Happy New Year: A Look Back at Your Faves!

Posted on January 2nd, 2019 by

A blog post by JMM Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman. To read more posts from Rachel, click here.

Everyone knows that the new year really starts on the 2nd, right? January 1st is for sleeping in, contemplating all your resolutions, and fortifying yourself against the winter cold. This January 2nd, I’m kicking off the new year with a look back at some of your favorites – that is, your JMM online favorites! Inspired by The Jewish Museum’s tumblr post of “The 10 most viewed objects” in their collection, I wanted to see what our most-viewed collections records were on the online portion of PastPerfect. And that, of course, led to checking our Google Analytics for the top blog posts of the year, checking Facebook for our top posts, and Twitter for our top post of the month. (Each platforms analytics work a little differently, thus why you’re getting different kinds of “tops” along the way.) I hope you find these as interesting as I did – and maybe take a quick walk down the 2018 memory lane with us.

Top 5 Collections Items Viewed on PastPerfect:

These records surprised me, because I can’t see any rhyme or reason to them – they aren’t items we’ve shared through our social media recently, no rare they specifically related to any current exhibits or programs. So there are folks out there doing research that is taking them to these items for one reason or another – fascinating!

Partially identified photo from the Talmudical Academy, n.d. JMM 2007.16.10

Miriam Lodge K.S.B. scrapbook, 1992-1992. JMM 2005.1.45.69b

B & P Hadassah Board, c. 1950 at Sarah Mabre’s house. JMM 1985.74.1

Portrait of Joseph Hertz, painted by F. Wichgraf. JMM 2004.106.31

Copy of Ernest Silversmith’s US Certificate of Citizenship, 1946 and German document for Franz Ernst Silberschmid and Julius Hans Silberschmidt, 1930. JMM 2012.46.2

Also interesting, top search terms – for people, the most searched names were: Jacob Epstein (1998.98.001); Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt (1986.129.026); Isaac Hamburger (1991.012.004); Evelyn Silber Krohn (1995.161.002); and Menasha Katz (1988.075.003).

For subjects, the most searched terms were: Women; Ohr Knesseth Israel-Anshe Sphard Congregation; London Fog; Yedz Grotto; and Ner Israel Rabbinical College.

Top 5 Facebook Posts

I love that our #1 top Facebook post of 2018 was about the custom products we had created for Esther’s Place, the JMM shop! It’s heartening to see that our “Oy Vey” and “Shalom Hon!” mugs, magnets, and postcards were just as popular with you as they are with us.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our 2nd most popular post was a job announcement, for our program assistant position, which we were thrilled to fill with the wonderfully talented and hardworking Emma Glaser.

#3? This fab CBS video interview with Ilene Dackman-Alon and Tracie Guy-Decker. They’re talking up Morrell Park: PROJECTED which was definitely one of our favorite 2018 program innovations!

Numbers 4 and 5 were both related to our Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini exhibit – the first being a link to Tracie Guy-Decker’s blog post about exhibit props (I think behind-the-scenes stuff is always interesting, don’t you?). The latter is about the Houdini button anyone can earn by completing our Inescapable family activity booklet (who doesn’t love cool swag, right?).

Our Instagram Top 9 of 2018!

Our Great Jewish Bake Off snagged 3 of the top spots! #2018bestnine

Top 5 Twitter Posts (kind of)

Twitter is one of the platforms that does their analytics a bit differently, so it was easy to find the top post for each month of 2018, but not necessarily the top 5 overall for the year. So here are the top 5 culled from those top 12 monthly tweets.

The #1 tweet, by quite a margin, was this one from July reminding folks to get their tickets for a talk with Victoria Kelly, the author of the novel “Mrs. Houdini. ” It was an excellent program!

Next up came this post from August where we joined in on #MuseumVacay – many museums were sharing vacation related items from their collections.

Unsurprisingly, this month’s top post (and #3 tweet of the year) was our our farewell to Gil Sandler, who’s passing has had a deep impression on so many.

In February, our link to Jess’s blog post on Esther’s Place and Purim got a lot of love.

And our #5, from November, shared the mysteries and magic to be found at the annual Houdini Séance! (I’m kind of tickled that this made the list, since the blog post itself is based on my live-tweets of the event.)

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018

Now, to really start your year off right, here are some great blog posts from the JMM staff. If you missed any the first time around, today’s a perfect time to get reading!

#5 – And incredibly appropriate for the theme, is Ilene Dackman-Alon’s look at vintage Rosh Hashanah (that’s Jewish New Year) greeting cards in the JMM collections.

#4 – Saying Good-bye to the Bard of Baltimore

#3 – I love that there’s some summer intern representation here, with Cara Bennet’s Finding MY Stories at JMM, about surprising connections between her life and the Museum.

#2 – This one came as a bit of a surprise, as it’s a “reprint” from our 2007 edition of Generations Magazine, part 1 of “The Blaustein–Ben-Gurion Agreement: A Milestone in Israel-Diaspora Relations.”

And the #1 blog post of 2018? Archivist Lori Rombro’s research dive into the Hebrew Orphan Asylum! The Hebrew Orphan Asylum has been in the news recently, as it transforms itself yet again, so perhaps this isn’t completely surprising, but as someone who’s background is in Museum collections, it warms my heart for them to be the star of the show.

Thanks for coming with me on this look back at 2018 – I’m excited for all we have to share with you in 2019!

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Finding the Light

Posted on November 2nd, 2018 by

Museum Matters: November 2018

It has been a very dark week for the Jewish community all across America.  We join all our colleagues in the Associated system in mourning the horrendous loss of lives in Pittsburgh. We condemn the vile hatred that instigated this act and we are inspired by the empathy of our neighbors (the first two people to reach out to me with condolences to our community were Zubair Ansari of the Islamic Society of Baltimore and Dwight Warren of the McKim Center).

As individuals and organizations, all of us are struggling with how we respond to these events.  JMM made the determination that we would not let madmen or thugs deter us from fulfilling our mission. Last Sunday, we went ahead with our plans for Houdini family day… because we felt that people needed a feeling of connection more than ever. 144 attendees came. We are donating all of the admission fees for that day to HIAS, as a small gesture that murder does not produce rewards.  Last night we held the 91st official Houdini séance and the room was filled to capacity.

At the same time, we know that your safety is paramount. We are working with the Associated and the Baltimore Police Department to enhance our security. I want to publicly thank the BPD for being so responsive to our request for additional coverage at public events after hours.

We are counting on your willingness to join us in our outstanding programs in the month to come, as together we seek to find the light that will bind our wounds and help us fight back the darkness.


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


Talk and Film!

Houdini in Hollywood and The Grim Game
Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 1:00pm
Reserve Seats Now

JMM 1998.35.12.13 (crop)

Veteran’s Day: The Jewish Legion
Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 1:00pm
Reserve Seats Now

Now a New York Times best seller!

We Were the Lucky Ones
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 7:00pm
Reserve Seats Now

Part of the 2018 Festival of Jewish Literature!

The Eddie Cantor Story
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 7:00pm
Reserve Seats Now

Includes chocolate tasting and book signing!

History of the Jews and Chocolate
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 1:00pm
Reserve Seats Now

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

Esther’s Place

Join us at Esther’s Place as we celebrate the joys of the upcoming holiday of Chanukah. Discover Macubby our featured Macca Bean, dreidels perfect for play or display, Chanukah candles in numerous colors and styles, menorahs as unique as your holiday celebrations, and new products that make special gifts. From November 8 to November 11, visit us at the Strathmore Museum Shop Holiday Market for these items and more.

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 bnaiisraelcongregation.org.  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Saturday, November 3, 2018
Services begin at 9:30am

B’nai Israel: The Downtown Synagogue invites all for services this coming Saturday morning as part of a national effort to #ShowUpForShabbat as an act defiance against anti-Semitism and of solidarity with Pittsburgh. More info.

Bluegrass on the Bimah:

Dry Branch Fire Squad

Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 4:30pm
More info and tickets here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

From Side Shows to Spooky Seances

Posted on October 5th, 2018 by

Museum Matters: October 2018

October is the midpoint in our run of Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini and our programming has reached a feverish peak. We have something new to offer every Sunday this month all leading up to the big Halloween week.

We’ve even been researching JMM’s own vaults to find the “magic” hidden within, which led us to “A Little Magic from the Collections,” which is being installed today in our feature exhibit alcove, and will remain on display through Halloween.

Perhaps most magical of all – this month includes two free days. On October 21st we participate in Free Fall Baltimore and the entire Museum is free, including our 1pm program with Ken Trombley, Capturing Houdini. On October 7th the Lloyd Street Synagogue is available to the public all day (with docents, but no formal tours) as part of Doors Open Baltimore. (The Museum and our 1pm program with James Taylor will still have regular admission on the 7th, however.)

All this provides those of you who have seen the Houdini exhibit a good excuse to return (and bring a friend). And for those procrastinators who haven’t made it yet, don’t miss out on the best month to see the show!


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


Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 1pm

Street Show, Sideshow, Stage Show:
Novelty & Variety Entertainment and its Spread
Speaker: James Taylor
Reserve Seats Now

Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 1pm

Magic and Monotheism
Speaker: Jonathan Dauber, Yeshiva University
Reserve Seats Now

Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 1pm

Free Fall Baltimore!
Capturing Houdini
Speaker: Ken Trombley
Reserve Seats Now

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Family Day!
Houdini’s Magical Halloween
Reserve Seats Now

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Official Houdini Sceance
Tickets: $50 ($25 for Museum Members)
Please note seating is extremely limited for this event.

Esther’s Place

Have you explored our Shabbat items recently?

We have many lovely, unique pieces guaranteed to make your Shabbat or holiday beautiful and meaningful. From embroidered challah covers to modern or contemporary candlestick sets, striking Kiddush cups to elegant Havdalah sets to a selection of glass and wood Shabbat trays. Our Shabbat candles—which come in a variety of color styles—make the perfect table addition or gift.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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