Volunteering is a great way to get involved at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Volunteers at the Museum help us to carry out our mission while enjoying opportunities for growth and community service.
The Jewish Museum relies heavily on its many volunteers. The Museum has more than 60 regular volunteers who serve as receptionists, docents (guides), shop assistants, archival, curatorial, and office assistants. Volunteers also help to staff the Museum for special events.
Volunteers at the Jewish Museum are treated as colleagues. Professional training, supervision, and evaluation are offered to all volunteer staff.
Photo, right, by the Baltimore Sun
Jewish Museum of Maryland Volunteer Opportunities
Front Desk Reception
The front desk reception volunteers provide an invaluable service to the Museum by maintaining a warm and welcome atmosphere for Museum guests. They serve as the Museum’s customer service representatives while orienting visitors to the Museum complex. By informing visitors about tour times, current and upcoming exhibitions, and programs, they provide information about all services that the Museum offers. Other tasks include processing admission fees for groups and individuals, answering the telephone, and maintaining an accurate daily count of visitors.
Museum docents possess an interest in history and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others. They perform an essential duty by leading tours and by interpreting the history of the Museum’s two historic synagogues and exhibitions for adults, families, and school groups of all ages. A series of training sessions is offered to those interested in joining our docent corps and will focus on the history of Baltimore’s Jewish community.
Museum Gift Shop
The Museum’s gift shop, filled with beautiful Judaica, Museum catalogs, and exhibition related merchandise, is a destination for Museum visitors. Gift shop volunteers assist guests with purchases, process cash and credit card payments; arrange merchandise on shelves and in windows, and assist the shop manager with ordering merchandise and conducting store inventory.
Use your career or hobby expertise to further family history work. Volunteers will possess good communication skills, an excitement for family history, experience using family history programs and websites, and basic computer proficiency. Training will be provided to enable you to assist patrons as they work to identify their ancestors and link families.
Throughout the year, the Museum holds many programs and special events. Programs include exhibition openings, family holiday programs, lectures, film series, and theatrical and musical performances. Special event volunteers provide much needed assistance with these events by greeting visitors, processing admission fees, maintaining an accurate count of visitors, helping with refreshments, selling memberships, and facilitating art projects.
The Museum is working to make its collections and resources more accessible to groups who cannot travel to the actual museum site. Examples of outreach projects include assisting with programs at senior centers, aiding in educational programming at schools, developing the Speakers Bureau, and performing general outreach and marketing in public locations. This position is best suited to people who are committed to working with the Museum on a consistent basis and who like build relationships with diverse audiences. The ideal volunteer should enjoy working directly with people, be flexible, and posses patience and creativity. Specific orientations will be provided for each outreach project.
Volunteers in marketing outreach will help to expand our audience, promote our facility and publicize opportunities for volunteerism at the Museum. He/she will develop a database of potential groups that may want to visit such as houses of worship, senior centers, tour groups and social clubs. The volunteer will then contact the organizations and follow up as necessary. The ideal volunteer will be able to effectively promote the Museum to potential visitors, be computer literate, personable and have good phone skills.
Volunteering in the Library and Archives offers a variety of learning experiences. The majority of the work takes place in a library setting, but a few projects may be completed at home. Positions range from office-type work, to collections processing, to digital imaging. Typing and computer skills are preferred, but not always required. A number of the projects may be conducive to working with a partner. This volunteer opportunity provides a chance to learn more about Maryland’s Jewish history. All new volunteers will be given an orientation to the care and handling of archival objects.
Volunteers in the collections department will work on a variety of projects. These include creating artifact inventories for special projects, organizing collection records, sorting incoming artifacts, helping to store and pack artifacts, and preparing objects in the collection for exhibition. Temporary assignments are available. Experience in the handling of fragile items is desired.
Working with the museum photographic collections can include numbering and re-housing photographs as well as typing photo descriptions and scanning photographs. Volunteers will be trained on the proper handling of photographs as well as the correct procedures for updating catalogue records and digitizing images for preservation. Projects tend to be ongoing and can support a variety of time commitments – a few hours every week to sporadic all-day visits, working with the photograph collection is a very flexible volunteer position. Willingness to use a computer and learn basic digital imaging skills is a must.
For information about volunteering at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, please contact:
Sue Foard, Volunteer Coordinator
Jewish Museum of Maryland
15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Fax (410) 732-6451