Posted on August 15th, 2014 by Rachel
This summer’s unique visitor experience, The Electrified Pickle, has now come to a close. This week’s newsletter looks back at the highlights of this five week experience.
The Electrified Pickle was a community tech fair, designed to appeal to budding scientists, DIY-ers and anyone curious to learn about how things work. It combined artifacts, experiments, hands-on activities (including a community mosaic) and several outstanding speakers.
The exhibit included items rarely seen from the JMM’s rich collection were selected and brought upstairs and placed in the Feldman Gallery. These examples of technology from the past such as old sewing machines, kitchen implements, and typewriters, were once vital to Jewish trades and home life. With the help from our partner, The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, MD, the gallery was transformed into a participatory lab-style environment where visitors could discover the mystery behind scientific principles such as magnetism, electricity, solar power, and other fun and engaging interactive activities. These items were displayed in a way that our visitors could make comparisons with newer technologies and gain insight into the process involved in scientific innovation. In addition, our visitors watched a short film, Gefilte Fish, and found humor in watching three generations of women talk about their expertise in making gefilte fish!
In addition to the exhibit, we developed weekly programs to help build upon some of the ideas seen within the exhibit. For five Sundays we invited community members to come to the Museum and share their expertise and passion in specific areas of technology such as engineering, crafts, robotics, electronics, and science with our visitors. Here is a quick wrap-up of the five weeks.
Our Kick-off Sunday, July 13th was Power This! Our visitors were greeted to the JMM by the smell of pickle brine and vinegar- and they got to see first-hand how pickles serve as conductors and can actually be electrified. Other experiments that took place throughout the day were testing the properties of conductive and insulating play-doh and watching LED lights illuminate while making pencil dimmer switches. We ended the afternoon with an electrifying science performance by Extreme Jean-as she demonstrated the properties of dry ice through a variety of experiments.
July 20th- Print This! informed our visitors about the history of printing. Many thanks to Direct Dimensions, Inc. and Maryland Rubber Stamp Company who helped us with their expertise in stamp/block printing to 3D scanning and imaging. Who knew that our Hebrew block letters stamps that were used to make Yiddish posters in the early 20th century could be scanned by a 3D scanner and printed out as 3D images and made into modern stamps? One of the highlights of the day was watching our younger visitors using a “heavy hand” trying to press the keys on an old portable typewriter! We would also like to thank Baltimore Jewish Times, a media sponsor and a special thank you to JT editor-in-chief Josh Runyan who came to the Museum for an “Ask the Editor” session.
July 27th Fly This! –examined the properties of wind and the history of flight. Matt Barinholtz and FutureMakers came to the JMM and helped our visitors understand the properties of wind and resistance. Our visitors practiced their “folding skills” making different shapes and kinds of paper airplanes. We welcomed Paul Glenshaw, who spoke to our audience about Al Welsh, an early Jewish pioneer of flight who worked closely with the Wright Brothers, but sadly died in a flying accident in College Park, MD.
August 3rd – Imagine This! Robots descended on the JMM! Our visitors had a blast interacting with robots of all shapes and sizes. We would like to extend our thanks Fred and Robyn Needel for all of their help and vision in bringing high school robot teams to the JMM for the event. Special thanks to Automation Intelligence Inc, for sending their AWESOME robot to the JMM. Our visitors witnessed first-hand how this sophisticated robot played JENGA, filled crates and was able to move objects around on command via technology. Also a big thank you to Neville Jacobs for bringing his team of robots. Jennifer George gave a dynamic presentation about The Art of Rube Goldberg, and spoke with affection about her famous grandfather.
Our last Sunday, August 10th, we presented Code This! Our thanks go to the National Cryptology Museum and Bar Coding, Inc. who helped our visitors understand the science behind coding and decoding. Dr. David Hatch gave a wonderful lecture about the Enigma Machine and the early Jewish code breakers during WWI. Finally, we need to thank Mosaic Makers for their expertise in creating two panels for a beautiful mosaic that depicts a market scene back in the day when Lombard Street was a thriving, bustling center for market and commerce.
From all accounts, we heard from our visitors that the Electrified Pickle was fun, interactive and engaging. We had regular visitors who came to all five weeks of programming. We hosted some local summer camp groups, and all of the campers loved learning about science and technology. Our older audiences enjoyed going down “memory lane” and seeing some of the technology of their youth and marvel at just how far we have come…..
If you still haven’t seen the exhibit, not to worry, you have one final chance this Sunday, August 17th as the exhibit will be open regular museum hours.
Posted on August 8th, 2014 by Rachel
How to Avoid Regret
Next week you will receive our JMM Insights newsletter. It will contain photos of the great activities, artifacts and speakers we had during the five weeks of Electrified Pickle. Some of you will look at the newsletter and think, “gee, I really wanted to see that.”
Well, here’s my tip: it’s not too late. We have one more week of the Electrified Pickle, and we are going out with a double-header. Come by this Sunday and enjoy “Code This!”, and, as Hercule Poirot would say, “exercise those little grey cells” – ciphering, deciphering and bar coding. We will have an enigma machine on site and an expert on WWII codes, Dr. David Hatch, who will speak at 3pm on “Kosher Cryptology”. On next Wednesday night we torture our pickles one last time for your education and enjoyment – electrifying them, freezing them and who knows what else. It’s mad science night at JMM.
Don’t wake up next Friday with post-Pickle remorse. Be a part of this one-of-a-kind tech fair.
And for even less regret – mark Sept 14 on your calendar now. You have the chance to be among the first to “lose yourself” in the Mendes Cohen maze and discover a whole new world of 19th century Maryland.
Please note that unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). For more information and to RSVP for specific programs, contact Trillion Attwood: (410) 732-6400 x215 / firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on JMM events please visit www.jewishmuseummd.org.
Sunday, August 10, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Explore the secret world of coding and decoding past and present. Learn about encryption, decryption, bar codes and ciphers. We will be welcoming Barcoding Inc. who will reveal the secrets of barcoding and teaching us how this common but mysterious code works. Then create your own secret code and deliver messages with invisible ink.
We also welcome the National Cryptologic Museum and Dr. David Hatch who will demonstrate the uses of the Enigma Machine used in the twentieth century for enciphering and deciphering messages.
Eavesdropping On Hell
Sunday, August 10, 3:00pm
Speaker Dr. David Hatch
From Navajo Windtalkers to the women of Bletchley Circle, the mysterious world of codes, ciphers and those who make and break them has proven fertile ground for the imagination, inspiring authors, filmmakers, and television producers to tell their stories. This Sunday join us at the Jewish Museum of Maryland as Dr. David Hatch shares some of the true stories about the minds behind America’s efforts in cryptology surrounding World War II.
Late Night on Lloyd Street: After Hours Mad Pickle Science!
Wednesday, August 13th, 6pm -9pm
If you still haven’t visited the Electrified Pickle this is the perfect opportunity! Come and visit the museum after hours, explore the experiments in the exhibit and play with some of our favorite experiments from our Sunday programs. This of course includes electrifying Pickles! We will also be welcoming Mad Science, with their show Bubbling Potions, essentially lots of dry ice plus freezing pickles.
As with all late nights we will have plenty of food and drink available. Please be aware this event has a maximum number of places available so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Book Talk: The Jewish Daughter Diaries
Sunday, August 24th, 1:00pm
Author Rachel Ament
The Jewish Daughter Diaries: True Stories of Being Loved Too Much By Our Moms is a hilarious, and heartfelt essay collection about Jewish mothers, featuring essays by prominent writers and entertainers including The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. Whether the essay features a mom impersonating her daughter on Jdate, a mom who makes half her daughter’s bed while her daughter is still sleeping in the other half, or a mom who takes her camp‐hating daughter on a visit to a “summer camp consultant,” the book is sure to strike a familiar chord in anyone who has been loved too much by their moms.
SAVE THE DATE
Members Opening: The Making of The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen
Sunday, September 14, 5:00pm
Just for members of the Jewish Museum of Maryland and members of our partner The Maryland Historical Society we have a special insider’s evening at the maze. This will be a chance to not only meet our living history character and explore the exhibit, but also to here from the creative voices who turned a little-known 19th century soldier, businessman and adventurer into a physical experience. Our panel of experts will delve into the decisions that drove the development of the maze and character – and reveal some of the stories and anecdotes that had to be sent to the “cutting room floor.” It’s a chance to go behind the scenes of the exhibit process for people who love museums.
MENDES COHEN WAS THERE:
At Ft. McHenry when the bombs were bursting in air; at the Supreme Court when states rights were at stake; in Paris when the people prepared the barricades; at the Vatican for the installation of a new pope; down the Nile to collect artifacts; in Jerusalem as the first American tourist; in Annapolis when arguments raged over fugitive slaves; on the board of the nation’s first railroad.
But who was Mendes Cohen?
A soldier, a banker, an adventurer, a politician, a philanthropist… a member of the elite, a member of a persecuted minority… a son of England, a son of Germany, an American patriot, a proud Jew?
Come meet the most interesting person you have never heard of! The Jewish Museum of Maryland and The Maryland Historical Society invite you on a journey to put together the puzzle of one man’s identity and in the process discover something about identities we share. It’s a journey full of twists and turns and missing clues.
The Jewish Museum of Maryland is offering a very different perspective of the Battle of Baltimore and its aftermath. A new exhibit opening September 14 follows the life of one of the most interesting characters in the fort, artilleryman Mendes I. Cohen. The museum has turned the many twists and turns of this real life adventurer into a maze. Visitors follow Cohen from his rescue of the gunpowder during the battle, to his life in the family lottery business (did you know that the Washington Monument was built with funds from lottery sales?), to the struggle to give Jews the right to hold office, to his visit with the Pope, to his journey down the Nile and his status as the first American tourist in Palestine. That’s just the first half of his life!
The exhibit connects Cohen’s journey to what was happening to Jews across America, Europe and the Middle East in the early 19th century. It explores how Cohen, as one individual, created a personal identity and it allows visitors to reflect on how they are forming their own identities. Younger visitors will enjoy a series of hands-on experiences, but older visitors will also appreciate some of the new discoveries they will make about the 19th century and authentic artifacts and letters from the Cohen family that are embedded in the maze.
The maze exhibit will be open through June 14, 2015.
Citizen Stand: Battle for Baltimore 1814
Sunday, September 21st, 1pm
Performed by Baltimore School for the Arts
Help us welcome BSA to the JMM for a performance of their latest student production, Citizen Stand: Battle for Baltimore 1814. Students have worked with Maryland Historical Society and National Park Service to develop three short plays about the battle that led to the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. The plays explore different experiences for Baltimoreans in the lead up to war. One play is especially important to us as there is a character not dissimilar from Mendes Cohen. September 14 to June 14 2015 – The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen
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 Jewish Genealogy Society of MD will hold its next program in the Pikesville Library’s meeting room on Sunday, August 24, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available. Throughout the past year, we’ve featured entertaining and informative presentations by speakers, but now it’s time for our group members to take a turn. Please join us at the meeting and bring something to share! For more information contact contact Susan Steeble at email@example.com
Exhibits currently on display include The Electrified Pickle through August 15, Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, The Synagogue Speaks!
Hours and Tour Times
The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm. We offer tours of our historic synagogues each day at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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! http://jewishmuseummd.org/get-involved/museum-membership/ For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or email@example.com.
After you visit The Electrified Pickle, keep the experiments going! Check out our new additions in the shop.
On the Blog:
Here’s some great posts you might have missed on the JMM blog!
Top 3 Things – Summer Intern Arielle shares her favorite JMM experiences.
Volunteer Spotlight – this month we profile volunteer Robyn Hughes!
“The War to End War” Marvin Pinkert on the anniversary of World War I.
Posted on July 11th, 2014 by Rachel
We’re Gonna Be A Star!
Lights, camera, action!
Some of you may remember back in December when we introduced our new collateral material (Performance Counts: December 2013), the beautiful folder and brochure designed by Gallagher & Associates. What you may not remember is that this project, generously made possible by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, has a second part! We at the Museum have been hard at work developing a video calling card – that is, we’re putting together a short film (about 6 minutes long) that will serve as an introduction to the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Why a video? As you know, the Museum has been expanding its development efforts, particularly in the corporate sphere. We feel that a video is the perfect way to capture the attention and hearts of those we hope will support the Museum and its mission. DVDs containing the video can be included with our brochures and folders whenever we put out a grant proposal. Digital copies of the video will be accessible on our website for those seeking to find out more about the Museum. Shorter clips can be shared with media outlets and on our own social media. This video will serve a variety of purposes and give us another tool to engage others with the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Living History actress Karen Lyons
Something you might not know: making a video is hard work! We’ve been working with the fantastic team from Blue Land Media and an extraordinary group of volunteers to gather and film the content we need. For our short, 6 minute video we started with over 12 hours of interview footage! This doesn’t include all the “b-roll” that the team shot. (B-roll is all the shots of buildings, landscapes, close ups of objects and exhibits, etc. Basically, all the material that isn’t a shot of someone talking.) We needed to complete all of our filming over two days. This meant a lot of coordination of schedules (we filmed 13 separate interviews, a school visit and multiple synagogue tours), a lot of equipment moving all around the Museum (we filmed in 4 different locations) and a lot of enthusiasm from everyone involved.
And we can’t thank our volunteer interviewees enough. We gathered board members, staff, teachers, museum volunteers and members of our community to tell the story of JMM. Let me tell you: they were wonderful! We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people – their love for the Museum and our neighborhood came shining through.
Past President Barbara Katz
Now we’re in the editing phase – that means watching all the footage, identifying the best pieces and trying to reduce that 12+ hours of video by over 120%! We’re very excited by what we’re seeing and we can’t wait to share the finished product with you.
This month’s Performance Counts was written by Development and Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman. To read past editions of Performance Counts, click HERE.