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Not Easy Tasks

Posted on July 31st, 2019 by

Blog post by JMM intern Megan Orbach. To read more posts from JMM interns, past and present, click here.

This week, in my second in-depth blog post, as a development intern, I would like to discuss my experiences attending two different fundraising events.

The first event took place at the museum. It was for the upcoming, Jews in Space exhibit and featured numerous speakers. I enjoyed seeing how people interacted with each other and how the event was set up and prepared for. I have been to a couple events before interning at the Museum, but I appreciated observing and helping out with the physical preparation. It showed me that a lot more goes into planning an event than I realized; inviting people, confirming attendance, planning the structure and timing of the event itself, recruiting and confirming speakers, confirming catering, setting up the tables and chairs, just to name a few, are not easy tasks. The second event I went to was at Duke Zimmerman’s (former JMM board president) house and included dinner and multiple speakers. The speakers discussed the museum’s expansion plans and let the guests ask questions.

I liked how I was able to attend two different types of events because it taught me a lot about the range of possible events a museum could host. However, even though they were different, they still had their similarities; time to network and interact, time to eat and time to listen to speakers.

In a quest to find out more about museum events I read an article titled, “7 Registration Essentials for Seamless Museum Event Planning” by Elissa K. Miller. One thing that stuck out to me in this article was Elissa’s suggestion to use custom registration forms because each museum may want different information to confirm attendance. I found this interesting, again, because it demonstrates just how much is put into planning events. Another part of the article I found interesting was a piece that encouraged readers and event planners to try to understand who their target audience or potential donors are – this is important because it can help to determine the best way to fundraise and reach out to guests for help. I feel the all-encompassing point of the article was, as stated, “A sometimes-overlooked part of museum event planning is choosing an integrated event management solution.”

Overall, after attending the two events and reading this article, I learned that it takes a lot of people, not only to plan the event but also to participate in it and to make sure it is going well while it happens.

Outside of the events that I attended, I was also fortunate enough to attend and learn from Trillion’s event planning workshop. Trillion taught all about what goes into event planning and I even got to plan my own event, along with the other interns and her guidance. We were each given a budget and an event theme, and we were tasked with coming up with an idea of how we were going to use all of the money to make the best event we could. Even though I was already shown how much goes into planning when I attended the two events, this exercise really gave me a grasp of what it is actually like.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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:///

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.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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