Talmud to Tik: Iraqi Jewish Heritage Day

Posted on November 17th, 2017 by

JMM Insights: November 2017

On October 15th the Jewish Museum of Maryland opened our latest exhibit Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage. We have held six public programs in connection with the exhibit in its first month, averaging an audience of 75+ for each event. However our biggest program is yet to come. I have asked Trillion to outline the festivities we have planned for the first Sunday in December. 



Talmud to Tik: Iraqi Jewish Heritage Day is a full day celebration of the rich culture developed by the Jewish community in Iraq and preserved by their descendants across the globe.  I believe our guests will find something suitable for all ages and all tastes and that we will enable greater Baltimore to make a personal connection with that culture.

What can you expect on the day? Here are some of the highlights.

Rabbi Haim Ovadia will be joining us from Washington, DC to perform two concerts that will explore the origins and diversity of Jewish Iraqi music. The morning concert at 11am will be especially designed for kids and families, while the afternoon concert at 2 pm is for everyone.

Feel like dancing?  Enjoy and learn some of the traditional dances of the Iraqi Jewish community with the Silk Road Dance Company. This troop of dancers will actually put on three different performances on the 3rd, starting at 12:30, 1:30 and 3:30 pm.

If there is music and dance, can food be far behind?  Get a real taste of Iraqi Jewish culture, literally. Jackie Feldman of Sephardic Jews in DC, will lead a workshop making Baharat, a spice mixture eaten across the Middle East which is a critical building block for most Iraqi Jewish recipes. This tasty mixture can be taken home and combined into a variety of delicious recipes.

And one more treat for our youngest visitors.  We will also be joined by Violet Battat, representing SHIN DC who will be offering a special Jewish Iraqi story times. Violet will share with us stories passed down through her family, combined with singing and an exploration of Iraq. These sessions are specially designed for children aged 3 to 7 though the young at heart are also welcome.

If that isn’t enough we will also have several arts and crafts opportunities. Activities include making evil eye bracelets, decorating your own tik (the container traditionally used to hold an Iraqi Torah) and even making some delicious date balls to take home, or eat immediately, if you are feeling peckish!

The day is certain to be fun filled, we couldn’t have managed such an extravaganza were it not for the support of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Fund for the Enrichment of Jewish Education of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

For more details or to buy your tickets please check our event page here. 

Hope to see you there.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Museum School Partnerships!

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by

Performance Counts: November 2017

A blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.

A museum educator facilitates Hanukkah activities with students at one of our partner schools.

One of the JMM’s education department signature achievements has been its successful museum-school partnership program launched twelve years ago. The JMM piloted the program and worked with four partner Baltimore City schools with great success. The hope of the initiative was to move beyond a one-time annual field trip and one-time classroom activity. The Museum would provide 4-8 programs over the course of the year, in an effort to work more holistically with the school community so that different grades would have access to a variety of our education programs that meet curricular standards.

In each partnership, the JMM’s education staff meets with school teachers and administrators during the first weeks of school to discuss upcoming JMM exhibitions and plan educational programming for the year. The education program is individualized for each school based on the needs of the school. Our education staff strives to create resources and education programs that support the State’s focus on the College and Career Ready Standards in Social Studies and Language Arts along with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) goals for student achievement. Independent evaluations, anecdotal and participant-observer reports, direct testing of knowledge, all support the value and productivity of these engagements between the Museum, the school, and the students.

Some of the educational programs that we provide to our partner schools include:

>Dramatic Living History Presentations on the subject of immigration history, American history, Jewish history and culture.

>Student Storytelling Program featuring facilitated storytelling on key themes.

>Resource and Discovery Kits with historical facsimiles and hands-on materials.

>Archival explorations using primary source materials from the JMM collections.

>JMM’s Voice of Lombard Street exhibition on East Baltimore history.

>Hanukkah Activities

>Preschool Immigrant’s Trunk

>Resource sheets relating to changing JMM exhibitions

>Age appropriate guided tours to our historic synagogues

>Joint Field Trip Opportunities with Partner Institutions

>Neighborhood walking tours

During the 2016-2017 academic school year, we provided educational opportunities to more than 1100 students and teachers in our five museum partner schools. These schools include Patterson Park Public Charter School, City Springs Elementary/Middle School, John Ruhrah Elementary /Middle School, Morrell Park Elementary/Middle School and Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, we are working with the same schools except for Windsor Hills. The principal of Windsor Hills has switched to a new school this year- – and he requested if the JMM could continue the partnership with his new school, Francis Scott Key Elementary/ Middle School. We have also had successful meetings with the Liberty Elementary School and the Baltimore International Academy and we hope to include them as partner schools for the next year.

City Springs students tour Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

So far this year, the education department has served over 450 students and teachers in our partner schools. These education programs took place at the museum but also offsite in the classroom.  This year, Baltimore City Public schools is encouraging middle schoolers to participate in National History Day competitions throughout the city that take place in early 2018. In preparation for the projects, students have to research, analyze documents and primary sources, and use critical thinking skills to reflect their knowledge on the topic that is being researched. For many students, this is the first time they have ever done a research paper.

A popular program for our middle schools has been our Lives Lost: Lives Found: Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1939-1945 archival exploration. Students interpret primary sources by studying immigration history of German Jewish refugees that represented a new wave of Jewish immigration in Baltimore during WWII. Students are encouraged to think about the universal conditions of refugees by making connections between US immigration policies in the 1930s and current events. The program was designed to give teachers more resources in Holocaust education.

We have developed new education programs this year that we are piloting with our partner schools.  The Baltimore Book, is a curriculum for 3rd grades designed to teach key civic education concepts and moments from Baltimore history in age appropriate terms and illustrations.  The hope of the book is to get students to begin thinking about Baltimore’s rich history; and that this new knowledge will empower students to take ownership of their city and begin to make it better for themselves, their families, and their community.  Over 150 third graders from John Ruhrah Elementary and Liberty Elementary visited the Lloyd Street Synagogue, Maryland’s first synagogue,  and the Star Spangled Banner Flag House to learn about the rich history of Baltimore and their community.

We recently received funding from the Wells Fargo Excellence Grant to pilot a new education initiative with 8th graders from Morrell Park Elementary/Middle School. Our proposed pilot project, Morrell Park: PROJECTED is a collaborative effort between the JMM and Morrell Park that is intended to provide students with opportunities to learn about sharing their family histories in meaningful ways. With the assistance of J. Scott Fuqua, an award winning young adult author, and Johns Hopkins University film students, our year-long project will teach participating 8th grade students how to interview family members and then develop and share their personal stories with a broader community.

Author J. Scott Fuqua speaks with Morrell Park students.

Students will take part in activities that will help them understand that everyone has a story that can be valued and appreciated. By interviewing family and community members, the students will gain insight into their personal family stories. Classroom study will be enriched as the students learn valuable techniques for conducting oral history interviews and film making. They will learn to tell their own stories and create short film clips using their smartphones. The hope is that at the conclusion of the project, students will gain a better sense of their place within their family and community and feel more rooted in their daily lives.

Two final films will be developed as a conclusion to the pilot program.   One film with showcase the short stories and interviews that the students edited on their smart phones.  A second film will be the actual documentation of working with the students throughout the year in the classroom and in the Morrell Park community.  The films will be screened as a way of celebrating the diversity, culture and roots of the Morrell Park community.  Join us for the premiere screening of MORRELL PARK: PROJECTED  that will  take place on Thursday evening, March 22nd at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  Mark your calendars so that you reserve a seat to meet these 8th grade students and celebrate their family stories and the community of Morrell Park.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Esther’s Place Goes to Strathmore!

Posted on November 3rd, 2017 by

Museum Matters: November 2017

Just a few of the fantastic items we'll have on sale!

Just a few of the fantastic items we’ll have on sale!

For every visit to any museum, the Museum Gift Shop is a quintessential stop, and for good reason–museum stores have a disproportionate share of surprise and pizazz per square foot compared to other retail establishments.  In fact, a well-appointed museum store becomes a part of the learning experience that is a museum visit.

As we did last November, Esther’s Place: The Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland will be taking part in the Strathmore Mansion’s Museum Shop Holiday Market. This 4-day market features the wares of 18 area museum shops. It’s a savvy holiday shopper’s great-gift HQ!

Come see us!

Come see us!

From Thursday Nov 9 through Sun Nov 12, Esther’s Place will have a second location in an upstairs room in the Strathmore Mansion. We will be featuring some great finds for everyone on your list, including some of my favorite items in the shop right now:

>“beanie baby” style stuffies with uniquely Jewish names, like Mooses the moose and Gefilte the fish

>architectural Judaica rendered in chrome and steel

>“fidget-spinner” dreidels

>colorful soup bowls labeled “Jewish Penicillin”

>amazing jewelry from Israeli and American Jewish designers. We have selections from simple and elegant to wow!

Believe me, it will be worth the drive to North Bethesda. I hope to see you there!

–Tracie Guy-Decker
Associate Director

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at tattwood@jewishmuseummd.org / 443-873-5177 with any questions or for more information.


Sunday at 12pm!

Sunday at 12pm!

Being Jewish in Baghdad
Sunday, November 5th at 12:00pm
Speaker: Maurice Shamash
Get TIckets Now!
JMM Member – Reserve Your Seat

Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, Maurice Shamash has fond memories of growing up in Iraq—until everything changed. Join us as we hear Mr. Shamash’s fascinating story that took him from Iraq to America, via Israel and Britain. This powerful personal testimony will offer unique insight into a once thriving Jewish community that is now virtually extinct.

Free community event

Free community event

Childhood Memories of the Holocaust: A Cantanta
Community Kristallnacht Commemoration
Sunday, November 5 at 2pm
Beth El Congregation, 8101 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, 21208

Co-sponsors: Baltimore Jewish Council; Beth El Congregation; Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, Inc.; Toby’s, Columbia

Baltimore's Storyteller

Baltimore’s Storyteller

Glimpses of Gil Sandler
Thursday, November 9th at 6:30 pm
Free – Let us know you’re coming!

A tribute to Baltimore’s preeminent storyteller for his role in supporting the work of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and preserving Baltimore’s Jewish heritage. Following the presentation please join us for a light reception, dietary laws observed, plus a book signing with Gil Sandler.

Immigrants from Iraq leaving Lod airport on their way to ma'abara, 1951. Via.

Immigrants from Iraq leaving Lod airport on their way to ma’abara, 1951. Via.

Sacred Legacy: The Amazing Rescue of Iraq’s Jews
Sunday, November 12th at 1:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Neil Rubin
Get Tickets Now!
JMM Members – Reserve Your Seat

Join Dr. Neil Rubin as we explore Operation Ezra and Nechemiah. In that stunning 1951-1952 rescue operation, the State of Israel spirited more than 130,000 endangered Iraqi Jews out of their native land to the Jewish state.


Dancing, music, crafts, and food!

Dancing, music, crafts, and food!

Talmud to Tik: Iraqi Jewish Heritage Day
Sunday, December 3, All Day
Featuring: Silk Road Dance Company and Sephardic Heritage D.C.
Included with Museum Admission – Get Your Tickets Now!
JMM Members – Let us know you’re coming!

Experience a multi-sensory exploration of a fascinating culture with a long and often unknown history. Talmud to Tik: Iraqi Jewish Heritage Day promises to engage and delight the whole family.  Celebrate Iraqi Jewish Heritage through fun activities, hands-on crafts, dancing, music, and, of course, food.

This story and more!

This story and more!

Downtown Dollar Day
A Very Sephardic Hanukkah
Sunday, December 10, All Day
Admission just $1 – Get your discount tickets now!
JMM Members – let us know you’re coming!

Perfect for families, this special day will feature kids’ activties throughout the day, including multiple story times and storytellers who will share Sephardic Hanukkah stories. More details coming soon!
>>View the full JMM calendar of events here.<<

Also of Interest
The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit bnaiisraelcongregation.org.  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on Facebook.

The following two programs are presented by the Creative Alliance in partnership with B’Nai Israel Congregation and the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

Andy Statman

Andy Statman

The Andy Statman Trio
Wednesday, November 8 at 7:30pm
27 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
More Info and Tickets

Beloved as a Klezmer and bluegrass musician, Andy is a virtuosic clarinetist and mandolin player who leads an ace trio.

Judith Berkson

Judith Berkson

Judith Berkson with Frank London and Michael Winograd
Saturday, December 2 at 8:00pm
27 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
More Info and Tickets

Along with trumpeter Frank London and clarinetist Michael Winograd, Berkson’s inventive take on cantorial music is haunting and mesmerizing.

Free program

Free program

My Life as a Nazi-Hunter: Successes, Failures and Insights
Wednesday, December 6th at 7:30pm
Speaker: Dr. Efraim Zuroff
Location: Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School’s Mintzes Theatre
3300 Old Court Road, Pikesville, MD
FREE – Reserve a seat by contacting Mercaz at 410-413-2321 or mercaz@btfiloh.org

For nearly 40 years, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Israel Office and Eastern European Affairs, has hunted down Nazis and brought them to justice, unveiling the truth of the Holocaust’s horrors and keeping its victims’ memories alive.

Esther’s Place

Host gifts and more!

Host gifts and more!

Whether or not you can visit us at the Strathmore Museum Shop Holiday Market, please come see us as you make your holiday gift lists! We have merchandise from the whimsical to the sublime. You’re sure to find something for everyone on your list.

Ongoing at the JMM


Exhibits on display include Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage, Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks.

Hours and Tour Times

Combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel are offered: Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times


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Learn More about membership.
Already ready? Join Here.

Get Involved

The JMM is always looking for volunteers! Click Here to learn more.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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