Upcoming Events


February 8, 2015

Ladino, a Language of the Jewish Diaspora


Speaker Dr. Adriana Brodsky, St. Mary’s College of Maryland


Sunday, February 8th at 1:00 p.m.


Included with museum admission




Explore Ladino, a Jewish language that developed in the wake of the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 as new Jewish communities settled in the Ottoman Empire. Professor Brodsky will introduce the history of this language, and present examples of the Ladino in early 20th Century America, as well as old and modern ladino songs.  Although many argue that Ladino is ‘dead,’ especially after the extermination of entire ladino-speaking Sephardi communities during the Holocaust, this talk shows that, in fact, this Jewish language is alive and well.



Adriana M. Brodsky, Associate Professor of Latin American History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, obtained her PhD from Duke University in 2004.  She has published on Sephardi schools in Argentina, and on Jewish Beauty Contests.  Her new project explores the experiences of Argentine Sephardi youth in the 1960s-1970s.


Start: February 8, 2015 1:00 pm
End: February 8, 2015 2:30 pm
Audience Research Image - please use caption

Help Make a Museum: Audience Workshop for the Core Exhibition of DC’s New Jewish Museum


Sunday, February 8th, 2:00 p.m.


Zachary Paul Levine, Curator at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington


Included with Museum admission



The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) needs input from as many people as possible on our new regional Jewish museum (projected opening 2020). As part of that process, we are turning to the community for thoughts on stories for the new museum’s core exhibition.  This workshop will include a series of activities designed to get participants thinking, talking, and sharing their counsel for this new project.  We’ll look at a handful of objects and stories, and discuss how, together, they tell the unique story of Washington’s Jewish community.


Image: President Calvin Coolidge spoke during the cornerstone laying ceremony of the 16th and Q Street building on May 3, 1925. JHSGW Collections.

Start: February 8, 2015 2:00 pm
End: February 8, 2015 3:30 pm

February 15, 2015

Climbing the Ladder of Success in a Nineteenth-Century Boomtown: The Cohen Family in Early Baltimore


Sunday, February 15th, 1:00 P.M.


Tina Sheller, Goucher College



When Israel I. Cohen died in Richmond, Virginia in 1803, his wife, Judith, packed up her belongings and moved herself and her children to Baltimore.  Why Baltimore?  That is the question that this talk will explore.  It will examine the eighteenth-century roots of the city as well as the people and events that made Baltimore one of the fastest growing cities in the United States by 1800. Early Baltimore was a bustling port town of merchants, shopkeepers, skilled craftsmen, workers, and slaves.  How did these groups contribute to  the dynamic expansion of the city’s antebellum economy? Who were the people that populated the growing port town, and how did the Cohens and other Jewish families adapt to life in a city soon to be known as “Mobtown?”  All of these questions and more will be answered as we journey back in time to a very different era in the city’s history, the era of the Cohen family and Boomtown Baltimore.



Tina H. Sheller is an assistant professor of History at Goucher College where she teaches courses in American history and Historic Preservation.  She has taught classes on the history of Baltimore for many years, and has published essays on early Baltimore history.   She is currently involved in two research projects with her students at Goucher.  One is focused on the history of Epsom Farm, a nineteenth-century farm situated on the land currently occupied by Goucher College; the second project involves research on a World War II diary written by a Maryland soldier who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.


Image: View of Baltimore by William Henry Bartlett (1809–1854)

Start: February 15, 2015 1:00 pm
End: February 15, 2015 2:30 pm