Posted on June 8th, 2018 by

Museum Matters: June 2018

From where I sit, every new exhibit is magic. An empty gallery takes on a new coat of paint, walls and cases are installed, artifacts carefully laid in place, interactives tested and with a little dramatic lighting – tada, it’s an exhibit. Of course, this description omits the months of research, design, negotiation for objects and images, writing and editing… and just plain hard work that goes into a project. But to me it still feels like magic and, hopefully, that’s the way it feels to you too!

This month’s opening is even more magical than usual: 1) it has something to do with the subject matter; 2) we’ve infused the exhibit with magical touches and 3) we’re planning a truly spectacular launch experience on the 24th – an experience so big it won’t even fit in our building. This year all our neighbors in and around Jonestown are coming to Lloyd Street to help us celebrate our community’s metamorphosis. Stilt walkers, face painters, ranger tours and the “high” point of the afternoon: Dai Andrews dangling from a crane, escaping from a strait jacket nearly 50 feet above the crowd. Who can say that isn’t magic?

Insider tips:

1. Consider parking downtown and taking the Charm City Circulator to the Magic of Jonestown Festival – it runs on Sunday and it’s free!

2. Alternatively you might want to park at one of the parking lots in Little Italy and make the short walk to Lloyd Street (our usual Lloyd Street lot – as well as all of Lloyd Street between Baltimore St. and Lombard St. will be closed that day).

3. Repeat after me – “it’s not going to rain, it’s not going to rain, it’s not going to rain” – but if by some chance we are faced with a deluge – check our website for plan B.


Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact our Programs Manager at / 443-873-5177 with any questions or for more information.


Thursday, June 21st 

Members Only Preview*
​Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini
Exhibit opens at 6:00pm
Lloyd Street Synagogue doors open for seating at 6:30pm
Program begins at 7:00pm


*Not a member? Join today!

Sunday, June 24th, Noon to 4pm

Magic of Jonestown Festival

Celebrate the opening of Inescapable: The LIfe and Legacy of Harry Houdini​ with a day of fun!

Thursday, June 28th at 7:00pm

Romania’s Journey from Darkness to Light: An American Ambassador’s Memoir
Speaker: Alfred Moses


Sunday, July 1st at 1:00pm

The Psychic Contest
Speaker: David Jaher, author of ​The Witch of Lime Stree

Sunday, July 15th at 1:00pm

Houdini Unbound
Speaker: David Saltman, author of ​Houdini Unbound

Sunday, July 29th at 1:00pm

Mrs. Houdini: The Woman Behind the Magician
Speaker: Victoria Kelly, author of ​Mrs. Houdini

>>View the full JMM calendar of events here.<<

Also of Interest
The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Sunday, June 10th at 4:30pm

The Campbell Brothers: A Sacred Love Supreme
Creative Alliance at B’nai Israel
Location: B’nai Israel Synagogue
Get Tickets Now

Esther’s Place

New at Esther’s Place!

Summer is upon us and so is the installation of our upcoming exhibit Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini. To celebrate, Esther’s Place is featuring brand-new merchandise centered on themes of identity, adventure, invention, and the great “escape” many plan for and covet this time of year: travel. Fuel your sense of adventure with our Ticket Stub Diary or unleash your creative powers of invention with our Mini Masterpieces Notebooks. We also have a beautiful new selection of key chains and car mezuzah designs to inspire and guide you on your travels this summer and beyond.

Please note: in order to get ready for our exciting summer, Esther’s Place will be closed on June 13 and 14!


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Welcome Summer 2018 Interns!

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by

We are so pleased to welcome this summer’s Interns to the Museum! This cohort has spent their week learning about the Museum and diving into their intern projects. You’ll be hearing from them throughout the summer as they explore the world of Museums and the Jewish Museum of Maryland in particular. Below they have kindly introduced themselves in their own words.

Hello all! My name is Marisa Shultz and I am an intern in the Education and Programs Department!

I am a recent graduate of Gettysburg College, where I studied English, the American Civil War, and Education. However, my time spent studying aboard in Prague, Czech Republic, awakened a deep passion for world literature, particularly works that explore the rise, fall, and dire consequences of fascism and authoritarianism in twentieth century Europe. I melded these interests with my love of science fiction for my departmental honors thesis, which explores systems of oppression in literary works about robots.

My experiences studying Jewish mysticism and folklore at home and abroad brought me closer to my Jewish heritage and fueled my excitement to research my genealogy. What I found was that parts of my family emigrated from Russia settled in Baltimore on Low Street, just three blocks away from the museum! I am extremely excited to bring my passion for public education and Jewish life to help facilitate experiential and unforgettable learning for all who come through our doors! If you spot me around the museum, please feel free to stop me and say hi!

Taken after climbing the hundreds of steps up the historic Belfry Tower in Mála Strana, Prague.

My name is Alexia M. Orengo Green, I’m a history and archaeology double major at Dickinson College.

I was born in Spain and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I love traveling, reading, drawing, and watching Netflix. Ever since I was little I’ve been interested in history specifically the topics of the Second World War, The Tudors, and Greece.

I decided to intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland because I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to gain experience on the museum world while working on different topics I’m interested. I’m eager to research the Lloyd Synagogue and create exciting exhibitions for the public. This summer I hope to expand my knowledge on Jewish history and explore the city of Baltimore!

Hello! My name is Ellie Smith.

I am originally from Pennsylvania but have been living in Nashville for the past two years while I attend Vanderbilt Divinity School. I am working on my Masters of Theological Studies degree and will finish this December. My areas of focus are the Holocaust and Jewish Studies. I received my bachelor’s degree from Albright College and my majors were History and Religious Studies with a Holocaust Studies certificate. I love to read and am very excited to spend the summer reading for pleasure. In my free time I enjoy cross stitching and watching horror movies.

I wanted to intern at a museum this summer because after I graduate from Divinity School I want to work in the museum world. I have always loved going to museums since I was a small child. I have previously worked in archives and libraries. I am thrilled to be working in the education and programming departments this summer.

This summer I hope to broaden my knowledge of the inner workings of museums. I hope to hone my research skills this summer while working on a variety of different projects.

I want to help educate the children and the adults that come through the museum and leave them with an experience that they will never forget. I look forward to everything that I will be doing this summer and I am thrilled to be here.

“Forever an Intern, Never Employed”

Hi! My name is Cara Bennet. I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, MD. As a Maryland Jew I am beyond excited to be interning at the JMM this summer. I graduated from Vassar College in 2015 where I majored in history and minored in Native American studies. I am currently a graduate student at George Washington University working towards my Masters in Museum Studies and cannot wait to gain more hands-on exhibition development experience. This summer I’ll be working with Joanna on exhibition development where I’ll get the opportunity to observe and contribute to all stages of the process from initial research to script writing to installation.

I love internships. Throughout my academic career I have had some incredible internship opportunities that have taught me so much more than I could ever learn in a classroom setting. My first museum internship experience was conducting research for the curatorial department at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC during the summer after my freshman year of college. Since then I’ve interned at the National Women’s History Museum and as a tour guide at Clara Barton National Historic Site. While I love internships, my ultimate goal is to be gainfully employed by a museum one day (hopefully in the near future) otherwise, JMM I may be back next summer to set the record for oldest intern.

When I’m not busy contemplating my career outlook, I love to run, hike, bake, and go to concerts. Some fun facts about me in no particular order: I’m a former college athlete (cross country and track), I studied “abroad” at the University of Hawai’i, and I wrote my senior thesis on Disney and 1960s counterculture (still not sure how I got away with that one).

Repping UH (Go Bows!) and rocking the side pony.

Hi! My name is Ash Turner.

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to Baltimore four years ago to study at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I’m the Collections Intern this summer for the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where I’ll be focusing on processing donated objects, as well as researching for an upcoming exhibit of the 100th year anniversary of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

 I recently graduated (this past May, in fact!) from MICA with a BFA in Interactive Arts. For the past three years, I’ve mostly focused on coding and creating interactive and narrative spaces through my artwork. At MICA, I found that I liked to research various topics and tell stories that engaged audiences, and so I made sound pieces, games, and installations throughout all of my undergraduate years. 

I also found that I enjoyed reading and learning about nature, food, the internet, architecture, and art history. Frequently, I spent my free time dancing, playing with my cats, reading, and cooking.

In my senior year at college, I realized I wanted to get back to working in a hands-on environment, and found that museums combined all of my interests in education, creating narratives, and interactivity. I found that museum work was an interest of mine, but I felt I didn’t have enough experience to know if it was the right path for me. That’s what brought me to interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland as one of the Collections Interns this summer. I want to discover how I fit into the museum world, while also learning more about my Jewish heritage. I also am excited to be inspired by working with the objects and photos in the collections, and I hope I can bring what I see and learn, and more of my Jewish experiences, into the art I make in the future.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Holocaust Education at the JMM

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by

A blog post by Director of Learning and Visitor Engagement Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.

A few months ago, a report came out that more than one-fifth of millennials in the US, (a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century), haven’t heard of or aren’t sure if they’ve heard of the Holocaust according to a study which was commissioned by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Additionally, 41 percent of millennials believe two million Jews or fewer were killed during the Holocaust; and two- thirds of millennials could not identify in the survey what Auschwitz was.  According to the news release on the findings, the survey found critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as well as detailed knowledge of the Holocaust.

I was a little surprised by the report, as I see Holocaust education as one of the primary topics that we focus on at the JMM, with many teachers choosing to bring school groups to learn about our historic synagogues, Jewish customs and see our exhibitions that are related to the theme. In addition, every summer we offer a three- day workshop, Summer Teachers Institute, which provides educators with tools and resources on the best practices in Holocaust education.

Yesterday, I was very happy to see that the study was WRONG! We had a school group from DC public schools visit the Museum.  The teacher was previously a Baltimore City Public School teacher who was very familiar with our education program. Her students (3rd to 5th graders) had just finished reading, Number of the Stars (1989), a work of historical fiction by American author Lois Lowry, about the escape of a Jewish family (the Rosens) from Copenhagen, Denmark during World War II. The story centers on ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen, who lives with her family in Copenhagen in 1943.

When the teacher made her reservation for the field trip with Paige, JMM’s very capable Visitors Services Coordinator, the teacher knew exactly what she wanted her students to take away from their visit. She wanted her students to learn more about Judaism and visit the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue; she wanted to have her students participate in one of our most popular education programs, Lives Lost: Lives Found: Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1933-1945; and she contacted the Baltimore Jewish Council so that the students could hear personal testimony from a survivor of the Holocaust.

The students’ visit was perfect timing, as it was the second day for our summer interns, and I felt that having the interns observe the school group, would help the interns see first-hand, the education program in action at the JMM.

The students from the DC public school were fabulous. They were engaged in the archival activity program relating to the Lives Lost: Lives Found: Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1933-1945; exhibition. The students loved seeing the Lloyd Street Synagogue and loved learning how to read the Hebrew Alphabet.

The most profound part of their time at the JMM was watching the students as they listened very intently to the testimony of Mrs. Herta Baitch, who told her story of coming to the United States as a child with the German-Jewish Children’s Aid Society and moving in with a foster family here in Baltimore. Following Herta’s testimony, the children had the opportunity to ask questions, many of them thoughtful and also amusing.

After a lot of clapping, the children literally got themselves into a receiving line, and each student went up to Herta to thank her and hug her. It was such a spectacular moment!

Our education department is very proud that these students had such a wonderful engaging field trip experience yesterday, and hopefully that experience we offered will make the students better citizens and future leaders to ensure that our history and the Holocaust will never be repeated again.

Registration is now open for our 2018 Summer Teachers Institute – you can find more information and the registration form here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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