Let there be light!

Posted on November 26th, 2014 by

If you’ve visited the Jewish Museum of Maryland and made use of our facilities (and let’s face it, you probably have—after all, the #1 question at the front desk is “where are the bathrooms?”), then you might have noticed how dark the bathroom area was.  It was this weirdly shaped room full of dark shadows on dark floor. And I hated it!

I’ve been railing about the needlessly dark bathroom foyer ever since I came here in 2012. Many of the front desk volunteers can attest to this. So you can imagine my elated surprise when I turned on the lights to the bathroom foyer this past Sunday morning and found this:

So bright!

So bright!

Of course, I knew that they were changing the lights to LEDs this past Friday, but I didn’t anticipate such a dramatic change!  Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any “Before” photos of the bathroom to help make the comparison. If I’d known what a different the LEDs would make, I would’ve snapped a photo on Thursday.

I think we’re going to have to be even more diligent about vacuuming the floor there…now that visitors can actually see the floor clearly!


abby krolik A blog by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik. To read more posts from Abby, click here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Once Upon a Time…03.21.2014-

Posted on November 25th, 2014 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


1995189641Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 21, 2014

PastPerfect Accession #:  1995.189.641

Status:  Do you recognize any of these Beth Tfiloh members? They’re volunteering for the Associated’s Super Phone DaySeated front row L-R: 1. unidentified 2. unidentified 3. unidentified Middle Row, L-R: 4. unidentified  5. unidentified 6.  unidentified 7. unidentified  8. unidentified    9. unidentified 10. unidentified 11. [teacher] unidentified  Mid-Back, L-R: 12. unidentified 13. Marcy Kolodny 14. unidentified 15. unidentified 16. unidentified Back-Back, L-R: 17. unidentified  18. unidentified 19. unidentified

Special Thanks To: Fritiz Hallock





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JMM Insights: November 2014

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by

This week’s edition of JMM Insights highlights the work of two of our volunteers, Martin Buckman and Vera Kestenberg, who have been diligently compiling a database of Jewish Times birth records. This important genealogical resource can be accessed from the JMM website along with other important databases such as burial listings and circumcision and midwife records.

Marty and Vera have been working on an ongoing project that lists all births that were announced in The Baltimore Jewish Times starting with the March 1928 edition. From these newborn notices, they have created a database that now contains pertinent information about more than 10,000 births. It should be noted that while this database is not a complete record of all the births that occurred within the greater Baltimore Jewish community (because not all new arrivals were routinely reported to The BJT) it is probably a good representation.

We are thrilled to report that the database has surpassed 10,000 listed births, a major accomplishment. In recognition of this important milestone, I asked Marty and Vera to share some insights that they have learned from their work on this project and here are some of their thoughts regarding the popularity of names:

Marty & Vera

Marty & Vera

Marty Buckman:

I thought it would be interesting to learn which given names were the most popular in the Baltimore Jewish community during three distinct eras: the initial period of 1928 through 1941; the World War II years of 1942 through 1945; and the post-war years from 1946 through 1954.

The ten most popular female names from the 14-year era beginning in 1928 were (in descending order) Barbara, Elaine, Phyllis, Judith, Beverly, Lois, Harriett, Marcia, Ruth and Linda. The list of favorite male names was headed by Howard, David, Stanley, Robert, Louis, Barry, Edward, Richard, Joseph, Marvin, and Stuart or Stewart. Most of the reported hospital births took place at Sinai Hospital; to a much lesser degree, Women’s Hospital, University Hospital, Church Home and West Baltimore General Hospital followed.

During the four war years 1942 through 1945, Barbara was still the leading female name but the rest of the list changed somewhat to follow with Harriet, Susan, Linda, Ellen, Judith, and Marcia or Marsha. For the males, David moved to the top of a list that was sprinkled with some newcomers- Alan, Stephen or Steven, Michael, Richard, Barry, Howard, Robert, Harvey and Ronald. The top three hospitals remained the same: Sinai, Women’s, and University followed by Franklin Square and West Baltimore General.

After World War II, from 1946 through 1954, Susan rose to the top to become the favorite female name, followed by Barbara, Judith, Linda, Deborah or Debra, Ellen, Sharon, Nancy and Carol or Carole. Male names were dominated by Stephen or Steven, followed by Mark or Marc, Alan or Allan or Allen, Michael, David, Robert, Richard, Jeffrey, and Howard. Sinai and Women’s remained the favorite hospitals, followed by West Baltimore General which became Lutheran Hospital , University and Johns Hopkins.

When we reach our 15,000th name, we will take another look at our database to see if and how preferences have changed.

Additional Comment by Vera Kestenberg:

One interesting thing to note is that many announcements do not list the mother’s name, just Mr. and Mrs. (husband’s first name followed by last name). It gives the appearance that the mothers have nothing to do with the birth!


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