JMM Welcomes a DC Transplant: Meet Tracey Dorfmann!

Posted on February 15th, 2018 by

A blog post by JMM’s new Director of Development, Tracey E. Dorfmann.

I am pleased to join the JMM team. The past few weeks have been filled with excitement, hard work and fun as I have learned more about the museum and been behind the scenes while we prepare for our exciting spring and summer ‘18 line up. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming exhibits: My Family Story, 3/11-3/25; Amending America: The Bill of Rights, 4/9-5/28; and Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdiniopening on 6/24.

Already hard at work!

As transplants from the Washington, DC metro area my husband and I love our new hometown of Baltimore! We are enjoying the distinctly different neighborhoods, scenic views and great eateries. This city and JMM are the perfect fit for me!  I have always been drawn to urban living and my passions are the arts, Jewish engagement, history, and ensuring a greener more sustainable future. Fortunately, throughout my professional life my avocations and vocations have always intersected. My guiding principles are passion, ownership and excellence.

In the early 2000s, a life transition steered me to employment at the Bender JCC in Rockville, Maryland.  I was at the happy crossroads of engaging participants in Jewish culture and community life. Initially coming on board as the Coordinator of Interfaith Outreach and Inclusion I rapidly rose through the ranks growing into the positions of Director of Arts and Education, Program Director and then Chief Program Officer.  As a member of the senior team I had the opportunity to be part of a stellar organization that engages thousands of people each year in Jewish life.

Beginning in 2016 I developed a consulting practice. During that time, I produced a variety of projects for synagogues, arts agencies, and a business incubator that focuses on green/sustainable start-ups. Once again, I chose to work with organizations whose missions I believed in and felt passionate about. My deep interests for community engagement, Jewish life, the arts, and a greener future, allowed me to guide hundreds of individuals to join, contribute, sponsor, and attend events and programs at organizations and institutions that were important to them.

Becoming the Director of Development for the Jewish Museum of Maryland is the logical next step for me. I look forward to meeting you and engaging many people through philanthropy. I am so happy to become part of the fabric of Baltimore and eager to share my skills and knowledge here at JMM.

 

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Jewish Communal Service Association 2012 Annual Program

Posted on June 9th, 2012 by

By Development Coordinator Amy Smith

On Tuesday, Marvin Pinkert,Susan Press, and I attended the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America’s 2012 Annual Program at the Park Heights JCC.  I was excited that JCSA chose to hold their program in Baltimore this year.  The day provided a great opportunity for engaging professional development and to network with other Jewish communal professionals.  And it was right around the corner!

Hundreds of Baltimore Jewish communal professionals enjoy some breakfast and network before the program begins.

The program opened with a keynote speech by Dr. Charles Edelsberg of the Jim Joseph Foundation.  Rabbi Larry Ziffer gave the D’var Torah.  For the first breakout session, I attended Elissa Maier’s workshop on Managing Up.  In it, we used a tool called the Pace Palette to understand different communication styles in order to work more effectively with others.  http:///www.paceorg.com/

The Pace Palette – are you a red, yellow, green or blue?

Over a delicious Mediterranean lunch, there was a lively discussion panel on the topic of change.  In the afternoon, I attended the workshop How to Communicate with Presence led by Sarah Gershman.  Focusing on presence, message, and voice, Sarah gave useful advice about how to hone your public speaking skills in order to better reach your audience.

Here I am with Amy and Megan, two colleagues from Jewish Volunteer Connection.

The day was a positive experience in terms of professional development and one that I look forward to repeating next year.  In the end, I was reminded of why I am a Jewish communal professional in the first place – it is rewarding to be part of such a vibrant and passionate Baltimore community.

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How I Came to Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Posted on March 12th, 2012 by

By Neal Marshall, JMM Development Intern

Hi, my name is Neal Marshall and I am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University majoring in International Studies. I grew up on Long Island and went to a public high school, which was, unsurprisingly, predominantly Jewish. At school, about sixty to sixty-five percent of the students were Jewish. I thought that it was completely normal that everyone around me was Jewish, granted there were no orthodox students, just conservative and reform students. If they were orthodox, they went to private yeshivas or Hebrew day schools. I belonged/still belong to a conservative synagogue with about three hundred families in it. It is smaller than the other conservative and reform synagogues in the neighborhood but probably the most active. My parents like to say it is very Hamisha. The Rabbi and the Cantor are extremely warm and are a great source of structure and guidance. I believed while I was still in high school that I was a very active Jew. I had been in my synagogues’ Junior Choir for nine years, tutored fifth and sixth graders in how to read Hebrew, and continued my Jewish education by going to weekly classes with my friends to have a discussion with the Rabbi. I have emailed the Rabbi to just ask him questions even while I’m in Baltimore and he is always supportive and thoughtful in his responses. The Cantor is like a grandfather to me because I was in his choir from a young age. I did a much larger amount of the service for my bar mitzvah in comparison to most other kids my age and he was always poking fun at me. I had a very strong, in my opinion, cultural Jewish upbringing.

Neal Marshall and friends at Mega Event in Jerusalem while on Birthright.

When I came to Hopkins, it was a culture shock. Instead of all the students being Jewish, only ten percent of the student body is Jewish. Granted it is a very active five to six hundred students, but not everyone being Jewish was definitely a shock to the system. The executive director of the Hillel, Rabbi Debbie Pine, was one of the most warm, exciting people who welcomed me into the Hopkins community, not just the Jewish community at Hopkins. It did take some time for me to get adjusted to college life, but also the differences in the community. At Hillel, it was different than I had expected because there were students of all denominations, reform, conservative, orthodox, re-constructionist, and anything in between. I had actually felt uncomfortable and new at the Hillel for the first semester and rarely went there. It wasn’t until a friend brought me to the conservative services that I decided to go back more often. This year however, I have become much more active. I want to be that person or friend who brings other students into Hillel and shows them the way I see it today. In order to achieve this goal of mine, I decided last semester to come up with a way to bring in more students into Hillel sponsored events. I worked with another student and Rabbi Pine to create a Shabbat dinner for uninvolved students. We reached out to our friends who we knew were Jewish but didn’t go to Hillel. We ended up having about twenty-five to thirty students come to one of the common kitchens in the dormitories and sit together to have a Shabbat dinner. It was extremely successful and I having been trying to work on other events.

Hillel BBQ

Not only did I want to become more involved in Hillel at Hopkins, but I also wanted to be involved in the greater community in Baltimore. Early in January, a group of high school students from one of the local synagogues came to the Hillel to discuss Jewish life on our campus and the college process. I thought that it was a great idea to bring Jewish High Schools to talk with Jewish College students and how they approach their Judaism in college and college life. It gave me the idea to look for a way to become involved and search out Jewish organizations in Baltimore. When I was looking for an internship/job I came upon the Jewish Museum of Maryland and thought how great of an idea it would be to work in a non-profit organization as well as get experience in the business side of operations. I applied for the internship, and later that week I had an interview with Development Coordinator, Amy Smith. Two weeks later, I started working at the museum. So far, it has been an amazing experience getting to know many of the people who work here and learning a variety of skills working behind the scenes. On the first day I got a tour of the museum and tagged along with an elderly couple, the wife from Brooklyn and the husband from Great Britain. It was interesting to listen to them tell stories about their trips and compare the Jewish Museum of Maryland to other religious and historical sites. The next week I worked with Esther on inventory for the gift shop at the museum. She is such a sweet lady and fun to work with. I have also begun working with our donor databases, transferring information from the old one to the new one, which I find quite fun and informational. I look forward to continuing my work here at the Jewish Museum.

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