Posted on October 18th, 2013 by Rachel
Nearly 200 people joined us at the JMM this past weekend (Oct. 12 and 13) to celebrate the opening of Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War. The exhibit comes to us from the American Jewish Historical Society and Yeshiva University Museum and has been enhanced by the JMM to include artifacts and stories that reflect the role of Maryland Jews in the war.
The exhibit sheds light on both how the Jewish community (which numbered 150,000 in 1860) participated in the war as well as how the war impacted the community.
Here are some of the opening event highlights:
guests in gallery
At Saturday evening’s members’ preview, guests enjoyed viewing the fascinating artifacts on display especially those that told local stories. It was fun hearing the chatter in the gallery as people constantly exclaimed how surprised they were to learn about the extent of Jewish involvement in the war effort.
Guest using the stereoscope viewer
The JMM installation featured several new activity stations. Here a guest explores the section of the exhibit on Civil War era photography by testing out a stereoscope viewer.
2nd South Carolina String Band
With their authentic period costumes and instruments, music of the Second South Carolina String Band gave the lobby a Civil War-era feel.
Karen leading tour
JMM curator Karen Falk led two filled-to-capacity exhibit tours where she shared stories about individual artifacts and stories on display.
Marvin leading tour
JMM executive director Marvin Pinkert premiered our new 1861 themed tour of the Lloyd Street Synagogue for guests at Saturday’s event. This tour takes visitors back in time to the 1860s as they explore what Jewish life was like in Baltimore at this time as well as the important role that the Lloyd Street Synagogue (then Baltimore Hebrew Congregation) played in the debate on slavery. This new tour will be given daily (Sun-Thurs) at 3pm.
We are so grateful to the two students from the Baltimore School for the Arts who attended the event in period costume. It was especially fun watching Amelia navigate tight corners in her hoop dress. Thank goodness fashion trends have changed!
guests viewing objects in case
Our member’s preview was followed by a successful opening to the public on Sunday. We were delighted to see many people – both longtime friends to the JMM and first time visitors – take in the exhibit. Many people brought their children who enjoyed playing with the exhibit’s activity stations.
visitor talking to re-enactor
On Sunday, we were privileged to have two Civil War re-enactors attend in authentic soldier uniforms. Guests enjoyed having the opportunity to speak with them as they learned about their uniforms’ details and items of significance.
Jonathan Karp, former director of the American Jewish Historical Society and one of the exhibit’s project directors, provided fascinating insights on the development of the exhibit and shared some of his favorite stories with our guests.
Passages through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War is on display at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through February 28, 2014. We hope you will stop by for a visit.
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts by Deborah, click here. All photos by Will Kirk.
Posted on September 18th, 2013 by Rachel
Sukkot, which begins this evening, is one of my favorite holidays. I love this time of year when the weather changes from summer to fall. School has just begun and our weekends are beginning to fill up with soccer games, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, play dates, girls’ scout outings, and more. I love the idea of having an excuse to gather as a family (actually it’s my husband whose the driving force in this endeavor but the rest of us pitch in) to help build, decorate, and eat in our sukkah.
For more information about the holiday, check out http://www.aish.com/h/su/
In celebration of this year’s festival, I share with you some photos from the JMM collections:
1994.206.001 – This is one of our earliest Sukkot related photos taken in 1904 of the Lutsky Family eating in their sukkah.
2001.040.017 – This photo from 1959 depicts members of the Ladies of the Holiday Committee of the Baltimore Jewish Welfare Board serving wine and cake in a sukkah to Jewish troops of the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
2003.104.003 – Samuel D. Miller standing inside the sukkah behind Beth Sholom in Frederick
2006.013.004 – In this undated photo, we see a group of people enjoying a meal inside a sukkah. The table is set with fruit bowls. Sukkot celebrates the harvest holiday and it is fun coming up with creative meals that tie into the concept. For an abundance of holiday recipes, check out the blog Joy of Kosher!
2006.013.1062 – In this photo from 1974 women decorate a sukkah at the JCC. Looking for creative decorating ideas – check out these fun project ideas!
Late Night on Lloyd Street
The JMM will be celebrating Sukkot at our monthly Late Night on Lloyd Street program on September 24 from 6:00-9:00pm. For more information, check out our website. We are grateful to the Grandchildren of Harvey M. and Lyn P. Meyerhoff for their support of the program. We hope you will join us and all the best wishes for a joyful and meaningful holiday.
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts by Deborah, click here.
Posted on August 15th, 2013 by Rachel
The JMM convened our annual Summer Teachers Institute on July 29 at Chizuk Amuno Congregation. This three-day program focusing on Holocaust education was devoted to the theme, Confronting Genocide: Heroism During the Holocaust. The following are program highlights:
For our first day, we invited Wanda Urbanska of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation to speak about Jan Karski, a Polish diplomat who tried to alert world leaders about the horrors of the Holocaust. Her presentation included a review of the complex history of Poland as well as details of the dramatic exploits of Jan Karski which included smuggling himself into the Lodz Ghetto as well as a transit camp where he witnessed first-hand Nazi atrocities towards Jews.
Participants listening to Wanda Urbanski’s presentation.
Thanks to the generosity of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, each participant received a copy of Karski’s book, Story of a Secret State, published originally in 1944. An afternoon presentation by educator Jonathan Willis demonstrated how teachers can create lesson plans based on the book that integrate Common Core standards.
In the afternoon, teachers were riveted as World War II veteran Sol Goldstein shared his experiences in such seminal events as the D-Day landing, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
For many teachers, it was the first time that they had heard testimony from a liberator and his presentation complemented the morning presentation and emphasized the theme of “Heroism During the Holocaust.”
We spent our second day in Washington, DC at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition to viewing the permanent exhibit, we also were able to tour a new exhibit Some Were Neighbors: Complicity and Collaboration During the Holocaust. This powerful exhibition documents the actions of ordinary individuals – not Nazis – who participated in a wide range of terrible acts against Jews including looting Jewish businesses, purchasing stolen property at auctions, and even taking part in the shooting squads of Jews in Eastern Europe. One of the most powerful features of the exhibition are interviews with Jewish survivors who talk about how their former friends and neighbors turned on them as well as with non-Jews who describe their participation in the Holocaust as train conductors and shooting squad members.
An afternoon presentation by USHMM scholar, Dr. Ann Millin, focused on an on-line resource created as a companion to the exhibition. Dr. Millin demonstrated many valuable features of the website which includes a vast array of educational resources.
The last day of the workshop took place at the JMM. Teachers toured our historic synagogues as well as one of our exhibits, Zap! Pow! Bam! which provided context for our two morning sessions. Poly High School teacher Joshua Headly facilitated a session on teaching the graphic novel Maus in the classroom which was followed up by a presentation by Kristin Schenning, education director at the Maryland Historical Society, on the topic of propaganda.
The day concluded with survivor testimony by Edith Cord who was a hidden child during the Holocaust.
Once again we were delighted by the response and feedback we received from teachers. Comments such as “Thank you for making me think deeply about the Holocaust and how to teach it” and “I feel better equipped to tackle the daunting task of teaching the Shoah” demonstrate the extent to which our Summer Teachers Institute provides a high quality educational experience for teachers. The JMM is grateful to our program partners: The Baltimore Jewish Council, Maryland State Department of Education, and Chizuk Amuno Congregation; and we are most appreciative of the ongoing support of our generous sponsors, Judy and Jerry Macks.
This year’s group of participating educators was outstanding, true superheroes!
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts by Deborah, click here.