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JMM Insights: History Is Now

Posted on May 15th, 2020 by

How do you know when you’re living through history?

The simple answer is that we’re always living through history, and that some future historian may look back on even the most innocuous era with great curiosity and excitement. Still, there are times when our lives change so rapidly and/or so completely (he said, writing on his iPad in his basement) that you know for certain people will want to keep a record of these times.

So in this week’s JMM Insights we’re offering a new type of interactive experience, one that builds the story of YOUR family into the story of our community, coming together while standing apart in the COVID 19 crisis.

~Marvin


Help us plan our digital museum offerings!


THE DIGITAL MUSEUM: HISTORY IS NOW

JMM Collects Stories of the Pandemic

We’re looking for your stories of life during the COVID-19 public health crisis! As a museum, we actively collect materials related to the events, past and present, that impact our audiences and communities.

This pandemic, which has affected nearly every aspect of daily life for Jewish Maryland, the City of Baltimore, our Jonestown neighbors, and other communities all across the state, definitely qualifies as one of those events. We believe it is important to gather and preserve personal stories, not only to help the historians of the future understand this moment in time, but also to help people today realize the many different ways the pandemic is affecting our family, friends, and neighbors.

We hope you will submit your experiences and stories — through words, images, or objects — to help us preserve the memories and experiences of Jewish Maryland for future generations.


Your words can be in whatever format you prefer: written (poetry, a journal entry, a letter, an essay, or just some scribbled thoughts) or recorded (on your phone, with a fancy camera, or maybe through your laptop or tablet). Photos and drawings can be used to illustrate your words, or stand alone as a record of your experience.

Use this form to easily share your work with us. If you prefer to submit by mail (we love getting mail!) or through email, or have objects that you think might interest us, that’s okay too!

Send your words and photos, and offers of objects, to Joanna Church, Director of Collections & Exhibits, at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org or The Jewish Museum, 15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.  Make sure to include your name, hometown or location, and age in your email or letter to us, and let us know how you would like us to attribute and share your work – use the questions on the form as guidance.


We know you might be feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to start. You are not alone! We’ve got a few ideas that might help you focus on the story or stories you’d like to share. Remember – The Jewish Museum of Maryland is about the stories of everyday people. There’s no pressure to come up with a unique or earth-shattering tale; we’re interested in everything, from memories of the people you’re missing the most to what your home workspace looks like to whatever has most surprised you about living through our current events.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started, but let your own inspiration and experience guide you! Through words and images:

Tell us about your quarantined event or holiday: a birthday, a wedding, a graduation, Passover Seder, a bris, a b’nai mitzvah, Mother’s Day – how did you celebrate differently? What traditions did you manage to keep or adapt? How did it make you feel?

What’s a new hobby or skill you’re learning – or maybe an old one that you’ve picked up again?

What do you miss the most about your usual work/school/volunteer daily routine (or maybe, what have you realized you miss the least)?

What has changed the most about your neighborhood? What have you discovered about the people and places closest to your home?

Are there any silver linings you’ve discovered? Anything you want to make special efforts to continue post-pandemic?


Objects tell stories, too! 

If you have a physical object that you think helps tell your story, please let us know.

(We can’t physically take the objects in person yet, but we’d love to talk to you about them.) What sort of things do we mean?

Some suggestions might be:

A homemade mask (once you no longer need it, of course)

A “closed” sign from a business or synagogue

Take-out menus or carry-out bags from restaurants that had to pivot their business

A calendar empty of events, or tickets to a game or performance you couldn’t attend

School projects (after you’ve been graded) completed at home rather than in the classroom

Signs or artwork thanking first responders

What else can you think of?
We can’t wait to see, hear, and share your stories.

While this particular pandemic is new to us, life-changing events and “historic” moments are regularly preserved in museum collections, thanks to the people who take the time to record and share their stories, memories, and experiences.

We’ve got plenty of examples in our own collections, like photographs and mementos from The Great Baltimore Fire and World War One Homecomings. Just like in these two examples, the stories we gather today will provide crucial context and details for the historians of the future.

Looking for some more inspiration? JMM is part of a global initiative to collect and preserve examples of life during this pandemic. Explore our fellow institution, the Maryland Historical Society’s “Collecting in Quarantine” project as well as the Chicago History Museum’s “In This Together” initiative.


JOIN US – LIVE!

Virtual Author Visit

Hannah Salyer Presents:
PACKS: Strength in Numbers
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:30pm

We’re thrilled to host author and illustrator Hannah Salyer for this special live stream reading of her book PACKS, an inspiring celebration of how togetherness helps many creatures thrive, including people! Hannah will also lead a drawing demonstration and share about learning from the togetherness we see in the animal kingdom.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

Current Voices:

Uprising + 5 – Activists
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 7:00pm

JMM is honored to host a special live stream panel discussion with female-identifying activists to share their ongoing work in remembrance of the 5-year anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising. These activists strive to bring our city together as a safe place for all our residents and visitors.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

This program is presented in partnership with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum. Support for the program has been provided by Open Society Institute-Baltimore.


WONDERNAUTS 2020: VACATION DESTINATION

Pluto was once the ninth planet from the sun.

It was also the smallest planet in our Solar System. But Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet. Blast off into the future where dwarf planet Pluto is a popular vacation destination!


ESTHER’S PLACE: ONLINE

Don’t see something you’re interested in at the online shop? Contact Shop Manager Chris Sniezek at csniezek@jewishmuseummd.org and let us know.


 

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Welcome Home

Posted on May 14th, 2020 by

A blog post by Director of Collections and Exhibits Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.


After the Armistice on November 11, 1918, American forces began the slow process of demobilization. Over the next several months, as surviving American soldiers, sailors, and other war workers came home, they were celebrated in ways both big and small.  Cities and towns across Maryland held parades and public ceremonies honoring those who had fought, while in homes around the state lucky families welcomed their returning servicemen and -women. The triumphant ending of the “War to End All Wars” was a time of mourning for many who lost loved ones to the conflict, but also a time of celebration.

Museum purchase. JMM 1987.3.1

This photograph shows a WWI-era military parade in front of Baltimore’s City Hall. The banners held by spectators at left read “Baltimore Welcomes and Honors Its Heroes,” the flag in the top right corner begins “Welcome Home,” and the building in the center background has a large sign, “Bureau of Returning Soldiers Sailors and War Workers.”  During the Great War, Baltimore was host to many military parades – some to raise funds for the Red Cross and war bonds, others to honor veterans of the Spanish American War – but the banners in this photo may mean that it shows the parade held on April 29th, 1919, for the returning members of the 117th Trench Mortar Battery (part of the 42nd Infantry Division), Baltimore’s “first to fight and first to return.” The Baltimore Sun reported, “…there has rarely been a turnout of the people in this city on any occasion as great as that which met” the 117th upon their arrival in the city.

For them [the crowd] began gathering along the line of march at noon, and they remained in their places for more than three solid hours just for a glimpse of them, just to let them know that their home folks were satisfied with what they had done in France and that they were more than glad to have them home again.  “City Bows to 117th Heroes,” Baltimore Sun, April 30, 1919

A similarly joyful welcome, on a more intimate scale, can be found in our collections with this hand-painted sign, made by the Zamoiski family of Baltimore to welcome home their son Calman.

Gift of James L. Zamoiski. JMM 1990.57.1b

Calman J. Zamoiski, Sr. (1896-1972) served in the US Army, 314 Infantry Company “E,” from December 1917 to March 1919, including four months in France. Back at home in Baltimore, his family displayed a blue star flag in his honor; they added this handmade sign to greet him upon his return home in 1919. When a collection of materials related to his service was donated to the museum 80 years later, the flag and the sign were still attached, carefully saved by the family.


This post is part of our History is Now: JMM Collects Stories of the Pandemic collecting initiative. We invite you to submit your experiences – through words, images, or objects – to help us preserve the memories and experiences of Jewish Maryland for future generations. More information here.


 

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Staying Connected with JMM: History is Now

Posted on May 14th, 2020 by

JMM Collects Stories of the Pandemic

Dear Educators,

Take a breath and reflect for a moment. You are an educator teaching and supporting students during a pandemic. History is happening now. You are a part of it and your story is a meaningful one. Have you had a similar conversation with your students recently?

At JMM, we believe in the importance of gathering and preserving personal stories. As a museum, we collect materials related to events, past and present, that impact our communities. This pandemic, which has affected nearly every aspect of daily life, including education, definitely qualifies as one of those events.

We hope that collecting these stories will not only to help the historians of the future understand this moment in time, but also to help people today realize the many different ways the pandemic is affecting our family, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, and ourselves.

We hope you will submit your experiences and stories – through words, images, or objects – to help us preserve our community’s memories and experiences for future generations.


 

History if Now: JMM Collections Stories of the Pandemic

JMM tells the stories of everyday people – that includes you and your students! There’s no pressure to come up with a unique, Pulitzer Prize-worthy tale, we would just love to hear your memories and experiences. From the students you are missing, to what your workspace at home looks like, to what has surprised you the most about living through our current events, your stories are worth telling and sharing.

We’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started that may help your students reflect and foster conversations with them:

What are some differences between learning in a classroom versus learning at home?

How has your school day routine changed?

What do you miss the most about your school?

What do you like the most about learning at home?

What was the most fun you have had since you’ve been home?

You and your students might be inspired to write a poem, journal entry, letter, an essay, or just some scribbled thoughts. Maybe make a recording (on your phone, with a fancy camera, or maybe through your laptop or tablet) or share photos and drawings to illustrate your experiences.

What else can you think of? We can’t wait to see, hear, and share your stories.

Use this form to easily share your stories with us!

You can also mail your stories, photos, offers of objects to us (we love getting mail!). Please do not send actual objects in the mail. Address your mail to:

Joanna Church, Director of Collections & Exhibits
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
15 Lloyd Street
Baltimore, MD 21202.

Or email Joanna at at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org!

*Make sure to include your name, hometown or location, and age in your email or letter to us, and let us know how you would like us to attribute and share your work – use the questions on the form as guidance.


Storysharing in Practice

An Afternoon of Storyfinding and Storysharing
Sunday, May 31st at 3:30pmWe’re also hosting some events to help you share your stories! Our first confirmed live program is for the youngest in our community — more information and how to register here.

Hannah Salyer Presents PACKS: Strength in Numbers

Virtual Author Visit
Hannah Salyer Presents:
PACKS: Strength in Numbers
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:30pm

We’re thrilled to host author and illustrator Hannah Salyer for this special live stream reading of her book PACKS, an inspiring celebration of how togetherness helps many creatures thrive, including people! Hannah will also lead a drawing demonstration and share about learning from the togetherness we see in the animal kingdom.

Recommended for ages 5 – 9, or any young artist with a love of animals.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!


We want to support the important work that you do in our community. Invite a JMM Educator into your virtual classroom to facilitate a presentation with your students on topics like:

Jewish Immigration to Baltimore through our Voices of Lombard Street exhibit

Environmentalism through our Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling exhibit

Holocaust Education in our Holocaust Memory Project

Introduction to Judaism with information about our Lloyd Street Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Maryland.

To book a virtual visit, complete our Virtual Visit Request Form. 


NASA’s Space Tourism Posters. Credit: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/682/space-tourism-posters/

Vacation Destination: Pluto
Pluto was once the ninth planet from the sun. It was also the smallest planet in our Solar System. But Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet. Blast off into the future where dwarf planet Pluto is a popular vacation destination!

Looking for other hands-on activities related to space? Check out our Wondernauts website.


For more posts from Paige Woodhouse, click here.

For more education newsletters, click here.


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