Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Education Intern Marissa Walker. To read additional posts by Marissa and other interns, click here.
Last Friday, the Education and Programs department took a work trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We had recently been discussing the museum’s upcoming Jews in the Civil War exhibit extensively with the museum’s curator, Karen Falk, and were hoping to gain some inspiration through an exploration of the famous Civil War battlefield.
After a brief peek into the Visitor Center, we grabbed a map and began our journey through history on the first leg of the Auto Tour around the historic site. With Education Director Ilene at the wheel and Programs Manager Rachel ceremoniously guiding us through the tour map with much gusto, we immersed ourselves in the story of America’s bloodiest battle. There could be no self-respecting historic battle recap without historically accurate background music and sound effects, so I provided the bugle blares, while intern Trillion banged the theoretical drums, and visitor coordinator Abby filled out the treble clef with some excellent “fife” playing. We felt very patriotic, indeed.
After exploring the first half of the auto tour and the northern portion of the battlefield, we backtracked to the town surrounding the site and met Museum President Marvin Pinkert for a very productive brainstorming lunch. During our meal, we discussed possible educational programs and activities to include in the package we might offer school groups coming to see the Civil War exhibit in the fall.
One idea we tossed around was a “Make a Monument” activity. In theory, kids would design their own monument, explain what it represents, write about why they chose to commemorate that particular person, event, or place. This idea sprung from our amazement at all the different monuments and commemorations found all over the Gettysburg battlefield, each one immortalizing a different person or group of people, and completely unique.
We had also had a chance to speak with a few living historians during our visit, and agreed that a great addition to the exhibit might be a very simple military-issue tent set up, where young kids would be able to interact with the living quarters typical of a soldier during the Civil War time period. Sutlers, a stores specializing in historically accurate reproductions of clothing, utensils, and general accouterments of soldiers and their families on the home front, typically carry these kinds of items, so we decided to go out in search of one before we began our drive back.
After an enjoyable walk and a lovely, if slightly unexpected, rain shower, we found one! It was delightful to browse through all of the interesting items re-enactors use on a daily basis to authenticate their characters, and to see the world of possibilities for kids programs and activities. Feeling exhilarated and excited to bring our ideas to fruition, we parted ways with Marvin, and headed back to the car, and south towards Baltimore, intent on incorporating all we had learned into our future museum education plans.
Check back tomorrow for a different perspective on the Gettysburg field trip from none other than our Executive Director Marvin Pinkert!
Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Rachel
The Jewish Museum of Maryland is pleased to announce two summer programs for educators interested in furthering their knowledge of Holocaust history and education. Once again, we are partnering with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) and the Maryland State Department of Education for our annual Summer Teachers Institute taking place July 29-31. This year’s theme is Confronting Genocide: The Holocaust and Beyond.
The program will take place at three venues: our first day is at Chizuk Amuno Congregation; the second at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (we provide bus transportation); and the third is at the JMM. Speakers include an educator from the Jan Karski Educational Foundation who will share educational resources with participants; a scholar from the USHMM who will talk about their newest exhibit, Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity During the Holocaust; a Holocaust survivor and liberator who will share personal testimony about their experiences; and master teachers who will share pedagogical strategies for developing lesson plans. In addition to touring the USHMM’s permanent and new exhibits, participants will also have the chance to see the JMM’s most recent exhibit Zap! Pow! Bam! The Golden Age of Superheroes which will serve as inspiration for sessions on propaganda and teaching Maus.
Teachers at last year’s Summer Teachers Institute listening to educator Joyce Witt.
Our Summer Teachers Institute has become a cornerstone of our Holocaust education program. Comments such as “Thank you again for providing wonder-filled and inspirational information, stories, materials, educational ideas, etc., etc. We so appreciate being included in all your terrific programs” are indicative of the outstanding feedback we receive from participants year after year.
While space is quickly filling up, there are still some slots available. To register, applications are available on our website jewishmuseummd.org/summerteachersinstitute. For more information about the program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New this year is a second summer workshop, the result of a partnership with Facing History and Ourselves, the BJC, and Baltimore City Schools. We are pleased to offer a five-day course August 5-9 taking place at the JMM focusing on Holocaust and Human Behavior. This program is open to high school teachers (who teach in any school) who plan on teaching a dedicated Holocaust course in the upcoming year.
Registration is through Facing History and Ourselves: facinghistory.org/professionaldevelopment.
The JMM is proud to serve as an educational resource for teachers on Holocaust education. If you teach or are just interested in the subject matter, please feel free to join us this summer!
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. Read other posts by Deborah here!
Posted on June 18th, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Education Intern Trillion Attwood.
Last Sunday we celebrated in style with Clark Kent at his Bar Mitzvah, held here at the museum. This was inspired by one of our current exhibitions Zap! Pow! Bam! that examines the role of Jewish artists in the development of comic book heroes. This exhibition is only here until August 18th, if you have not had a chance to visit yet I highly recommend trying to find some time. There are lots of interesting images and objects, including the first drawings of Superman and the desk on which they were drawn.
The day was pretty action packed with lots of things to do no matter your age, plenty of people found time to create there own superhero, or villain mask. There was also t-shirt decorating for everyone, lots of people went for the classic superman logo, some people had seriously impressive creative skills. Which combined with a selection of capes, led to plenty of dressing up and superhero posing for photos.
My superhero mask
I really enjoyed our tastiest make of the day, edible torah scrolls, made with fruit roll ups, pretzels and candy, easily done at home. These combined with our kryptonite punch and huge cake made for a bit of a sugar-high, but what sort of a party is complete without sugar? I should also mention, there were plenty of healthier snacks.
One very popular part of the day was the viewing of the original Superman serials from the 1950′s. We always have them showing, but in the spirit of the day, they really drew a crowd. There was one boy, who had seen part of them on a school visit recently, and had been left on such a cliffhanger, he asked his father to bring him back so he could see the rest.
We also had a couple of really interesting talks during the day, by our museum director Marvin Pinkert and the days MC Josh Fruhlinger. Lots of people also found the time to go on our synagogue tours and look around our Voices of Lombard street exhibition.
The highlight of the day was the candle lighting ceremony, in which Superman asked for help from all the most important people in his life. This included a short poem for each person, including this one for Siegel and Shuster the creators of Superman:
You created superman from your imagination,
And your drawings and stories swept the whole nation.
A huge success on comics, TV and the silver screen,
In memory of Siegel and Shuster, I’ll light candle thirteen.
Superman lighting his candles
There was of course also dancing, in which almost everyone participated, due to plenty of friendly encouragement. It seemed that everyone had a really good day, especially the dads, which is the most important thing.
If you did miss out there are still plenty more events this summer around Zap! Pow! Bam! including our Super Art Fight June 30th. Watch the website or facebook for more details.
Thank you to Elaine Hall for photographs.