Once Upon a Time…03.02.2018

Posted on December 11th, 2018 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 by email at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

JMM 1995.128.1.26.3

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: March 2, 2018

PastPerfect Accession #: 1995.128.001.026.003

Status: Identified! Pictured are Jay Burman and Susan Sattell at the AZA Sweethearts’ Dance, 1964.

Thanks To: Jay Burman

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Once Upon a Time…02.23.2018

Posted on November 27th, 2018 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 by email at jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

JMM 1995.114.3.4

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: February 23, 2018

PastPerfect Accession #: 1995.114.003.004

Status: Unidentified – do you recognize these folks going on a HIAS-sponsored bus trip to Annapolis in July, 1978?

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Thanksgiving Eve Festivities in Baltimore, 1920s-30s

Posted on November 21st, 2018 by

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

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It’s traditionally the busiest travel day of the year in the US (though the Sunday afterward has taken the top spot in recent years), and apparently it is now a big party night, too.  I feel like “Thanksgiving Eve” wasn’t really a thing when I was younger, but as our archives attest, many decades ago it was definitely an occasion for partying.

The large clipping is from the Baltimore Sun, Nov 30, 1922; the smaller one is likely from the Jewish Times. Gift of Adelaide Altman Habel. JMM 2013.27.10-.11

Miss Hilda Brager was presented at the 65th (!) annual Harmony Circle Thanksgiving Eve Ball on Wednesday, November 29th, 1922, at the Hotel Belvedere, Baltimore.  She saved two newspaper clippings about the event and, even better, her teeny-tiny, much-folded dance card, in which her partners for each dance were noted in pencil:

Not a lot of variety in the dances – simply the fox trot, one-step, waltz, and “combination,” no tango or lindy hop on offer here! But Miss Brager did not lack for partners. The unidentified “JHS” appears twice.  Dance card interior, gift of Adelaide Altman Habel. JMM 2013.27.11

The Harmony Circle was a German Jewish social club founded in 1860 (though if the Sun article headline is correct, they’d been holding the deb ball since 1857), largely for the purposes of introducing young ladies to society and, ideally, to a nice Jewish boy to marry.  (For what it’s worth, Hilda did not marry any of her dance partners from this evening; her eventual husband’s name was Nehemiah Altman.)

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The Harmony Circle was not the only game in town. On November 23, 1927, B’nai B’rith hosted the “event of the season” at the Southern Hotel (only two dollars a couple!) on Thanksgiving Eve.

Flyer for the B’nai B’rith ball, 1927. Anonymous gift. JMM 1990.108.3

Unfortunately, at the moment little else is known about this event, but I hope it was a good time.

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The Junior Assembly of Baltimore joined the festivities by the late 1930s, hosting their Thanksgiving Eve Ball at the Hotel Belvedere on November 22, 1939.

Program for the Junior Assembly ball, 1939. Gift of Isaac Hecht (who served as Treasure of the organization that year). JMM 1993.179.18

This event sounds quite fancy, with “the Beau Brummel of Dance America, Charles Barnet” and “the glamorous Judy Ellington” providing the music, and a breakfast served starting at 1:30 a.m. Please note, if you’re thinking of joining in, tickets are $1.50 per person, and “Full Evening Dress is Obligatory.” I must admit, if I had to choose one of these three parties to attend tonight, this would be it.

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So, however you choose to celebrate the night before Thanksgiving – be it on the road, quietly at home, or on the town – stay safe and have fun!

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