NFB BELL Camp Visits the JMM

Posted on August 12th, 2015 by

BELL Camp at JMM Photo

BELL Campers create paper neighborhoods.

This summer my JMM colleagues and I had a fantastic time welcoming the NFB BELL (National Federation of the Blind, Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning) Camp students back to the Museum. We have had the pleasure of working with them for the past three summers. They are a group of approximately eleven students who attend mainstream classes during the school year in their local public school districts, where they are typically the only braille readers in their schools. The students range in age from five to twelve years old. The goal of the Camp is to promote Braille Literacy. We help them achieve this goal by creating developmentally appropriate, innovative educational programs for them at the Museum that utilize Braille Literacy to teach History and Social Studies in support of the History, Social Studies and Braille Literacy Common Core Curriculum Standards in the State of Maryland.

Museum staff assist BELL campers during art activity.

Museum Staff are hands on with the campers.

Over the past three summers we have explored the themes of hero and explorer as well as the subjects of Jewish History, American History, Social Studies, Architecture, Archaeology and Community Planning. Our heroes program drew upon our Superheroes Exhibit, which included a comic book that we transcribed in braille, to set the stage for our conversation regarding how heroes are defined and depicted in American literature and in American society. Last summer we invoked the great explorers Columbus and Armstrong when we taught the students to read a braille map and navigate their way across our Campus to an archaeological project that we constructed to help them understand what an Archaeologist does. Then, this year we discussed examples of community institutions and the ways in which neighborhoods have changed over the last two-hundred years as a result of technological invention. After the discussion, the students designed their own neighborhoods with construction paper and braille labels. As they worked on these projects, it was wonderful to watch them teach the adults (my colleagues) to read braille. I believe that it is a powerful reminder that children too, have the capacity to be teachers. My colleagues and I have also immensely enjoyed the opportunity to watch these children grow up over the last three summers. We look forward to future visits with them at the Museum.

Robyn and campers standing outside the entrance to the Voices exhibit

Robyn gives the campers a tour of “Voices of Lombard Street.”

If you would like to learn more about braille, please visit the Braille Authority of North America Website  and please read The Rules of Unified English Braille (the explanations are in print).

Robyn pilotA blog post by Museum Docent Robyn Hughes, MA, CNIB UEB Certified Educator and Braille Consultant. To read more posts by and about JMM volunteers click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland


Once Upon a Time…12.12.2014

Posted on August 11th, 2015 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


JMM 1995.142.26.3 Women's Division, Associated CampaignDate run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  December 12, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  1995.142.026.003

Status:  Members of the Associated Women’s Division, Annual Campaigns, circa 1970. left to right: 1) there was NO consensus: identifed as “I think” Carol Frank; Marian Steinback; Marian Gordon; Judy Adler Hyatt; and “myself” Frederica Saxon. 2) Nancy Patz Blaustein 3) Clem (Clementine Lazaron) Kaufman

Special Thanks To: Ira Askin; Babette Rosenberg; Marty Buckman; Linda Himmelrich; Lynn Davidov; Barbara Himmelrich; Rosalie Davison; Dr. Ann M. Reese; Lenny Kaplan; Judy Chernak; Frederica Saxon

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Jews in the Adirondacks

Posted on August 10th, 2015 by

The MD/DC/VA area has always appealed to me as a place I would like to settle down, but the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York will always be my home. I was born and raised in the Adirondacks (ADKs) and most of my family was as well. In my bias opinion, it is the most beautiful place to live.

Map of Adirondack Park

Map of Adirondack Park

View from Owl’s Head Mountain.

View from Owl’s Head Mountain.

I spent this past week (my birthday week, YAY!) at a camp on Lake Champlain with my family. Out of curiosity, I began to research Jewish influence in the ADKs. I discovered an interesting family who shared my love of the ADKs and made it their home.

Louis Marshall, son of two German Jewish immigrants, was born in Syracuse, NY in 1856. As a child he attended Hebrew school. He became a lawyer who fought for the rights of minorities, a conservationist who was extremely passionate about protecting the Adirondacks, and a Jewish leader who served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and helped found the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Later in his life he taught himself yiddish.

Louis Marshall

Louis Marshall

Louis traveled to the ADKs during his young adult life and fell in love with the area. He found enjoyment in hiking and dreaming of having his own summer camp to visit. Unfortunately, several summer camps excluded Jews and other minorities from becoming members. Louis and his family, along with five other families, bought 500 acres of land on the Lower Saranac Lake and had their own camp built. It was called Knollwood.



To quickly digress, Albert Einstein visited Knollwood quite often. He was actually at Knoll on August 6, 1945, the bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima.

Louis’ children spent several summers enjoying Knollwood. His son Robert “Bob”, was deeply influenced by the ADKs and closely followed in his father’s footsteps. Bob became a conservationist and writer, and was the co-founder of The Wilderness Society. In 1925 he became the 3rd ADK46er, meaning he hiked all 46 high peaks of the ADKs.

Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall

The Marshall family has left a lasting legacy, making the ADKs a tranquil and meaningful place for themselves and other Jews. I am always interested in making connections between my life and the past, and this was a great one!



IMG_0985A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.

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