Reflections on Remembering Auschwitz

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by

This month’s Performance Counts comes from Deputy Director Deborah Cardin!

The exhibit is really wonderful!  As upsetting a subject as it is, you did a beautiful job of showing not just the history, but the memories and the humanity that followed.  The collages [in the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project] are amazing!  (Visitor Comment)

School of the Cathedral

School of the Cathedral

During its three-month installation, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity had a tremendous impact on our visitors, volunteers and staff. By focusing on Jewish life in Oswiecim (the town that became known as Auschwitz after German occupation in 1939), the construction of the camps on the town’s outskirts, what it means to commemorate sites like Auschwitz today and the diverse experiences of our local community of Holocaust survivors, we succeeded in shedding new light onto a familiar topic.

The Opening of Remembering Auschwitz

The Opening of Remembering Auschwitz, photo by Will Kirk.

With more than 3,400 visitors, including 800 school children and teachers, Remembering Auschwitz proved popular with visitors of diverse backgrounds. School groups from the Talmudical Academy, St. Mary Catholic School (Hagerstown), the Green Street Academy (Baltimore City) and partner schools, John Ruhrah and City Springs, among others, participated in exhibit tours and a follow up activity in which students worked together in groups to create collages based on what they saw in the exhibit. The positive feedback we received from teachers indicates that the exhibit served as a powerful educational tool.

Together We Remember

Together We Remember

Exhibit-related programs expounded on additional themes and attracted large audiences. We offered visitors opportunities to hear first-hand testimony from survivors of Auschwitz (Bluma Shapiro and Golda Kalib) as well as from scholars, artists, educators, filmmakers and even a former tour guide of the camp who reflected on how the interpretation of the Memorial at Auschwitz has evolved in the 70 years since its liberation. One particularly moving program, Together We Remember, invited audience members to recite the names of victims of worldwide atrocities – not just the Holocaust – in an effort to remind ourselves that the horrors of the Holocaust are still ongoing in other parts of the world. Surveys collected after each program reflected high visitor satisfaction with program content and format and included comments such as “This entire series [of programs] on the Holocaust was amazing – so important, especially for someone like me, a Holocaust survivor and child of survivors.”

IMPACT night at the JMM

IMPACT night at the JMM

We were delighted to host several groups during the exhibit’s run. An educator’s night, sponsored in partnership with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) and the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, attracted more than 40 teachers and administrators from local public, independent and parochial schools. More than 80 young adults gathered for an exhibit tour and reception sponsored by Impact and the BJC’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission. The event featured the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who shared their grandparents’ stories with their peers. More recently we hosted a reunion of men who have participated in the Associated’s Chairman’s Mission to Israel and a board meeting of the Jewish National Fund. Each of these groups took the opportunity to participate in exhibit tours as part of their visit.

When What's Past is Prologue

When What’s Past is Prologue

The exhibit’s success was due, in part, to the publicity we received in the Baltimore Jewish Times and JMORE. Thanks to sponsorship from Maryland Humanities we were invited to record a promotional spot as part of its Humanities Connection on WYPR. In addition staff appeared on On The Record with Sheilah Kast to discuss the exhibit which provided tremendous exposure. Programs were also highlighted in the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post which helped attract visitors beyond our usual demographic.

Holocaust Memory Reconstruvtion participants.

Holocaust Memory Reconstruvtion participants.

Remembering Auschwitz marks an important milestone in the JMM’s ongoing commitment to serving as a center for Holocaust commemoration and education. Our reputation as a leader in the field of education has been enhanced through our annual Summer Teachers Institute as well as one-day workshops offered throughout the year, in partnership with the BJC. The Memory Reconstruction Project provided us with the opportunity to develop closer relationships with our local community of Holocaust survivors and their families as well as to forge partnerships with other organizations. As we continually heard from visitors, Remembering Auschwitz offered new information and perspectives while allowing opportunities for reflection and conversation on important topics. We look forward to continuing the dialog begun with visitors through future programs and exhibits.

We are grateful to our sponsors: The Herbert Bearman Foundation, The Charles Crane Family Foundation, Richard and Rosalee C. Davison Foundation, Larry Boltansky, Maryland Humanities, Klein Sandler Family Fund, Alvin and Louise Myerberg Family Foundation, Mirowski Family Foundation, Henry and Barbara Rosenbaum and John and Gloria Segall for making the success of Remembering Auschwitz possible.

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A Fond Farewell for Our Favorite Cure for the Winter Blues

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by

Museum Matters: January 2017

All good things must come to an end and this month we’ll say goodbye to Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and American Medicine so don’t miss your last chance to experience this fantastic exhibit between now and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16th). The exhibit heads into storage for a few months and then makes its way to the Maltz Museum in Cleveland in the fall.

However, we have no time for long good-byes.  Check out our upcoming programs below that span the time between exhibits and be sure to save the date for the opening of our next project, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity on March 5th.”

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at tattwood@jewishmuseummd.org / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.

baby in river

First Years, First Rites

First Years, First Rites: Exploring Religious Traditions in the First Years of Life
Sunday, January 15th at 1:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for an inter-faith panel exploring the first year of life. There are many special traditions connected with this important time in our lives. Even though we don’t remember them, they are an essential rite of passage. Panelists will examine these essential rites of passage, comparing them across religions and faith, and discussing their historic roots.

film poster

film poster

Movie Screening – Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia 
Sunday, February 12th at 1pm 
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for the Maryland premiere of Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Following a one-hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, “craftsmen”, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as “evil-eyed” and “hyena-people.” They have been deprived of basic rights, including ownership of land.

Following the screening we will be talking with the director Irene Orleansky live from Israel via Face Time. 

RA-logo-BLUE
Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm 
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. Lori Shocket (Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) will join us to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learnt through their work exploring the Holocaust.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Esther's Place

Esther’s Place

At Esther’s Place, we are busy preparing for holidays in 2017 with fun and beautiful tree-themed merchandise for Tu B’shvat and looking ahead to Passover. In the meantime, Beyond Chicken Soup is closing on January 16. Until that time, enjoy 10% off of medically-themed merchandise.

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Performance Counts: JMM Board of Trustees FY2017

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by

 

At the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, we reflected on this past year’s successes (and there were so many good things to celebrate), gave our members a taste of some of the exciting events taking place in the year ahead and conducted one of the most important items of business of the year, the election of trustees and officers to the JMM Board of Trustees for FY 17.

Each year, our nominating committee convenes several times to discuss board recruitment and we are most grateful to the members of this committee, under the leadership of JMM past president, Ira Papel, for the many hours they put into their thoughtful deliberations.

Ira Papel takes the stage. Photo by Jim Berger.

Ira Papel takes the stage. Photo by Jim Berger.

We are delighted to announce the results of Tuesday’s board election which included the re-election of all of our officers:

Duke Zimmerman – President

Robert Keehn – Vice President

Toby Gordon – Vice President

Saralynn Glass – Vice President

Bruce Hoffberger – Treasurer

Arnold Fruman – Secretary

Trustees elected to a three-year term include:

Sheldon Bearman

Dr. Neri Cohen

Roberta Greenstein

Nancy Kutler

Suzanne Levin-Lapides

Len Weinberg

We are especially thrilled to invite five new members to our board including Dr. Neri Cohen, Nancy Kutler, Suzanne Levin-Lapides and Presidential appointees, Claire Tesh and Jeffrey Katz. Lee Rosenberg returns to our board as a presidential appointee.

A selection of our wonderful trustees! Photo by Jim Berger.

A selection of our wonderful trustees! Photo by Jim Berger.

Our elected board members bring a diversity of skills and experience to the JMM including marketing, real estate development, program development, fundraising and community relations. They also help us extend our reach into important constituencies and geographic areas such as Howard County and young families living downtown. We enthusiastically welcome our new board members and look forward to working with them, as well as all our returning board members, in the year ahead.

Of course, the Annual Meeting also presents us with the opportunity to thank and extend our deepest appreciation to those whose terms are ending. This year Robert Keehn, speaking on behalf of the Board, paid tribute to departing members, each of whom has contributed so much to our institution.

Robert Keehn sings the praises of our departing trustees. Photo by Jim Berger.

Robert Keehn sings the praises of our departing trustees. Photo by Jim Berger.

Jennie Gates Beckman – Jennie served as a member of our board for three years and provided much valuable guidance as a member of our marketing committee. We were so sorry to say goodbye to Jennie and her family who have recently moved to Nebraska.

Beth Blauer – Beth chaired our marketing committee for several years and also played an important role advocating on behalf of the JMM with our state legislators in Annapolis.

Irene Russel – As a member of the JMM board for six years, Irene has provided valuable input on our collections committee. An avid mah jongg player, Irene was a terrific resource when we hosted the mah jongg exhibit.

Aimee Adashek – Thanks to her day job at the Baltimore Office of Promotions, Aimee has been a strong advocate on behalf of the JMM in Baltimore’s arts community. We are grateful to Aimee for her two years of service.

Jay Goldscher – As chair of the JMM’s Marketing Committee, Jay took a leading role in helping the JMM raise our visibility through a variety of new initiatives. Jay also served as a Museum ambassador helping spread the word about our exhibits and programs to fellow Howard County residents.

Patti Neumann – As a board member this past year, Patti, too, provided much needed support on our marketing committee, and helped us increase our social media presence.

Barbara Katz – It is truly not possible to acknowledge all of Barbara’s many contributions to the JMM these many years. A past board president, Barbara has filled just about every important role. We were so delighted when Barbara rejoined our board in an active capacity several years ago and we have greatly benefited from her renewed engagement and support. While we take comfort in knowing that her legacy lives on with the election of her son Jeffrey to our board, there is no replacing Barbara.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to our board members, past and present, who work tirelessly on our behalf for all their work developing policies, overseeing our finances, raising much needed funds, providing counsel and promoting JMM events, exhibitions and membership within our community.

 

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