Membership Matters

Posted on April 12th, 2019 by

In this month’s edition of Performance Counts, Tracey Dorfmann, director of development, delves into why our members are so important – and how we say thank you. To read past editions of Performance Counts, click here. To read more posts by Tracey, click HERE.

Why is membership so important?

Despite reports and some national indicators in the 2000s that showed museum membership can trend downwards, at JMM we have found our membership numbers are consistent and strong year-to-year.  Membership can be a meaningful way to stay connected to our rich learning environment, to feel a sense of belonging to our community and to historic Baltimore. We have a total of 960 loyal sustaining memberships (which represents an even larger number of individuals) who are committed to our mission. Membership matters!

What does it mean to be a JMM member?

Memberships come with great benefits and opportunities: including free regular admission for a whole year, free admission to regular public programs, invitations to special events and programs, a discount at Esther’s Place (the JMM shop), and reciprocal admission to select Jewish and local history museums. But more importantly, being a JMM member means that you understand and support what we do here – not just collecting and preserving the stories of Jewish Maryland, but sharing them with the community in Baltimore, Maryland, and beyond. Being a JMM member means you make our work possible, from presenting stellar exhibits to engaging public programs to meaningful school field trip experiences, and so much more.

What are some specific initiatives for members?

JMM values our members, which is why over the past several months we implemented some membership growth and retention initiatives. Around Hanukkah, we sent our Members a special invitation to visit the Museum and pick up a unique and exclusive gift created just for them. 78 members did just that! And while they were here, they visited our galleries, historic synagogues, and enjoyed special programs and events.

We also reached out to members of our Museum family whose memberships had lapsed over the past three to five years. We invited them back, wanting to share everything that’s been going on at the Museum (including our blockbuster Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini exhibit). Nearly 40 memberships were reestablished as a result. These returning members recognized the value of our thought-provoking exhibits, exploration of culture, and the social connection that a JMM membership brings.

We also talked in our November edition of JMM Insights about some of the benefits of membership – including new levels. If you missed that, you can read it on our blog here.

How do members support JMM?

Membership dues are unrestricted dollars, meaning that they support the annual operating costs of our museum. Much of the Museum’s other funding, like gifts and grants are directed to specific projects. Members make a tangible and positive impact at sustaining our day-to-day operations. Operating costs include everything from keeping the lights on to ensuring the grounds and building remain open and pristine, enabling visitors to enjoy our programs and learn with us five days a week. We also reach out to our members occasionally about special projects and initiatives they might like to support, like our current appeal to help purchase an auditory listening assistive system, which will help make our tours and programs more accessible to everyone in our family and community.

Thank you!
We value our members and will continue to share meaningful and evocative stories about the Jewish experience in Maryland and beyond. We are grateful for our membership family, which is why we are always looking to celebrate, whether through members-only events like last night’s Connected Threads reception or small thank-you’s like our gift initiative this past winter. We look forward to continuing to grow our JMM family.

Not yet a member – or know someone who you think should join the family? Share this link and help grow the family today!


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Museum Matters: April 2019

Posted on April 5th, 2019 by


1. A piece of cloth at the end of a bolt. Usually not enough to make a complete project.

2. A surviving trace

As April turns our thoughts to Passover and Yom HaShoah, we are reminded of the fact that today’s Jewish community is indeed a remnant — the part that survived the Pharaohs, the Inquisition, the pogroms, the Holocaust, and dozens of other persecutions large and small. We are the remnant as well of the millions who lost their identity through assimilation, both forced and voluntary.

Yet the pair of exhibits that opens this weekend demonstrates that there is still enough cloth on our bolt to make a few projects. In Stitching History from the Holocaust, creativity lost is found again. In Fashion Statement, we explore the diversity of the Jewish experience in Maryland through the language of clothing. We invite you to join us as we celebrate what has survived.


Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact our Programs Manager at / 443-873-5177 with any questions or for more information.


Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 1:00pm
Speaker: Molly Dubin, Jewish Museum Milwaukee
Buy Tickets Now


Connected Threads: Members-Only Reception*

Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 7:00pm
Reserve Your Seats

Mark the openings of our newest exhibits, Stitching History from the Holocaust and Fashion Statement with an interactive wine and cheese reception. (dietary laws observed)

*Not yet a member? Join now!*

Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 1pm
Speaker: Joanna Church, Fashion Statement curator
Get Tickets Now

Together We Remember: The Future of Baltimore’s Past

Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:30pm
Free – Register Now

Maryland Premiere: After Auschwitz

Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 6:30pm
Get Tickets Now

Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 1pm
Speaker: Marsha L. Rozenblit
Get Tickets Now

>>View the full JMM calendar of events here.<<

Esther’s Place

This April at Esther’s Place, our shelves are bursting with color, creativity, and memory. Our Passover merchandise includes meaningful and whimsical Haggadot, beautiful children’s books, unique Judaica and Seder table items, adorable toys, and more. On April 7, we’ll introduce books, wearables, DIY projects, and important stories of creative talent in connection with exhibits Fashion Statement and Stitching History from the Holocaust. In particular, we are honored to offer catalogs and notecard sets from Jewish Museum Milwaukee exploring the designs of Hedy Strnad, the inspiration for Stitching History from the Holocaust.


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Postcards for Paige: The Final Edition

Posted on March 22nd, 2019 by

As our regular readers are aware, in recent years we’ve dedicated one of our monthly newsletters each quarter to tongue-in-cheek “correspondence” between our visitor services coordinator and our visitors. This started with Dear Abby (Abby Krolik) and then Greetings Graham (Graham Humphrey) and most recently Postcards for Paige (Paige Woodhouse).  Paige was recently promoted, but we persuaded her to draft one last newsletter before she left her old job behind. To read more posts from Paige, click here!

Dear Paige:

At mahjong last week my sister’s best friend was telling me that her nephew’s art was being displayed at the Jewish Museum of Maryland and they had attended a packed reception for it! What’s this My Family Story project and how do I get my grandchildren involved in the next one?

~Mahjong Mima

Dear Mima,

The My Family Story program is a fun-filled, meaningful, and multigenerational Jewish journey to the past, where students’ exploration of their Jewish family story culminates in an artistic project. In partnership with the Beit Hatfusot, the Museum of the Jewish People, the JMM has displayed these projects for the last five years! The projects are judged and those selected from each school are entered into Beit Hatfutsot’s international competition.

If you are interested in having your grandchildren involved next year, please tell your community about this great program – especially your grandkid’s Jewish Day or Congregational School. We would love to have more students from our local community get involved! You can also reach out to our Director of Learning and Visitor Experience, Ilene Dackman-Alon, to learn more about the project.

You only have until this Sunday (the 24th) to come and celebrate with us these students’ creativity, stories, and hard work! Don’t miss out! And share your family’s story in our comment book!


Hey Paige,

From fashion design majors to material culture minors, the fashion-savvy community on my college campus has been abuzz with news that the next exhibit at the JMM features clothing. Is this rumor true?

~Textile-Trendy Tabitha

Hi Trendy!

The rumors are true. But it gets better – we don’t just have one new exhibit – we have two!

Stitching History From the Holocaust (April 7th to August 4th) on loan to us from the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, brings to life the innovative dress designs of Hedy Strnad, a Czech Jew who tried and failed to use her fashion design skills to escape the Nazis. Hedy’s dress designs were sent to her cousin in Milwaukee in attempt to gain passage to the United States. While this effort failed, her memory lives on in her sketches and letters. The Jewish Museum Milwaukee worked with the Costume Shop of Milwaukee Repertory Theatre to create the dresses from Hedy’s sketches. This exhibit serves as a touchstone for discussion of the human cost of the Holocaust and the plight of refugee populations.

On display concurrently is an original exhibit created by the Jewish Museum of Maryland titled Fashion Statement (April 7th to September 15th). This exhibit explores the messages we send – both subtle and overt – about ourselves through the clothes we wear. This exhibit will encourage you to think more deeply about the messages embedded in articles of clothing.

We have a great line-up of public programs to accompany them. Lots of these programs start at 1:00pm on Sundays (giving lots of time to sleep in on your weekend).

Please keep that buzz on campus alive and share the news. I can’t wait to see you in April.



I’ve been seeing a new face at the Front Desk of the Museum recently. Who’s the new kid on the block?

~Observant Omar

You don’t miss a beat, Observant! The JMM team is delighted to have a new Visitor Services Coordinator, Talia Makowsky. The next time you come into the Museum, please give her a warm welcome and introduce yourself.

With a new face at the front, there will also be a new answerer to all your quirky Museum-related questions. Talia will be taking over Postcards for Paige as it becomes Lloyd Street Letters. I am leaving you in great hands!


PS. Don’t worry, I haven’t gone far! I have started a new role at the JMM as the School Program Coordinator. So please don’t be a stranger when you drop by this spring to see our new fabulous fashion exhibits.

Missed any previous editions of JMM Insights? You can catch up here!


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