Become an Upstander!

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Summer Teachers Institute Goes Virtual!

Posted on June 18th, 2020 by

A blog post by Director of Education Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click here.

JMM has been adapting to the new realities of classroom learning very quickly. The ability for our team to provide educational virtual experiences is quite new; and this spring was the first time that we were invited into the digital classroom to speak on topics like Jewish immigration to Baltimore, Scrap and the Holocaust. We are watching what other institutions are doing, so we know that the time investment in developing both in person and digital education experiences for the classroom only makea our programs more accessible for teachers. Over the past few months the amount of time we would have spent with children at the Museum has been devoted to developing online presentations for the digital classroom. We believe that even if schools do open up in the fall that taking field trips to JMM may still not be an option, so we hope that these digital offerings will be the way to connect with the students until COVID-19 is over.

During the first week of August, JMM will hold our Annual Summer Teachers Institute (STI), presented in partnership with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC), the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the Center for Jewish Education (CJE). STI is a professional development opportunity for teachers in the area of Holocaust Education. The goal of the program is to give educators the opportunity to meet with scholars and experts who are in the trenches of teaching best practices of Holocaust history and genocide studies. The topics associated with the Holocaust are vast, and over the years we have touched on topics like Persecution to Liberation, Rescue and Resistance, Propaganda, and last year’s theme: Women and the Holocaust, in connection with the powerful exhibit Stitching History from the Holocaust on loan from the Jewish Museum of Milwaukee (the other JMM!).

STI 2019 participants in the Stitching History from the Holocaust Exhibit.

This year’s program will look different than in previous years due to the world health crisis and the inability for groups to gather. This summer we will be offering a virtual three-day workshop for teachersSummer Teachers Institute 2020: Teaching Students to be Upstanders.

An Upstander is a person who speaks, acts or intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied. All students can learn to be upstanders by developing skills in social awareness, empathy and courage that can be applied in different situations. As educators, we must have the tools to teach upstander skills across all grade levels and provide opportunities for kids to practice the skills throughout the school year. We can provide examples of Upstanders using current events and historical examples, through role play and the arts, use peer-to-peer teaching, and connect it to the home and to the community.

Prior to COVID-19, we chose the topic of Upstanders for this year’s Summer Teachers Institute and over the past few months, we have been able to reach out to a diverse group of people for the workshop. One of the benefits of creating a virtual conference is that we are not limited to the number of participants due to the limits of physical space. Also, we do not have to worry about travel costs and we have outstanding presenters from all around the world participating in the conference this year.

Our first day of STI will kick-off with keynote speaker, Ellen Kennedy, Ph.D., from World Without Genocide, based in St Paul, MN.

Participants will learn about the organization’s mission to protect innocent people around the world and prevent genocide by combating racism and prejudice. Teachers will hear from child-survivor, Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Dr. Kassenoff is the Director of the Holocaust Teachers Institute, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami and will share her family’s story of escape from Europe. The afternoon will be spent with Paul Kutner, Upper School Director of Global Learning at the Bullis School who will transport the teachers to Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in south-central France. During World War II the residents of the village made a haven for Jews fleeing from Nazi persecution. Throughout the three days, teachers will have the opportunity to get into breakout sessions for discussion about classroom strategies and possible lesson plans and implementation plans.

Day Two will include presentations from our colleagues at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Center for Jewish Education.  The afternoon will include a three hour with our partners from Echoes & Reflections: Teaching the Holocaust, Inspiring the Classroom. Our teachers will be participating in a new program, Choices Matter: Complicity and Action During the Holocaust.  Our last day is a travel day in that our teachers will wake-up and go to Warsaw, Poland to meet our colleagues from the organization, Forum of Dialogue. Our teachers will learn about The School for Dialog, an innovative education program for students in secondary-level Polish schools. Students learn specifically about the role that Jewish people played in their own towns and about local history that often is completely unknown to them Presenters will share with teachers how they have succeeded in creating a unique educational initiative that combines exploring local history with confronting stereotypes, while also encouraging local activism.

Following this presentation, our teachers will have the privilege to hear second-generation testimony featuring Lola Hahn, a community member and JMM Board member. Ms. Hahn’s mother and aunt were both workers in Oskar Schindler’s factory in Poland, Teachers will have the opportunity to ask questions following Ms. Hahn’s testimony. The afternoon session will be spent with JMM educators who will share lessons plans that will be available for the classroom in fall 2020.

JMM Museum Educator Marisa Shultz demonstrating a lesson at STI2019.

Our final session, teachers will travel to Boise, Idaho to the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights and the Anne Frank Memorial. Teachers will have a virtual tour of the site and learn about the education programs at the Human Rights Center. Participants will have the opportunity to hear testimonies from survivors of contemporary genocide, and learn classroom strategies to teach about the “Spiral of Injustice” and being an Upstander.

We have a full three days planned for this year’s Summer Teachers Institute. If you know at teacher that would benefit from this professional development opportunity, please share the STI2020 Flyer along with the registration link:!

Download our Summer Teachers Institute 2020 Flier

The Summer Teachers Institute is made possible, in part, through the generous support of Judy and Jerry Macks and the Joan and Joseph Klein, Jr. Foundation. We are also very greatful for our partner organizations, including Echoes & Reflects, the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, World Without Genocide, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Forum for Dialogue.

If you have any questions about this year’s program or the Summer Teachers Institute in general, please feel free to contact the JMM’s Education Director, Ilene Dackman-Alon, email


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Staying Connected with JMM: Opportunity to Showcase Student Art

Posted on May 21st, 2020 by

We are inviting young Marylanders to participate in an art project for a chance to have their work displayed during our Jews in Space exhibit.

Dear Educators,

Though you’re physically apart, you and your students are still working hard under one sky. Together you can all look up at the stars with wonder, imagination, and dreams. From the Hubble Space Telescope to the NASA Goddard Flight Center, Maryland is home to countless people who have dreamed, and continue to dream, of the wonders of space.

Join JMM this fall as we explore the lives of people who have studied, imagined, and even traveled into the cosmos. Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit will share not only the contributions of the Jewish community to space-facing science and culture, but also how Marylanders have impacted space travel, study, and innovation.

In addition to offering engaging field trip experiences (digitally and in-person), we want your students to be a part of the exhibit.

Please share your students’ artwork so that we can highlight how Maryland children imagine space today. Inspired by the Personal Preference Kits packed by astronauts traveling to the International Space Station, we invite your students to ponder traveling to space and creatively respond to the question “What would you bring with you to space?” Your students’ contribution might be featured in our upcoming exhibit!


Share your students’ artwork with us!
Please submit artwork by August 30, 2020.

Mail artwork to:

The Jewish Museum of Maryland
15 Lloyd Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Attn: Paige Woodhouse

Or email photos to Paige at

*Make sure to include your name, age, and list of items (and why) with your artwork.

Find Inspiration 

Encourage Creativity! Students can draw, paint, photograph, or cut and paste their responses to the question “What would you bring to space?” Using this downloadable template, students can work independently, or collaborate with others, to create their artwork.

For inspiration, check out some submissions below:

Tucker, Age 7

Tucker wanted to bring things from his bedroom that would make him feel comfortable. He chose his blanket and pillow, stuffed dog, Spiderman alarm clock, and slippers.

With the help of his mom, Tucker took a photo with his items. He cut and glued shapes to make the sky for his rocketship.


Aliceanna, Age 4

Aliceanna chose to bring her favorite noodles, swirly noodles; a beautiful dancing dress because she likes to be fancy; and a glue stick. She also packed her best friend Monsieur Croc and the bear, Aloysius, “to keep Monsieur Croc company.”

She (with a little help from her mom) used glue, construction paper, and crayons.

Azreal, Age 10

“I would want to bring my blanket and my stuffed animal to keep me comfortable. I would bring my camera, diary, and music player.”

Azreal used lot of materials in creating her packing list. She used markers, glitter, yarn, paint, and pencil.

Plan For Next Year!
Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit 
Coming this Fall to JMM

This exhibit explores the lives of people who have studied, imagined, and even traveled to the cosmos with an emphasis on the contributions of the Jewish community to those efforts.

For more posts from Paige Woodhouse, click here.

For more education newsletters, click here.

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Staying Connected with JMM: History is Now

Posted on May 14th, 2020 by

JMM Collects Stories of the Pandemic

Dear Educators,

Take a breath and reflect for a moment. You are an educator teaching and supporting students during a pandemic. History is happening now. You are a part of it and your story is a meaningful one. Have you had a similar conversation with your students recently?

At JMM, we believe in the importance of gathering and preserving personal stories. As a museum, we collect materials related to events, past and present, that impact our communities. This pandemic, which has affected nearly every aspect of daily life, including education, definitely qualifies as one of those events.

We hope that collecting these stories will not only to help the historians of the future understand this moment in time, but also to help people today realize the many different ways the pandemic is affecting our family, classmates, coworkers, neighbors, and ourselves.

We hope you will submit your experiences and stories – through words, images, or objects – to help us preserve our community’s memories and experiences for future generations.


History if Now: JMM Collections Stories of the Pandemic

JMM tells the stories of everyday people – that includes you and your students! There’s no pressure to come up with a unique, Pulitzer Prize-worthy tale, we would just love to hear your memories and experiences. From the students you are missing, to what your workspace at home looks like, to what has surprised you the most about living through our current events, your stories are worth telling and sharing.

We’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started that may help your students reflect and foster conversations with them:

What are some differences between learning in a classroom versus learning at home?

How has your school day routine changed?

What do you miss the most about your school?

What do you like the most about learning at home?

What was the most fun you have had since you’ve been home?

You and your students might be inspired to write a poem, journal entry, letter, an essay, or just some scribbled thoughts. Maybe make a recording (on your phone, with a fancy camera, or maybe through your laptop or tablet) or share photos and drawings to illustrate your experiences.

What else can you think of? We can’t wait to see, hear, and share your stories.

Use this form to easily share your stories with us!

You can also mail your stories, photos, offers of objects to us (we love getting mail!). Please do not send actual objects in the mail. Address your mail to:

Joanna Church, Director of Collections & Exhibits
The Jewish Museum of Maryland
15 Lloyd Street
Baltimore, MD 21202.

Or email Joanna at at!

*Make sure to include your name, hometown or location, and age in your email or letter to us, and let us know how you would like us to attribute and share your work – use the questions on the form as guidance.

Storysharing in Practice

An Afternoon of Storyfinding and Storysharing
Sunday, May 31st at 3:30pmWe’re also hosting some events to help you share your stories! Our first confirmed live program is for the youngest in our community — more information and how to register here.

Hannah Salyer Presents PACKS: Strength in Numbers

Virtual Author Visit
Hannah Salyer Presents:
PACKS: Strength in Numbers
Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:30pm

We’re thrilled to host author and illustrator Hannah Salyer for this special live stream reading of her book PACKS, an inspiring celebration of how togetherness helps many creatures thrive, including people! Hannah will also lead a drawing demonstration and share about learning from the togetherness we see in the animal kingdom.

Recommended for ages 5 – 9, or any young artist with a love of animals.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

We want to support the important work that you do in our community. Invite a JMM Educator into your virtual classroom to facilitate a presentation with your students on topics like:

Jewish Immigration to Baltimore through our Voices of Lombard Street exhibit

Environmentalism through our Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling exhibit

Holocaust Education in our Holocaust Memory Project

Introduction to Judaism with information about our Lloyd Street Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in Maryland.

To book a virtual visit, complete our Virtual Visit Request Form. 

NASA’s Space Tourism Posters. Credit:

Vacation Destination: Pluto
Pluto was once the ninth planet from the sun. It was also the smallest planet in our Solar System. But Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet. Blast off into the future where dwarf planet Pluto is a popular vacation destination!

Looking for other hands-on activities related to space? Check out our Wondernauts website.

For more posts from Paige Woodhouse, click here.

For more education newsletters, click here.

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