Our Miniature Chanukah Celebration – Part 1

Posted on December 15th, 2016 by

Nature abhors a vacuum, and collections managers abhor an empty exhibit case. Why not put such a thing to good use? So we moved a spare case to a corner of the basement of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and now we have to make sure it’s filled.  At the moment, we’re featuring a few items from Chanukah celebrations of the past.

Children preparing decorations for a Chanukah party, circa 1980.  Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. JMM 2006.13.274b

Children preparing decorations for a Chanukah party, circa 1980. Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. JMM 2006.13.274b

Compiling a small thematic exhibit like this one is fun, because it gives us a chance to pull together just a few related items that might not often get their day in the (metaphorical) sun.  Archives-based exhibits can also be frustrating, however; we get to see all the pages of the booklets and albums, but we know the visitor usually cannot. That’s where the magic of the internet comes in. (The mantra of the completist curator trying to narrow down the exhibit list: “Okay, that could go on the blog instead.”) I think the covers of our Chanukah entertainments are great, but here’s a chance to show you a bit of what’s inside.

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

First off, the smallest piece: A tiny “programme” from the “13th Annual Chanukah Banquet of the Baltimore Talmud Torah Society, Hebrew Free School, 21 N. High Street to be held at Hazazer’s Hall, 111 W. Franklin St. on Sunday, December 4, 1904.” (To see Hazazer’s, scroll down to the Hs on this site.)  Inside, we learn that the banquet featured music, speeches, prayer, and refreshments; several “pupils of the school,” namely Masters Tarshish, Shapiro, Cohen, and Freilichow, had the privilege of addressing the audience.  The Talmud Torah officers, Banquet committee, and “Committee of Appeal” are listed on the inside cover, including a few names familiar to us today such as Harry Friedenwald, M.S. Levy, and Jacob Epstein.

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Next, an invitational handbill and the formal libretto from the “Grand Chanuka Celebration” held for the benefit of the Hebrew Young Men’s Association on Tuesday, December 9th, 1879 at Baltimore’s Concordia Opera House.

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.1, .2

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.1, .2

Although visitors can read the full invitation in the case, I must give a shout-out to the delightful introduction:

“Dear Sir: Amply as we are supplied with Jewish Festivals, there is one still, claiming a share for our rejoicing which of late we have not fully accorded to it. It is the festival of Chanuka, full of the most thrilling events described in the history of the Maccabees, and so beautifully set to music by Handel in the Oratorio of Judas Maccabaeus. Desirous of giving the festival the place due it in our midst, we are now actively engaged in completing arrangements for a  Grand Chanuka Celebration…”

(And only fifty cents admission for ladies! I’m sold.)

The cover of the libretto is informative, but there’s even more detail on the title page inside, namely the fact that the text was written by Miss Henrietta Szold (“all proprietary rights reserved”).  Further in the book, we learn the names of the musical soloists and speechgivers before we are treated to the full text of the address; song lyrics and poetry; and descriptions of each tableau vivant, because yes, like all good Grand Celebrations, there were tableaux.

Then we move on to the sponsoring advertisements, usually my favorite part of this type of document (I wish advertisers still noted “All Orders by Post will be promptly attended to,” as does A. Myers, Cabinet Maker), though the ad for Christmas presents is a tad awkward; I think in this case the tableaux are the winner. Altogether, this is a wonderful document, and I’m glad we can share it with you both in person and in virtual form.

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-4

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-5

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-6

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-7

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-8

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-9

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-10

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

1993116002-11

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

Next week: two (at least) more documents from our mini Chanukah exhibit – tune in!

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

 

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Once Upon a Time…03.25.2016

Posted on December 13th, 2016 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

1998047004199Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 25, 2016

 

PastPerfect Accession #:  1998.047.004.199

 

Status: Unidentified – we think one of these women is Florence Hendler, but who are the remaining golfers? C. 1930.

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Once Upon a Time…03.18.2016

Posted on December 6th, 2016 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

2010020172Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 18, 2016

 

PastPerfect Accession #:  2010.020.172

 

Status: Unidentified – who are these Sinai Nursing School students grouped around a piano, circa 1940?

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