Posted on November 15th, 2013 by Rachel
Welcome to a new feature on visitor services on our blog. This feature gives us a chance to answer commonly asked questions about how to get the most satisfaction out of your JMM visit. Since these questions are often asked of our Visitor Services Manager, Abby Krolik, we are calling this feature “Dear Abby” (any resemblance to a syndicated feature with a similar name is purely coincidental). You can also catch up on Dear Abby in our “JMM Insights” e-newsletter!
The last time I saw the Lloyd Street Synagogue or B’nai Israel Synaogue was years ago on a school field trip. My cousin is coming to town for a simcha, and he’s a real Civil War history maven, so I thought it’d be neat if we could just peek into the Lloyd Street Synagogue for a couple minutes, so he could see the matzah oven that used to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. Can we do that? Will we still have to pay admission? I don’t think we’ll have time to visit the rest of the museum, unfortunately.
Dear Miss Information,
I’m afraid none of that is possible. The synagogues are only open for docent-led tours from the museum, so, no, you can’t see them on your own, and, yes, you will have to pay admission (unless you’re a member!). As the buildings are very old and they contain very important, old items (or, in the case of B’nai Israel, perhaps some privately owned items), we cannot just let people go into the buildings on their own. We would much rather our visitors be accompanied by staff or volunteers who know which sections are OK to go into and which things are OK to touch. Besides which, you get a lot more out of your visit if you go with someone who can answer all of your questions!
It will also be impossible for you to show your friend the matzah oven that used to be a stop on the Underground Railroad, simply because it doesn’t exist! That is, the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and definitely its matzah oven, were never a part of the Underground Railroad. First of all, the matzah oven wasn’t put in until the 20th century, and second of all, it is unlikely that Bernard Illowy, the rabbi of Baltimore Hebrew (the Lloyd St. Synagogue’s congregation) during the Civil War, would have allowed the synagogue to be a part of the Underground Railroad.
Checking out the Matzah Oven
If you would like to hear more about why that is—or if you just want to see the Lloyd Street Synagogue in a new light—I would recommend bringing your friend to the museum at 3:00pm, so you can both go on our new “1861 Tour” of the Lloyd Street Synagogue! This tour uses parts of the synagogue to reveal the religious and political battles that were being fought within the Jewish and Maryland communities in 1861, including the infamous debate between Rabbi Illowy and Rabbi Einhorn (of Har Sinai Congregation, which was a few streets over) on the issue of slavery.
Have a question of your own for Abby? Click HERE to email her! Make sure to put “Dear Abby” in the subject line!
Posted on November 14th, 2013 by Rachel
Having traveled for more than a year from the city to the suburbs and back, Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945-1968 has finally ended its run.
Here we are installing the exhibit at its first venue in Hodson Hall at Johns Hopkins University. From there, it traveled to several suburban synagogues, the Owings Mills JCC, the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library and the Edward A. Myerberg Center.
Davidson moving truck, CP 57.2012 – while we did not need quite so large a moving truck to handle the exhibit’s travel, my trusty old minivan certainly got put to good use as we hauled the exhibit panels from site to site.
We were delighted by how the exhibit was received by the many different individuals who had the opportunity to view it and I thought I’d take an opportunity to share some of the visitor feedback that we received in the exhibit comment book.
Pratt Library Installation
“Thank you for taking us down memory lane as we enjoyed reliving our childhoods. Our grandchildren enjoyed the exhibit as well.”
“Very interesting, would be interested to see where that trend [of suburbanization] is today and also how this shift changed government funding of urban v. suburban projects.”
Model home, Pikesville, CP58.2012.11
“Those ranch homes on Old Court Road were the landscape of my childhood. How cool to see them with new trees, eight years before my parents moved to the neighborhood! Thanks for the exhibit.”
Har Sinai Groundbreaking, 1995.126.023
“My friend is in the front row of the groundbreaking of Har Sinai photo. We became friends in kindergarten and are still friends 57 years later.”
“As a Jew from Bmore, who grew up in Pikesville, whose grandparents grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, you have essentially depicted my history. Thanks!”
Jews on the Move was developed in collaboration with the Museums and Society Program at Johns Hopkins University through the generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We are grateful to Professor Elizabeth Rodini, Jennifer Kingsley and the JHU students who helped us organize this exhibit.
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts by Deborah, click here.
Posted on November 12th, 2013 by Rachel
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 Jobi Zink, Senior Collections Manager and Registrar at 410.732.6400 x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: June 28, 2013
PastPerfect Accession #: 1982.12.017.007
Status: Unidentified – do you know this bow tie-wearing man? This image is from an album from a American Joint Distribution Comittee trip in Lisbon, March 23, 1941.