warm this weekend!

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.

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