JMM Insights: Greetings Graham!

Posted on December 18th, 2015 by

Regular readers of this newsletter may recall that our former visitor services manager Abby Krolik wrote a quarterly “Dear Abby” column to answer questions about JMM operations that we just knew were on your mind.  Our current manager, Graham Humphrey, is reviving this tradition and so we bring you “Greetings Graham.”
Greetings Graham,
I was planning on coming to see the Paul Simon exhibit – because I have a thing about Paul Simon.  Problem is that I’m coming from a galaxy far-far-away and don’t want to discover that all the tickets have gone over to the dark side.  Is there a way to buy tickets in advance?  May the force be with you.


Yes, there is! We have started an online ticketing program for the Paul Simon exhibit. You are not required to buy tickets in advance, but we have set up a system for the convenience of our visitors. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, you can visit this link ( and choose which day and time you would like to visit. After you pay securely on our website, please either print out your confirmation or have it readily available on your phone when you visit the Museum. Don’t worry if you cannot come during the timeslot you picked; you can use the ticket anytime you please.

Greetings Graham,

I just got back home from a great trip to the chocolate factory and saw on TV your Director, Marvin Pinkert, talk about the Paul Simon exhibit.  How can I arrange for my friends to come visit?

Mike Teavee

We would love to have you and your friends visit our Paul Simon exhibit! Please either call me at 410-732-6400 ext. 235 or send an email to In your message, please include what dates/times works for your group, how many people you expect to attend and any special needs you may have. Don’t postpone calling or writing as dates are filling up quickly. Also remember that the exhibit closes on January 18th!

Greetings Graham,

I came to the Museum a few Sundays ago at 2pm, but found out the program began at 1pm. I thought you always have programs at the same time on Sundays?

Frustrated Anne

NO! We sometimes change program times to take into consideration big city wide events, such as Ravens games. It is thus very important you read the event information carefully to ensure you don’t miss a fabulous program.

Greetings Graham,

My grandchildren are visiting and love to create music by banging their hands on my table and stomping their feet to create some beats. I don’t think my table can survive another week. Oy vey! Do you have any suggestions of a program that they could attend at the Museum?

My antique table can’t handle it

Yes! Christmas Day is Mitzvah Day at the Jewish Museum and we will be having a host of programs including a children’s activity in the morning where your grandchildren can make musical gifts for other children spending the holidays in the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital. For our adult visitors, our Executive Director, Marvin Pinkert, will be talking about the influence of people of Jewish heritage on the American Folk Revival at 1 pm. Please clink on this link ( for more information. Remember too that the Museum will be open from 10 am-3 pm on Christmas Day and on New Years Eve.

Greetings Graham,

I overheard that you will be doing a chicken soup exhibit. I have won multiple awards for my Matzah ball soup. Would you like my recipe?


Starting on March 13th, we will be opening our next original exhibit, “Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America.” ( While the exhibit will be focused more on the interplay between culture, religion and the practice of medicine, we will be doing a cook off sometime next year where you can share your Matzah ball soup recipe with the community. Please watch out for more details.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Performance Counts: Looking Ahead

Posted on December 11th, 2015 by

Today’s Performance Counts looks ahead.  JMM plans its exhibits (both rented and JMM originals) on a two to three year rolling schedule.  So while you are enjoying Paul Simon: Words and Music this month we have already locked in our offerings well after 2016’s Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America. With just one traveling exhibit gallery we try to represent a range of important topics in the Jewish experience – from popular culture to communal tragedies.  I have asked Deborah to offer a preview of an important upcoming project.



In the spring of 2017 we are designing a project that is composed of multiple elements and multiple perspectives.  Remembering Auschwitz is comprised of two exhibits, a commemorative art installation and a program series.  Our object is to take an international story, well known in its outline, and to bring new focus to the details – by looking at the lives of individuals before, during and after the Holocaust.  The project is expected to run from March 5-May 29, 2017, overlapping with the annual Yom HaShoah and 75 years after the camp at Auschwitz became the launching ground for Hitler’s “Final Solution”.

The Feldman gallery will feature two very different exhibits looking at two periods of time A Town Known As Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community comes from the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. It explores the history of the Polish and Jewish community that eventually became the site of the notorious camp.  The town of Oświęcim—today in Poland—has been known by different names, in different languages, at different times. Though it has a long and varied history prior to World War II, Jews and non-Jews lived side by side in Oświęcim and called it home. This exhibit examines the rich history of Oświęcim, Poland—the town the Germans called Auschwitz—through photographs that trace the life of the town and its Jewish residents, from the 16th century through the post-war period.

A Town Known as Auschwitz - History

A Town Known as Auschwitz – History

A second exhibit, The Auschwitz Album: The Story of a Transport from Yad Vashem interprets the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Auschwitz Album includes photos that were taken in late May or early June 1944, either by Ernst Hoffman or Bernhard Walter, two SS men assigned to fingerprint and take ID photos of the inmates. The photos portray the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia, many of whom came from the Berehov Ghetto, which itself was a collecting point for Jews from several other small towns. The beginning of summer 1944 marked the apex of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. For this purpose, a special rail line was extended from the railway station outside Auschwitz to a ramp inside the camp. Many of the photos in the album were taken on this ramp. Upon arriving in the camp, the Jews underwent a selection process, carried out by SS doctors and wardens. Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused, and assigned to barracks. The others were sent to the gas chambers.

From The Auschwitz Album

From The Auschwitz Album

These two exhibits will be displayed side by side and will provide visitors with the opportunity to consider the full history of the town and camp. We are planning on supplementing the exhibit with an art installation, Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt, that will serve as a tribute to Maryland’s community of Holocaust survivors and their families. The JMM will work with California-based artist, Lori Shocket, to facilitate an interactive workshop for survivors and their families. During the workshops, participants bring family photographs and documents as well as stories to share with one another. Each survivor’s story is told through a collage printed on birch wood that integrates photos of personal artifacts along with stories. Collages will then be assembled into an art installation in the JMM lobby. Check out the website to learn more about this project and to see samples of the installation from The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Selections from Memory Reconstructed

Selections from Memory Reconstruction

The exhibitions also present us with an abundance of programming opportunities for both school and general audiences. For many years, the JMM has partnered with the Baltimore Jewish Council to facilitate Holocaust-related educational programs for students and teachers and we plan on developing many new educational resources that will help us expand these efforts. We anticipate holding many related public programs including survivor talks, lectures, films and authors talks.

Planning for the exhibitions and programs involves many members of our team.  Although these are “rental” exhibits, we still need to develop a design for space, plan for the preparation of the gallery and the handling of artifacts, and work with the project artist on connecting to Baltimore resources.  And of course, the most critical part of our planning is raising the funds to support all the activities above and more.  Yad Vashem has generously donated the rental of its exhibit thanks to a referral from JMM Board member, Dr. Sheldon Bearman.  Still we estimate that the total cost of mounting the exhibits and supporting the programs will be about $50,000. We are working with the Board Development committee to identify community members with a strong interest in supporting this important project.

We know that many of you reading this newsletter appreciate JMM’s commitment to serving as a premiere Holocaust educational venue.  If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities for this project (or any of our upcoming exhibits), please contact me at (410) 732-6400 x236 /

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

December 2015 Museum Matters: Bring the Kids!

Posted on December 4th, 2015 by

It’s that time of year when many of us are looking for family-friendly experiences that engage our kids and grandkids.  So many choices in theaters and museums in December center on holiday traditions that are not our own.  We recognized the need and created our “Sound Deal – Triple Play” pass as a low cost way to take advantage of our upcoming music-themed family days.  With this pass a family of up to two adults and three children can attend any three of the following events:

Our new family program Punch Card!

Our new family program Punch Card!

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights – family Chanukah celebration on Dec. 6

Mitzvah Day – musical instrument making for Sinai Hospital on Dec. 25

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Woodwinds on Jan. 17

Peabody at the JMM – concert for children on Feb. 21

Just one of these events at full admission could be as much as $32! – with “Sound Deal – Triple Play” it is only $30 for any three of the four events remaining in the series.

Because we think this is a great last minute Chanukah gift.  If you buy a pass THIS SUNDAY, we will comp the ticket to Sunday’s program – offering all four programs in the series for the same low price. (I think that turns the “triple” into a “home run”).

Watch for us on WJZ this Sunday morning and then come and enjoy.

In other news in just a few weeks, we bid a final farewell to our gift shop extraordinaire, Esther Weiner, who in her 20+ years at the JMM has become a true Museum icon and friend to so many of you. Please be sure to stop by and visit her before she leaves and join us for a farewell celebration on December 14 (see details below).

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at / 410-732-6400 x215 with any questions or for more information.

A Family Chanukah Celebration with Joanie Leeds –

Sunday, December 6, 2:00pm

Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights

Admission $1 (Downtown Dollar Day) Included with Museum Admission or Part of Sound Deal – Triple Play

We are pleased to welcome back Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights for another Chanukah concert. Prior to the concert there will be Chanukah themed arts and crafts.


Jewish New Yorkers and the Origins of the Folk Music Revival, 1948 – 1958

Sunday, December 13, 1:00pm

Speaker: Stephen Petrus, Museum of the City of New York

Included with Museum Admission

Business and consumer trends in New York reshaped the folk music industry from the late 1940s to the late 1950s, transforming the genre from an art form largely associated with leftist politics to a popular craze with mass appeal nationwide. This lecture explores the key players and how despite their differences they shared an intense allegiance.


Tribute to Esther
Monday, December 14, 6:30pm

JMM Members only

We would like to invite our Board, members and volunteers to help us celebrate the retirement of Esther Weiner, longtime member of the JMM team.  Come join us as we share stories and photos stretching across nearly all of the Museum’s history.

Refreshments will be served, we request that you rsvp via


Mitzvah Day

Friday, December 25, 10:00am-12:00pm

Included with Museum Admission or Part of Sound Deal – Triple Play

Help us give back to the community with activities suitable for all ages, including making musical instruments.


Celebrating Jewish Folk (a “carol-free” zone for Dec 25)

Friday, December 25, 1:00pm

Speaker: Marvin Pinkert, Executive Director, Jewish Museum of Maryland

Reached your “jingle bell” limit? Marvin makes his own kind of music, sharing the story behind “The American Tune” pop-up exhibit and discoveries he made researching the connection between folk music and artists/entrepreneurs of Jewish heritage.



Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the JMM

Sunday, January 17

10:00am for children aged 5 to 7

11:00am for children aged 8 to 10

Included with Museum Admission or Part of Sound Deal – Triple Play

We welcome musicians Michael Lisicky and Sandra Gerster Lisicky from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to help us explore the world of woodwinds.

Registration is required.


SONiA diappear fear at the JMM

Sunday, January 17, 4:00pm

Included with Museum Admission

The JMM is pleased to welcome SONiA disappear fear to perform in Lloyd Street Synagogue on the final weekend of our current exhibit Paul Simon: Words and Music developed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Reservations are required.  To reserve email


Playing for Life: Art Under Tyranny

Sunday, January 31st at 1:00 pm

Speaker: Gail Prensky, Executive Producer, The Jüdische Kulturbund Project

Included with Museum admission

The Jewish Kulturbund was a cultural association of Jewish musicians and performing artists who survived Nazi Germany. This multimedia presentation features stories based on filmed interviews with members of this unique group plus other contemporary artists living around the world.  We will explore the story of their heroic stands for artistic freedom and response to unjust control and repression.



 Peabody at the JMM

Sunday, February 21

10:00 am for ages 5 and under

11:00am for ages 8 and under

Dr. Eric Rasmussen, Peabody Institute

Included with Museum Admission or Part of Sound Deal – Triple Play


Join us for this musical exploration, featuring songs by Peabody Institute Chair of Early Childhood Dr. Eric Rasmussen.

Registration is required.


More Programs

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.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland December Meeting

Sunday, December 27, 1:30pm, Hadassah meeting room (3723 Old Court Road, Dumbarton Offices Entrance)

Research Your Polish Roots: JRI-Poland and More

Speaker: Mark Halpern, member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Jewish Records Indexing – Poland

The program is free for paid members and $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be available. Go to for more information.



Exhibits currently on display include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks! Paul Simon: Words and Music (on display through January 18, 2016).


Hours and Tour Times

The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm.

Please note that the JMM will be closed on Friday, January 1, 2016 (but we are open on December 25 – see details in our program listing.)

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.  We offer tours focused on the Lloyd Street Synagogue (our current specialty tour is Sounds of the Synagogue), Sunday through Thursday at 3:00pm and on Sunday at 4:00pm.


Get Involved

The JMM is looking for volunteers to help staff our front desk, work in the gift shop, and lead tours as docents. No prior knowledge or training is required. All that is needed is an interest in learning about the JMM, our historic sites, exhibits, and programs and a desire to share this knowledge with the public. All volunteers are provided with thorough training. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen at 410.732.6400 x217 or



Revamped and revitalized, membership at the JMM is now better than ever – with new categories, benefits, and discounts to enrich every visit to the Museum for you and your friends and families.

All members receive our monthly e-newsletter, along with a 10% discount at the Museum store, free general admission to the Museum, free admission to all regular programs, attendance at exclusive member opening events and discounted weekday parking at the City-owned garage at 1001 E. Fayette Street.

Your membership provides much needed funding for the many programs that we offer and we hope we can count on you for your continued support. Memberships can be purchased online! For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or


JMM Museum Shop

It’s not too late to pick up last minute Hanukkah gifts from our amazing Museum Shop offerings!  Menorahs to suit everyone, whether it’s a hand-worked gorgeous glass menorah depicting the Wall in Jerusalem by Tamara Baskin,  or a funky flower decorated mini-bus, or even our-ever popular hilarious high-heeled shoe menorah, classic brass menorahs, yes, the JMM Museum Shop has it all. The Hanukkah candles, beautiful in their own right, made in Israel, in an array of gorgeous colors to make your Hanukkah lights bright.  Did I mention our dreidle collection?  We are known for the amazing variety of dreidles we offer for the “dreidle collector”, at prices that will totally amaze you, even me!

If you do come this week, it may be your last chance to see me in the Museum Shop….what? you say?  Yes it’s time for Esther to retire from the JMM, can you believe that I have been here for 23 years?  Not all that time in the shop, that’s true…but when offered the opportunity to “manage” the museum shop, even though I had no retail experience whatsoever (except that I do like to shop), I said yes to the offer.  I had a vision to make the Museum Shop as much of an exhibit as the exhibits in our two galleries. A place where visitors that come from all over the world could walk away with a piece that would always remind them of their visit to the JMM. Visitors from Baltimore, New Jersey, New York, California, Florida, Canada, Illinois, Israel, France, England….and other places too numerous to mention, would choose to purchase something special from our Museum Shop.  What made my job easy and fun was having a customer smile as they left the shop with their purchase.

Meeting and greeting people is the best part of what I do, people like you that are reading this email. So… last chance to say hello to Esther, then say good-bye, my last day at the Jewish Museum of Maryland is December 15, 2015.

I’ll look for you, look for me.

My best wishes to everyone, have a very happy Hanukkah and a wonderful New Year!

Every purchase made in the JMM Museum Shop supports the mission and programs of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.




Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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