JMM Insights: Sunrise, Sunset Edition

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by

Were you a June bride or groom?  How about July or August?  Well next June we’ll be opening an exhibit to celebrate weddings from all parts of the Jewish community and every month of the year.  And you can be a part of the celebration!

On June 18th, 2017, the JMM will open “Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland,” an original exhibition that exploring the many different ways our community has tied the knot from the 19th century through today.  We look at many of the ways that couples combine family, religion, fashion, and tradition to make their ceremony meaningful and personal?

Invitation to the marriage of Sarah Metzger and David Wiesenfeld, 1871, at the Lloyd Street Synagogue.  Gift of Joseph Wiesenfeld. JMM 1985.121.006

Invitation to the marriage of Sarah Metzger and David Wiesenfeld, 1871, at the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Gift of Joseph Wiesenfeld. JMM 1985.121.006

The JMM collections are home to a treasure trove of wedding stories.  These stories are told by artifacts, images, and documents, both secular and religious, expected and unexpected: wedding gowns, ketubahs, albums, invitations, gifts, speeches, chuppahs, souvenirs, and more that have been entrusted to us by Jewish Marylanders since the museum was founded.

Ketubah on parchment, dated Wednesday, 8 Kislev, 5590 (1832), Baltimore. Ze'ev Dov, son of Joseph, married Leah, daughter of Moses.  Gift of Samuel Himmelrich. JMM 1989.101.1

Ketubah on parchment, dated Wednesday, 8 Kislev, 5590 (1832), Baltimore. Ze’ev Dov, son of Joseph, married Leah, daughter of Moses. Gift of Samuel Himmelrich. JMM 1989.101.1

We can create a rich exhibit out of what we already hold.  Just in the first few months of research, we’ve already discovered that many of our treasures are, indeed, treasures: a handwritten invitation in German, from 1841.  Baltimore ketubahs that predate the building of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Formal photographs that show the breadth of options available to, and choices made by, Maryland couples.

Left to right:  Ida Fine and Mendel Glaser, 1894.  Gift of Robert Steinberg. JMM 1992.228.001 Sophie Frenkil and Lee L. Dopkin, 1921. Gift of Sophie and Lee L. Dopkin. JMM 1990.116.006 Miriam Caplan and Hal Rosenblatt, 1948.  Gift of Miriam Rosenblatt. JMM 1996.054.015 Sandra Dean and Ivan Fried, 1975.  Gift of Faith Dean.  JMM 2010.039.001

Left to right:
Ida Fine and Mendel Glaser, 1894. Gift of Robert Steinberg. JMM 1992.228.001
Sophie Frenkil and Lee L. Dopkin, 1921. Gift of Sophie and Lee L. Dopkin. JMM 1990.116.006
Miriam Caplan and Hal Rosenblatt, 1948. Gift of Miriam Rosenblatt. JMM 1996.054.015
Sandra Dean and Ivan Fried, 1975. Gift of Faith Dean. JMM 2010.039.001

But Joanna Church and this summer’s great team of interns aren’t stopping there.

Our collections are particularly strong when it comes to Baltimore in the decades between 1890 and 1950 – but now we’re turning to you, our members, friends and volunteers to help us flesh out the stories of a diverse Jewish community all across Maryland over the past sixty years.

If you’re interested in donating or lending your family wedding stories for display in the Feldman Gallery, let us know!  We have some fantastic wedding gowns from the 1900s-1930s but we’re looking for dresses and other textiles from the decades before and after.  We’re particularly looking for modern-day material capturing the breadth of our community, from the ultra-traditional to the newly created; we’re looking for weddings of all stripes – maybe even polka dots. For more information, or to discuss potential donations and loans, please contact Joanna Church, Collections Manager, at or 443-873-5176.

In a few weeks we’ll kick off of our official collecting initiative, in which we’ll ask people across the state to contribute an invitation and a photo from their weddings (and their parents’ weddings and their grandparents’ weddings); the results will be incorporated into a companion exhibit on our website. So start pulling out your albums and finding your favorite photos now!

This summer we’ve gone “beyond chicken soup”, next summer we’ll get beyond “Sunrise, Sunset”… who knows how far we can go?




Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Museum Matters: Annual Meeting Edition

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 by

This month we are highlighting one of the year’s biggest programs:  the JMM Annual Meeting.  Not only is this a time to recap the Museum’s progress towards our long-term vision, but our very special speaker, Dr. Jay Perman will be reviewing the Baltimore’s progress towards a vision of health care access for all.  Dr. Perman’s interview this February on the PBS News Hour inspired us to invite him to speak about an issue in which we are all stakeholders.

After the lecture we will stay open one extra hour, so that anyone who hasn’t yet seen Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America has the opportunity to visit. 


Time Off for Receiving Torah and Winning Independence 

The coming month brings two holidays on which the Museum is CLOSED

Shavuot – Sunday, June 12 and Monday, June 13

Independence Day – Monday, July 4

We will be open, however, on Sunday, July 3


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 Clue Card

A Clue Card

Book, Bell and Candle – The Final Tours

Sunday, June 5, Sunday, June 19 and Sunday, July 3,  3:00 pm

 Museum director, Marvin Pinkert leads the last three tours in our series dedicated to the manufacture and design of our “All-American Synagogue”.  As part of the experience, visitors not only have access to recent research on the Lloyd Street Synagogue but also participate in helping us solve mysteries regarding the Torah scrolls, the church bells and the candelabras.


2016 Annual Meeting

The Greatest Gap: Health Inequity in Baltimore

Samuel Boltansky Memorial Keynote Speaker Dr. Jay Perman, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Tuesday, June 14, 6:30pm


Dr. Perman

Dr. Perman

Join us for the JMM’s Annual Meeting as we elect members to our Board of Trustees and express appreciation to our retiring members. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Perman, will address the social determinants of health—education, economic stability, personal and public safety, housing and transportation, social supports and cohesion—and how anchor institutions can help remediate the disparities we see in the health of populations. Read More


Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt

With Artist: Lori Shocket

Sunday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 28

Created collages

Created collages

Holocaust survivors and their families are invited to participate in a series of workshops led by California-based artist, Lori Shocket, that will culminate in an art installation that will be on display at the JMM beginning in March 2017 in conjunction with our Remembering Auschwitz exhibits.

Please note that space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, please contact Deborah Cardin at (410) 732-6400 x236

Read More and see all dates


A Glimpse into the World of a Sofer (Torah scribe)

Sunday, June 26, 1:00pm

Speaker Rabbi Englander

Image courtesy of Chizuk Amuno website

Image courtesy of Chizuk Amuno website

Join us for this exciting program in connection with The All American Synagogue. Part lecture, part workshop:  Learn the basic steps of creating a Torah scroll, including how the letters are written and the rules governing the making of a Torah. Read More.


How Kosher became Safer, Cleaner and Better

Sunday, July 24, 1:00pm

Speaker: Author Roger Horowitz

Kosher USA

Kosher USA

How did Coca-Cola become Kosher? Why was Manischewitz the first kosher product to win-over non-Jewish consumers? Learn the answers to these questions and more with Roger Horowitz, joining us fresh from the Smithsonian to share the fascinating journey of kosher food through the modern industrial food system, as told in his new book Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food.


Esther’s Place: the JMM Store

If you haven’t been in lately, you’re missing out! We’ve got great new stuff in every area of the store, from a Play-Doh “Drill and Fill” playset for the budding dentist in your life to striking Judaica fashioned of Jerusalem stone—the limestone quarried and used in buildings in and around Jerusalem, inlcuding the Western Wall.

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.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland March Meeting

Sunday, June 26, 1:30pm, Hadassah meeting room (3723 Old Court Road, Dumbarton Offices Entrance)

Speaker: Mindie Kaplan, “Relatives, Cold Calls and Emails, & DNA Testing”

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


Ongoing at the JMM


Exhibits currently on display include Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America (through January 16, 2017), 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.  Our new specialty tour, “Book, Bell and Candle Mystery” is offered on Sundays 3:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times



Make it official! Become a Member of the JMM.

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

JMM Insights: It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by

Jonestown horizontal 4C


On May 29 we’re putting out the welcome mat as six of greater Jonestown’s well established historic and cultural attractions celebrate the arrival of three brand new facilities planned over the next few years.  We hope you’ll join JMM, the Carroll Museums, Zion Church of Baltimore, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, Port Discovery, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and B’Nai Israel: The Downtown Synagogue, in saying “welcome!” to our future neighbors.

We thought it might be a good idea to share the backstory behind this event.  Most of you will recall that last October we facilitated the development of the Jonestown Vision Plan and the launch of the new Jonestown brand identity.  In the months since, we’ve continued to work closely with the community and Historic Jonestown Inc. (HJI), led by Lindsay Thompson and Joe Cronyn on ways to put our ambitious goals into practice.

HJI is in the process of organizing itself into affinity groups, bringing together the neighborhood’s social service organizations, its religious institutions, its hospitality industry and its historic/cultural organizations to work on parts of the plan that are a natural fit with each group.  Our historic/cultural group has been concentrating on events and programs.  We felt very fortunate to be included in the Carroll Mansion’s current partnership in support of the All American House and we are studying other two-way and three-way collaborations to bring life to the streets of Jonestown, including tentative plans for a plein air art experience on surrounding streets later this summer.

Meanwhile we’ve had some terrific news about institutions bringing new activity and energy to our immediate vicinity.  Just a block away from the Lloyd Street Synagogue, Ronald McDonald House is well on its way to starting construction on a new facility.  The new Ronald McDonald House, which will be built at 1200 E. Baltimore Street, will reflect a commitment to incorporate best practices into all of its programs and services. The new house is intended to fulfill an institutional goal of establishing Baltimore as providing not only quality pediatric care but the most effective and compassionate family-centered care in the world.  Amenities included in the design of the new house were carefully selected through input from staff, volunteers and families. The new House will serve approximately 55 families daily and 2,200 families a year.  We intend to extend outreach to both volunteers and families. The coming of the new facility will also mean upgrades for the adjacent McKim Park.

And just a block away from the park, at 1100 E. Fayette Street, Kevin Plank and Under Armour have provided more than $6 million in support for a new recreation center, scheduled to open later this year.  The new center will be operated by Living Classrooms.  Jonestown’s cultural institutions are exploring ways to engage youth at the new center in our ongoing programs.

Go just a few blocks further down Fayette  Street and you’ll come to 901, announced last January as the new site for the National Aquarium’s animal care and rescue center.  Preparations are beginning now for an anticipated 2018 opening.  The Aquarium hopes to provide some public access to this behind-the-scenes space.  Jonestown has been welcoming new immigrants for more than 200 years – now we’ll have new arrivals with fins and tails as well.

Welcome to the New Neighbors!

Welcome to the New Neighbors!

It seemed like a great time to bring these new institutions into the Jonestown family.  From 1pm to 4pm we’ll have family activities for every taste.  Art projects, craft work, storytelling from Port Discovery and our new friends at the National Aquarium are bringing with a bearded dragon… just in case you’ve never seen a real dragon, or at least a real dragon with a beard. Admission to the Museum and to all the activities is free.

Happy birthday Mr. Jones!

Happy birthday Mr. Jones!

Speaking of every taste, there will also be birthday cake.  Whose birthday you ask?  Well Jonestown, of course.  On June 15, 1641, David Jones built his home by the falls that bear his name (not to mention the expressway they put on top of it).  So we’ve decided to jump the gun just a little and pull out the 355th birthday cake at our Jonestown celebration.  It seems a fitting way to mark a milestone for Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood and newest destination:  Jonestown – proudly we hail.

~Marvin Pinkert

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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