Once Upon a Time…11.28.2014

Posted on July 21st, 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 jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

1988169004Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  November 28, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  1988.169.004

Status: Partially Identified! Actors in an Alliance Players production, 1945: center (crouched over the baby carriage): Marcia Zuriff Rothstein

Special Thanks To: Ilene Zuriff Holtz

 

 

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JMM Insights: JMM Takes to the Streets!

Posted on July 17th, 2015 by

Lloyd Street has been a historic place to worship, a place to visit, a place to shop and a place to live, but next month it becomes something it has never been – a place to watch movies!

JMM’s summer experiment with outdoor film is about more than an evening’s entertainment, it is even more than a great accompaniment to our latest exhibit, Cinema Judaica.  Our free movie nights are part of a much larger effort to redefine the future of the Historic Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore.

Perfect for Summer

Perfect for Summer

As regular readers of this newsletter know, the JMM has been working with neighborhood organizations for the last year on a project to develop a “community vision.”  The vision encompasses concepts for land use (especially the activation of vacant lots), landscaping and spatial connectivity of commercial and cultural developments, and the creation of a brand identity for the community.  JMM, as an anchor institution of Historic Jonestown, served as a catalyst for the project.  Working with The Associated we have brought on a team of urban planners from the firm of Mahan Rykiel to help the community find its voice.  We received underwriting from both the France-Merrick Foundation and the Goldseker Foundation in support of this effort.  Mahan Rykiel has been meeting with members of the Jonestown Planning Council and Historic Jonestown, Inc. as well as public officials to talk about the challenges and opportunities for the community.  At the end of this month, they will hold a public meeting to discuss what they’ve heard and take input on a potential brand that will put Historic Jonestown on the map.

Neighborhood Map

Neighborhood Map

So what does this have to do with movies?  Well, the thrust of this whole exercise is two-fold: 1) to bind together the neighborhood and 2) to illustrate the potential of the community for future development.  Our experiment in free cinema is one small step to meet both goals.  On the one hand, the films are an invitation to local residents and business patrons to participate in the life of JMM.  On the other hand, bringing visitors from other parts of the city onto our streets at night sends a powerful message about the future of Lloyd Street and the yet-to-be-developed parcels that adjoin us.

Two Must-See Classics!

Two Must-See Classics!

Our outdoor screenings are scheduled for Sunday, August 9 (The Great Dictator) and Sunday, August 23 (Gentleman’s Agreement).  The films themselves will be shown on an inflatable 9’ tall by 12’ wide screen which we’re setting up in the parking lot across the street from our front door.  The films will start at 8pm to get us close to sunset.  Like our neighbors at St. Leo’s, our film fest is a BYOC* event (bring your own chairs).

The museum will stay open during the film.  And admission to the museum after 5pm will also be free.  We’re setting up picnic tables in our courtyard if you would like to bring your own food for a pre-movie picnic.  We’ve invited food trucks to join us – look for an update on who is coming in our August 7 Museum Matters.

For those who really want to make a day of it there is even an afternoon program to go with each film.  At 3pm on Aug. 9, Dr. David Ward of the University of Pittsburgh will be speaking on “Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator: Fighting Fascism with a Movie” and at 3pm on August 23 Dr. Greg Metcalf of University of Maryland, Baltimore County will be offering his take on the world of Jewish film in “From The Jazz Singer to Alvy Singer: The Depiction of Jews in Hollywood Film from Al Jolson to Woody Allen.”  Both lectures are included in the price of daytime admission.  (By the way, we also have a third film offering in August on the 16th at 5:30pm – we’re showing this one indoors because of its early start time – the film is the animated classic An American Tail).

Enjoy an early evening with the kids!

Enjoy an early evening with the kids!

For those of you wondering about the logistics of the outdoor films:  We will run the films, rain or shine (though if it is rain, we will move the film indoors and just pretend we’re outdoors).  Since we’re making use of the parking lot for the film – we’ve made arrangements with Lenny’s and Attman’s to borrow their parking spaces that evening (both restaurants are closed on Sunday nights).

So circle these dates on your calendar – come for the films, come for the picnic, come for the exhibit, but most importantly come to be part of a vibrant future for Historic Jonestown, a genuine happy ending to Lloyd Street’s cinema debut.

 

~Marvin

 

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Breaking the Sound (and Cultural) Barrier

Posted on July 16th, 2015 by

Music has been prominent in my life as long as I can remember. My parents would blast Led Zeppelin, Yes, and Rush in through the speakers of our sensible navy-blue Honda Odyssey when I was a young kid, and when I’d jump out of the backseat, pull closed the sliding door, I’d walk into a preschool whose naptime soundtrack often was the light indie-beat of Sixpence None the Richer. As I got older, I’d beg for an hour before I started my homework after school to cultivate the perfect playlist, and the following day at school my friends and I would lean against the lockers like we’d seen cool kids do in the movies and synchronize our iPods so that we could sing together whatever Rihanna song we were listening to. And the more I learned about my own American-Jewish culture and the cultures of others, I took an interest in the music of a people, specifically my own people, and the equation of beats +melodies = connection.

A familiar melody

A familiar melody

Lately, at the JMM, with preparations for the upcoming Paul Simon: Words and Music exhibit and general immersion in American-Jewish news, I’ve found a surprising amount of Hava Nagila covers, whose performers run the gamut of cultural diversity. I’ve sifted through some of my favorites for your viewing pleasure, and in my humble opinion, they combine the the roots of the Jewish folk song itself with the rhythm of the traditions its performers cherish, giving the song a whole new meaning, but not one any less familiar or beautiful.


Performed by the Indian band Amrutam Gamaya, their only song so far is this version of Hava Nagila, debuted on an Indian music television channel viewed in English, Hindi, and Tamil.


Violina, a female trio from Tallinn, Estonia, performing the entire song on electric violins.


Andre Rieu, the famous Dutch classical violinist and conductor, performs his rendition of Hava Nagila with his Johan Strauss Orchestra in Maastricht, Netherlands


Gad Elbaz, a Sephardi Jewish singer of Moroccan heritage from Israel, has a well-known pop-dance cover of the folk song, with a few of his own lyrics thrown in as well. And the video includes a flash mob in Jerusalem, which is always a bonus!

IMG_1605A blog post by Museum Intern Rachel Sweren. To read more posts by interns click HERE.

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