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The Making of JMM Live!

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by

Trillion is on family leave for a few months, but before she left the building she shared the story of the “making of JMM Live!” for this month’s JMM Insights!  To read more posts from Trillion, click here.


It all began with a gap.  The National Archives could lend us the Iraqi Jewish Heritage exhibit until mid-January but couldn’t send us the Amending America exhibit until early April.  That was a long span of time for our Samson, Rossetta and Sadie B. Feldman Gallery to be dark.

During 2017 we discussed various ways to bridge the gap, including several smaller exhibits.

(We actually ended up with two:  Beyond Duty: Diplomats Recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, which opened at the beginning of this month, and the My Family Story student-curated projects from March 11th.)

I suggested we try something a little different. In my role as programs manager I am frequently contacted by speakers, performers, authors and many more asking for the opportunity to present at the JMM. Normally our program calendar is so busy with exhibit-related events that I can only take one or two of these requests per year, however, it occurred to me that with an open calendar perhaps we could make something of this opportunity.

I proposed a series of live events at the museum that celebrate all aspects of American Jewish performing and literary arts; this became the inspiration for JMM Live! 

I have spent the last several months working on finding a wonderful selection of programs, including author talks, musical performances, movies and theater. The topics we will explore vary from the expected, like Jewish Broadway, to the more surprising, like Jewish Punk Music. The series is designed to suit the whole family, in addition to our regular programs we also have two live festivals for kids, the first on March 4th celebrating Purim and the second on March 25th celebrating Passover.

Daveed Korup and Miss Spice will entertain kids of all ages with their concerts!

One of the most important things when planning this series was to include our very own Living History characters. Over the past few years we have developed several characters, we are very pleased to feature two of our characters as part of this series, Henrietta Szold performed by Natalie Pilcher on March 18th and Ida Rehr performed by Katherine Lyons on February 25th.

The stories of Henrietta and Ida are truly brought to life by these talented actresses!

The series has also been a lovely opportunity to work again with some wonderful partners plus build some new relationships. We are very pleased to welcome back the Global Theatre Project for a performance of Stories From the Fringe on Wednesday, March 21st. On Thursday, March 15th I am really excited about the program we will be presenting in partnership with Fells Point Corner Theater, a special preview of the theaters upcoming show Gertrude Stein and a Companion. 

The series started this Sunday with a dedication to Yiddish music with Hazzan Sara Geller of B’nai Shalom Olney, part performance, part talk and part sing-along!

There really will be something for everyone!

The series runs from February 11th until March 25th and features fourteen different performances. In my absence Lindsey Davis will be managing these programs – you can reach her at ldavis@jewishmuseummd.org but she’ll also have proxy to my e-mails.

If you can’t join us this Sunday please take a few minutes to review the full program of events here. If you see a program (or several) that appeals, reserve your tickets today – the most popular programs are selling fast!

Now is also the perfect time to become a JMM member– with all these programs you’re sure to be a repeat visitor this winter. Museum Membership includes FREE admission to the Museum every day we’re open, and to all our public programs! (Plus members get a 10% discount at Esther’s Place, the JMM gift shop.)

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Our Miniature Chanukah Celebration – Part 2

Posted on December 22nd, 2016 by

Following up on last week’s post, here’s a closer look at a few more of the Chanukah programs featured in our mini exhibit in the Lloyd Street Synagogue…

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

First, a nice little souvenir program for a “Grand Chanuka Concert given by Rev. S. Schenberg with a double choir, assisted by the talented violinist, Mr. Charles Weissmann. Given on Sunday December 5th, 1915, 5:30 pm under the auspices of Aitz Chaim Congregation, the Eden Street Synagogue. Dr. Romanoff, Rabbi of the Congregation.”  This is an eight page booklet, with a tasseled cord around the binding. Inside can be found the evening’s musical selections, in both English and [Yiddish], and the event committee is listed on the back cover. In case you’re still planning your own Chanukah concert, you can take some inspiration from the program here:

Music Selection Ida [sic] from Verdi

Brohcos – Grossman

Hanaras H’lolu – Berkowitz

Selection, Israeli – Weissman

Lecture ‘Chanuca’ – Dr. Romanoff

Mismoir Schier Chanukas – Sestofol

Solo Violin – Weissman

Ma Oshiv – Schenberg

Serenad Music – Schubert

Ahavti – Weissman

Loy Omus – Schenberg

 

Most of the booklet, however, is given over to advertisements, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, for a variety of  businesses:

>J. Castelberg’s National Jewelry Company

>Baltimore Commercial Bank

>Hendler Creamery (“The Velvet Kind”)

>R. Ember Co. – furniture

>Osias Schoenfeld’s New York Dairy Lunch

>Commercial Savings Bank [in Yiddish]

>N. Ginsburg, Dealer in Cigars & Tobacco

>Y. Samuelson – pictures and frames [in Yiddish]

>F. Hurwitz Kosher Delicatessen

>Barney’s Café

>The Capitol Tailoring Co.

>Frank Merin, Contractor and Builder

>Hochschild, Kohn & Co.

>I. Greenhood Ladies’ Tailor

>E. Tamres, Dealer in Leather, Shoe Findings and Shoemakers Supplies

>Old Town National Bank

>Jack Lewis with Robert Kinnier, Hiring and Boarding Stables

>Jack Lewis, Undertaker and Embalmer [in Yiddish]

>Goldenberg Brothers ‘Greater Stores’

>Rev. Samuel Schenberg, Cantor of ‘Etz Chaim,’ First Class Practical Mohel; also does weddings [in English and Yiddish]

>The Reliable Plumbing Co.

>Stewart & Co.

>National Marine Bank

>The Eden Street Synagogue (“Aitz Chaim”)

>B. Mankowitz, Dealer in Delicatessen, Scotch Herring, Sardines

>Schaeffers Orpheum Theater [in Yiddish]

>Bernstein, Cohen & Co., Bankers

>A. Sindler, Furniture and Carpets

>Rev. N. Glazer, Hebrew School (“Special attention given to Bar Mitzvah children with the nicest English and Yiddish speeches”) [in Yiddish]

>Kosher Mikveh for all Jewish Women, with the approval of Baltimore Rabbis [in Yiddish]

>London Fur Mfg. Co.

>Saiontz Fur Co.

>Hackerman’s The Lucky Corner – Hatter and Gent.’s Furnisher

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-5

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-6

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-7

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

1993026044-8

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

…Another inside-peek-worthy item in the exhibit is the script for What Happened on Chanuka, by Rabbi G. Lipkind, published by Bloch Pub. Co. in 1924.  According to a note inside the cover, the play was “Presented twice with great success by the Intermediate Adath Boys on Sun. Dec. 13, 1933 (& Dance) & on Tuesday Dec. 19, 1933. Coached by Saul Taragin (15 rehearsals)”.  Taragin (1917-1997), son of a rabbi, emigrated to the US in 1929; he worked as a teacher and, in 1992, helped found Baltimore’s Yeshivat Rambam Day School.  The “Adath Boys” may have been affiliated with Adath B’nei Israel, a young adult congregation founded around 1920, though it could also refer to Adath Israel (now Beth Isaac Adath Israel), founded in 1914.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

What I’d expected to be a light-hearted story about a family celebration is actually a rather deep examination of assimilation, adoption, intermarriage, and personal religious identity.  (Though I confess I have not read the entire script yet.)  There are a few annotations throughout, with some word changes here and there.  This page spread touches on a few of the play’s themes, as well as the central event of the Gerson family’s Chanukah celebration:

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

The cast list, delightfully, includes the actors’ names in pencil. I’ve not matched all of them up to their histories (and I’m not sure who played young Benno), but the players included Zelda Zafren (later Rivkin), born 1918; Pauline Kurland (later Kramer), born 1918; Beatrice Shoenig (later Krohn) born 1917; and Yetta Townsend, born 1918, who played the role originally written as Louis – it looks as if, for the purposes of Taragin’s production, it was changed to “Rebecca”.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Fifteen rehearsals is a lot of work for a bunch of teenagers, especially when their leader is himself only 16. I’m glad that Taragin’s “great success” can be remembered today, thanks to the annotated script.

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic [link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Polytechnic_Institute] in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10*

*Saul is standing with his older brother Azreal. The photo is indeed of graduation from Polytechnic Institute, the two brothers graduated together – they then attended Hopkins together as well.. Thank you to Faith Shabat and Sonny Taragin for this additional information!

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

Posted in jewish museum of maryland