New Faces and New Spaces

Posted on January 11th, 2019 by

This month’s edition of Performance Counts comes from Deputy Director Tracie Guy-Decker. To read past editions of Performance Counts, click here. To read more posts by Tracie, click here.

This January, as we say goodbye to Harry Houdini, I thought we should also take a few moments to say hello to some of the newer members of the JMM team and to acknowledge the new(ish) roles some of our number are enjoying.

The newest member of our staff, Emma Glaser, is not entirely new to the JMM. Emma Glaser (pronounced GLAZE-er) interned with the JMM Education Department in the summer of 2014. Emma graduated from Smith College, and completed graduate work at the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to her time with us in 2014, Emma interned at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Emma started as the Program Assistant back in September. In that role, she is helping to plan and execute events and programs for students and adults. She masterfully guided JMM’s mitzvah day celebration to fruition, and has been an important addition to the JMM team. If you haven’t yet had a chance to meet Emma, please say hello next time you’re in the building.

Emma’s position, Program Assistant, was made possible by the promotion of our Program Manager, Trillion Attwood. Trillion has been skillfully orchestrating our top-notch programming since 2013, though Trillion didn’t always want to be an event planner. With degrees in Egyptology, Trillion, like so many among us, is a tried-and-true Museum professional.

When, in this fiscal year, we wanted to create a new position, Curatorial Assistant, to provide additional skills and support to the collections and exhibits team, we saw an opportunity to serve the Museum’s needs while providing more and different challenges for Trillion to use her skills. As of this fiscal year, Trillion is both Program Manager AND Curatorial Assistant. While her colleagues (guilty!) often forget which hat she is wearing on which day, Trillion has been splitting her time 50/50 between event planning and collections and exhibit management. She even has two email addresses!

Speaking of promotions, we recently were delighted to offer a brand new position to a very capable member of our staff. If you’ve visited the JMM in the past year, you’ve met Paige Woodhouse. Paige has been our exceedingly talented Visitor Services Coordinator since October of 2017. In that time she has worked wonders in cleaning up our procedures and our communications channels. Everything she does she does with an air of professionalism and cheerfulness that is noticed by her colleagues and her customers alike.

When, through the generosity of the Cohen Opportunity Fund of the late Suzanne Cohen (z’’l), JMM was able to create a new School Program Coordinator position, Paige decided to apply. Though she had some stiff competition from a number of highly-qualified candidates, Paige was offered and accepted the position – a promotion – and will transition into those duties as soon as we are able to find a successor for her in the Visitor Services position.

This is an exciting time at JMM. In addition to our future evolution, which will have a much more visible manifestation in bricks and sticks, we are already growing and adapting. Welcoming new staff–and new responsibilities for existing staff–is an important part of the organization’s progress.

Please say hello to Emma and “Mazel tov” to Paige and Trillion next time you’re in the building. And please stay in touch. These are exciting times in Jonestown. You don’t want to miss it!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

A Truly Magical Mitzvah Day

Posted on January 10th, 2019 by

A blog post by JMM Program Assistant Emma Glaser. To see past posts from Emma click here!

Every year, the JMM participates in Mitzvah Day, a citywide day of service on December 25th. This year, volunteers at the JMM created backpacks with school supplies for immigrant students at the Esperanza Center, a local immigrant resource center.

We were really thrilled to have so many people come together to make the backpacks – in fact, we were able to make 20 more than our original goal! Volunteers made 70 backpacks for students that were packed with notebooks, folders, pencils, erasers, and lots of other school supplies that kids need to succeed in school. Many of the school supplies were donated by the JMM’s amazing volunteers and members, as well as companies that we reached out to. As a new staff member, I was really moved by the community’s generosity in making sure the backpacks had all the supplies the students needed.

The backpacks also included notecards welcoming the students to the United States and homemade stress balls that Mitzvah Day volunteers created.

Take a look at some highlights from our magical Mitzvah Day below!

79 volunteers helped out on Mitzvah Day!

These two friends told me it was the first time in 18 years that they were able to see each other. It was really heartwarming that they spent their reunion doing a mitzvah at the JMM.

This family, including a very tiny dinosaur (on the right), worked together to make the last two backpacks.

To make the stress balls, volunteers used funnels to fill balloons with flour.

For instructions to make a stressball for yourself, click here.

Volunteers wrote and decorated notecards with friendly messages to make the backpacks more personal. Many of them wished students happy holidays or told them about fun things to do in Baltimore.

Here’s a couple of my favorite cards, drawn by some amazing artists.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Mitzvah Day 2018!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

From Intern to Employee

Posted on November 30th, 2018 by

A blog post by JMM Program Assistant Emma Glaser. To see past posts from Emma’s intern days, click here!

I can clearly remember the moment I realized museum education was the career path I wanted. It was my second day as an Education and Program Intern back in Summer 2014 and I had just helped to facilitate activities for my first group of visitors at the JMM. It wasn’t just my first time working with visitors at the JMM – it was my first time facilitating activities for museum visitors at all. As I walked back to my apartment after work, I can remember thinking, “This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

I spent a great summer working with the education staff here and learning just what it was that museum educators do. One of the most rewarding parts of my internship was helping visitors have fun and enjoyable learning experiences, especially when I had created the activity (I even wrote a blog post about it).

Ilene, my co-intern Arielle, Emma (me!), and Trillion on a field trip to Fort McHenry in 2014.

One of my big projects was working on lesson plans for the (then) upcoming exhibit The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit, which opened after my internship ended, so naturally I had to come back and see the exhibit once it opened! And when I decided to get my master’s degree in museum studies at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, Ilene, the museum’s Director of Learning and Visitor Experience, who was my supervisor during my internship, wrote me a letter of recommendation.

Once I went to graduate school, I still couldn’t leave the museum behind. During my second year of graduate school, one of my assignments was to create a digital timeline about immigration. I decided to focus on German immigration to Baltimore, since I knew from interning at the JMM that Baltimore had welcomed the second largest number of immigrants in the country after New York City. Of course, my favorite slide on the timeline was the one featuring the Lloyd Street Synagogue, but it was also one of the hardest to write – there was so much I wanted to say!

Fast forward to today and I’m excited to return to the JMM as the Program Assistant and to continue sharing Maryland’s Jewish history with visitors.

Leading a tour for students from Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School.

Since I’ve been back at the JMM, two of the things I enjoy most about working in programming and education is seeing visitors make connections, and that I’m always learning new things from our speakers right along with museum visitors. My favorite fact I’ve learned so far comes from a very clever middle school student, who realized that because Harry Houdini lived for fifty-two years, he lived for the same number of years as there are cards in a deck.

I’m already hard at work planning programs for some of the museum’s upcoming exhibits, so I’m excited to see what we’ll learn together in the future!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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