Working for the Interns

Posted on August 9th, 2019 by

Performance Counts: August 2019

JMM was thrilled to welcome five new interns for our 2019 summer internship program. Our ten-week program is designed to give those interested in the museum profession a chance to learn about the different departments of museum work and to work on substantial projects related to their specific area of interest. Throughout the summer they participate in a variety of activities and learning opportunities.

As tomorrow is the last day at JMM for most of our interns, we thought we’d have Development and Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman, who also serves as our summer internship coordinator, share a bit about the experience we provide for this month’s edition of Performance Counts. To read past editions of Performance Counts, click here. To read more posts from Rachel, click here.

A significant goal of JMM’s summer internship program is helping our interns considering a career as museum professionals to get the broadest possible exposure to the field as a whole. To accomplish this, we not only include interns in the JMM workings (like observing staff meetings and education programs, participating in Museum Shop inventory, and assisting with the Annual Meeting) but also arrange workshops and field trips to other sites.

Fresh faces for the summer!

Before we get into those details, refresh your memory about this summer’s intern class with their introductions here. And here’s a few more numbers for you: this year’s summer interns come to us from three states: New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. They attend four different colleges: Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and Albright College. Between the five interns there are seven majors ranging from sociology to history to family science, and six different minors, including museums and society, evolutionary studies, and near eastern studies. (This group is definitely academically motivated!)

This year we were able to offer our interns nine professional development workshops, led by JMM staff: Collections Handling and Intro to Past Perfect with Joanna Church; Museum Evaluation as well as Museum Accessibility with Paige Woodhouse; Planning Public Programs with Trillion Attwood; Supporting Trans and Gender Expansive Visitors with Talia Makowsky; Project Management with Tracie Guy-Decker; Development & Stewardship in a Museum Setting with Tracey Dorfmann; Ethics of Museum Management with Marvin Pinkert; and Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviewing with me. Some of these workshops – like collections handling and museum evaluation – are put to good use immediately. For instance, if you’ve visited our current exhibits, Fashion Statement and Stitching History, recently, you may have been met by an intern with a clipboard ready to ask you about your experience as they try out their new museum evaluation skills.

Oh the places you’ll go!

Our summer interns also participated in seven field trips to other cultural institutions, visiting: the Rare Books & Manuscripts at Walters Art Museum for a program with their curator; the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House for their Flag Day celebrations; the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, including a behind-the-scenes talk with their education department; the National Aquarium’s Animal Care and Rescue Center, a full day exploring a variety of Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC; and as part of our Summer Teachers Institute, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Visionary Arts Museum. And after each experience we have our interns write a personal thank you note to the tour guides and professionals who took time out of their days to speak with us.

From the minds of interns.

To further develop our interns’ professional skills, we ask them to write – a lot. Each intern is assigned two individual blog dates over the summer. They may choose any topics they like, as long as the post is related in some way to their internship and museums. Often their posts are inspired by the projects they are working on, like Hannah’s discovery of Ernestine Rose, the “First Jewish Feminist,” and Elana’s sense of connection to  Lilie and Aaron Straus. Megan reflected on her experience helping with two very different development events, and Mallory shared specifics of two different collections she has focused on – one about the Hutzler family (of department store fame) and the other on Har Sinai Congregation. Ariella took a holistic view, asking what it actually means to “work at a museum.”

In response…

In addition to their individual posts, interns are also asked to write a “weekly response.” The topics of these responses cover a lot of ground. Some weeks they were provided with articles about issues and trends in the museum field, like neutrality or education, and asked to synthesis a response. In other weeks they were asked to research and recommend other Museums’ offerings, like social media accounts, exhibits, and podcasts. And, of course, we asked them to reflect on and apply their learning from their internships throughout the summer, from museum evaluation after the accompanying workshop to a midterm check in on week five to today’s post on the end of their internships.

I have been impressed all summer by the thoughtfulness and work ethic of our summer interns. Getting a chance to teach and guide folks in the early stages of their career journeys is incredibly rewarding and here at JMM we want to make sure that we give as much to our interns as they give to us! I’m already getting excited thinking about next summer and a new group of interns.

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Museum Matters: August 2019

Posted on August 2nd, 2019 by

Last Six Weeks

First, the good news – in negotiations with the Jewish Museum Milwaukee we’ve been able to extend the tour of Stitching History from the Holocaust until September 15. It will now close the same day as Fashion Statement.

And now the other news – six weeks will fly by before you know it. Don’t procrastinate. As added incentive for your visit, we’ve saved some of our best related programs – including virtual tours of the Anne Frank House as well as lectures by Dr. Vanessa Ochs and Jenna Joselit for these final weeks of the exhibit (see details below).


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.


Virtual Tours

Anne Frank House Virtual Tour
>Sunday, August 4, 2019, 11am – 3pm
Get Tickets Now
>Sunday, August 11, 2019, 11am – 3pm
Get Tickets Now
Restrictions and additional charge apply.

Sold Out!

2019 Summer Teachers Institute
Monday, August 5 – Wednesday, August 7, 2019
More Info.

Dressing for God

Dressing for God: Expanding the Sacred Wardrobe
Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 1:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Vanessa Ochs
Get Tickets Now



Keeping Up Appearances: American Jews & Fashion
Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 1:00pm
Speaker: Jenna Weissman Joselit
Get Tickets Now


Beginner Crochet Workshop
Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 7:00pm
Instructors: Erin Dowd, Sari Holt, and Brittni Moore
Get Tickest Now

>>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  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Descendants Day!

Secrets of a Neighborhood
Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 9:30am
More Info Here.

Esther’s Place

Kick off a playful August at Esther’s Place with new and returning Mah Jongg merchandise including Mah Jongg dinner plates, crystal dreidels, paperweights, and more. Embrace Family Fun Month with vintage games and back-to-school supplies. And explore and experience stories honoring the Summer Teachers Institute theme Women in the Holocaust.

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JMM Insights: Stitching Things Together

Posted on July 19th, 2019 by

It’s all in the timing!  Coordinating exhibit schedules is a task in itself, and when two exhibits occupy the same gallery this can be tricky. This month’s edition of JMM Insights comes from Director of Collections and Exhibits Joanna Church who will keep the story of Fashion Statement going through mid-September (with a little timely help from our friends). Missed any previous editions of JMM Insights? You can catch up here!

The Feldman Gallery currently holds two separate, but related exhibits: Fashion Statement, created by the JMM, and Stitching History from the Holocaust, created by the Jewish Museum Milwaukee (The other JMM!). We’ve been humbled and grateful for the positive attention these two exhibits have garnered since we opened them in early April (and even before!)

JMore reported on the fact that we would be displaying Gil Sandler’s porkpie hat way back in August of 2018. We were frontpage news for the JewishTimes. JMore named the exhibit a Top Event Pick for April 2019 and went on to dive deep in the whys and hows of the two exhibits with a feature story.

WJZ came to see us twice. Once in their “Coffee With” segment in May and then again for a morning segment on June 23, the day of the Jonestown Festival. Marvin joined his counterpart from the American Visionary Art Museum for an appearance on WYPR’s Midday with Tom Hall. Midday at the Museums discussed the ways the two museums address the Holocaust through textiles in current exhibits.

Attention from the press is amazing. As important is the attention we get from our educator partners. We especially love it when the exhibit in the gallery and students’ experiences in our historic synagogues work together to create discoveries and memories. A few highlights from our teachers, include:

“I just want to thank you again for the field trip yesterday to the museum.  The students were engaged and excited about what they learned and saw.  The amount of time was just perfect.  The activities were so appropriate, and your staff was wonderful and patient.”

“The students and parents all talked about how much they enjoyed their time at the museum.  The students said that they liked learning out the old clothing, the bathing rituals, the synagogue, the Old Testament scrolls, the arc in the synagogue, and the history of the building.  It has been a week and a half, and they still remember a ton!” 

Splitting the gallery the way we did for Fashion Statement and Stitching History from the Holocaust is a great way to maximize our use of the space. It allowed us to get all of this great attention, and share even more stories with our visitors … but what happens when one of those exhibits needs to close sooner than the other?

Stitching History will be closing here on August 5th (so if you haven’t yet had the chance to see it, make your plans now!); after a brief rest, it will go on display again at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida. That leaves us with a slice of gallery to fill until September 15th, when Fashion Statement closes in its turn and we begin to prepare the gallery for Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling. As we have done often during this clothing-focused year, we’ve turned to Stevenson University and the Stitching Maryland Together project for assistance.

Stevenson’s design students were a tremendous help with our Fashion Statement interactives.

We were also delighted to be part of the Stitching Maryland Together short documentary film project, which premiered at Expedition I, the fashion design school’s gala runway show and senior showcase held May 4, 2019 at Ram’s Head Live. A few members of the JMM staff took the opportunity to attend the event, and – speaking for myself, at least – were awed by the talent and skill displayed by these students, from the fashion collections to the documentary to the logistics of pulling off an event of this scale.

We’ve offered the use of our slice-of-gallery to the fashion department at Stevenson, and while we don’t know yet quite what that will look like – we’re hoping to get some of the clothing featured during the runway show itself! – keep your eyes open for more information on our continued collaboration with these talented young men and women.


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