Once Upon a Time…05.20.2016

Posted on February 14th, 2017 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 jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org


1984211024Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  May 20, 2016

PastPerfect Accession #:  1984.211.24

Status: Partially Identified! We’d love to get more names for the Tau Beta Sigma sorority sisters at this 1954 reunion. We believe Elaine Applebaum is somewhere in this photo.

 Thanks to: Judy Culliner


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Volunteer Spotlight on Shelly Mintz!

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by

Shelly Mintz has been a Front Desk Volunteer for about a month at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. While growing up in New Jersey, Shelly has spent most of her life in Maryland. Shelly shared with me that her mom worked in Stone’s Bakery which was right around the corner from the JMM. After becoming a member of B’nai Israel Synagogue three years ago, she took a docent led tour of our two historic synagogues. It was there that she found out about volunteer opportunities at the JMM. Shelly decided to join our volunteer corps because she loves museums and was also looking to meet people with similar interests. While she is not related to Rabbi Mintz of B’nai Israel, she thought the fact that they shared the same last night was also a good sign to become involved at our museum.

Shelly Mintz

Shelly Mintz

Shelly works as an Assistant Attorney General and represents the Department of Juvenile Services. When she is not at the JMM, she ushers at local theaters, volunteers at the Walters Art Museum, travels to exotic locations like New Zealand and Australia and is a passionate animal rights activist.

Although Shelly has only volunteered a few times so far, she has quickly learned our new ticketing system and has been very good with our visitors. She also helped us by conducting evaluations of our last exhibit, Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America. As it has sometimes been difficult finding volunteers for Sundays (one of our busiest days), we were particularly excited that Shelly was interested in volunteering on that day. While at the JMM, Shelly likes how people often start talking to her about their lives and experiences. Whether it was a genealogy researcher who was thrilled to explore the Voices of Lombard Street exhibit and see where his family came from or visitors who come back with joy in their eyes after going on a Synagogue tour, Shelly has found the JMM to be a unique museum that allows people to reconnect with their heritage on both an intellectual and emotional level.

If you know of anyone else who would like to volunteer with Shelly at the Front Desk (or in any other area of the Museum), please contact Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org.

GrahamPost by Visitor Services Coordinator Graham Humphrey. Every month we highlight one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, send an email to Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x220! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

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Ten in the Twentieth: Baltimore Jews and Social Justice 1920s

Posted on February 13th, 2017 by

Article by Dr. Deborah R. Weiner. Originally published in Generations 2009-2010: 50th Anniversary Double Issue: The Search for Social Justice.

The Baltimore Jewish community has produced many leaders who have worked to make the world a better place. The range of issues they have addressed is impressive: from women’s suffrage to civil rights, labor relations to helping the elderly, refugee resettlement to eliminating poverty, and much more.

This chronology traces the careers of ten Baltimoreans who stood up for social change, with each person’s entry revolving around a turning point—one for each decade of the twentieth century. This is by no means a “Ten Best” list. The people included here are remarkable for what they accomplished, but others, equally remarkable, could have been chosen as well. These profiles should be seen as representative of a larger group of Baltimore Jews who have made major contributions to their communities and to the broader society in myriad ways.

The 1920s: Dr. Bessie Moses

Click here to start from the beginning.

1927: After meeting with national reproductive rights leader Margaret Sanger, Dr. Bessie Moses (1893-1965) opens the first birth control clinic in Baltimore, the Bureau for Contraceptive Advice, at 1028 North Broadway. Though many of the Bureau’s activities were illegal at that time, Dr. Moses and her staff “managed to subvert the federal Comstock laws” banning the interstate traffic of contraceptives by “performing research on the efficacy of birth control methods,” mainly diaphragms and condoms, according to a Planned Parenthood profile (in the 1940s the clinic became  Planned Parenthood of Maryland). Moses served as the clinic’s medical director until her retirement in 1956.

Dr. Bessie Moses. JMM 1980.29.31b

Dr. Bessie Moses. JMM 1980.29.31b

Committed from an early age to women’s health, Moses had been the first female obstetrical intern at Johns Hopkins. She became a prominent figure, mentoring students and speaking before groups. A compassionate physician as well as a rigorous scientist, she spoke out against restrictive birth control laws, testifying with Sanger at Congressional hearings. Her clinic served blacks as well as whites (although on segregated days, as local custom demanded). In 1938 she established the Northwest Maternal Health Center to serve black patients, the first in the nation staffed by African American physicians.  In 1950, Moses and Sanger were the first women honored with Planned Parenthood’s Lasker Award.

Continue to The 1930s: Lee Dopkin

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