Posted on December 23rd, 2016 by Rachel
This is the time of year for reflection, for compiling top ten best and worst lists, for noting what we did (and did not accomplish) and how we can do better in the year ahead. In keeping with the spirit of the season, what follows is a list of some of my favorite JMM moments from 2016.
1. Paul Simon: Words and Music exhibit brings in record crowds – By the time we closed the exhibit, on loan from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more than 5,000 visitors came through our doors over the course of three months. But even more gratifying than the numbers was how the exhibit enabled us to raise our institutional profile and attract new visitors, thanks, in part, to widespread media coverage.
The exhibit provided us with an opportunity to hold several musical performances in the Lloyd Street Synagogue, such as our concluding program by Baltimorean Sonia Rutstein, which proved popular.
2. Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America opens – After more than three years of development, we opened a major, original exhibition that explores the influence of science and culture on one another and how medicine has impacted Jewish identity. The exhibit opened to many accolades from both press and the public and we continue to receive wonderful feedback from visitors.
Opening Beyond Chicken Soup
The exhibit marked another important milestone as we successfully raised more funds than ever before for an exhibit and many of our sponsors came from within the medical community. And if you haven’t had a chance to see it, don’t worry, the exhibit remains on view through January 16. (But don’t put this off too long!)
3. Our newest living history character, Henrietta Szold, debuted in September– With a fabulous performance by actor Natalie Smith, the newest member of our Immigrant’s Trunk living history roster, focuses on Szold’s contributions to Zionism and to improving access to quality healthcare in Palestine.
Henrietta in action
To date, the character has performed at the JMM, at schools and synagogues.
4. Our annual Summer Teachers Institute successfully engaged more than 40 educators from public, private and parochial schools from across the state – This three-day workshop featured scholars, artists, survivors and a visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Teachers enjoyed participating in an interactive session exploring artistic responses to oppression facilitated by Gail Prensky and Sarah Baumgarten.
Comments such as: “How do I adequately put into words all that was imparted during this experience? I was completely blown away with the amount of information conveyed throughout the various presentations and, on a logistical level, I was impressed by the professionalism and organization of the entire workshop. The materials and resources were such a valuable blessing and I walked away having learned so much and excited to be able to take it back into the classroom and school environment.“ reflect the program’s success.
5. JMM launches a new statewide collecting initiative in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition, Just Married! Wedding Stories of Jewish Maryland – In keeping with our mission to collect, preserve and interpret Maryland Jewish history, and to fill in gaps in our collection, JMM staff is looking to collect new material that reflect the diversity of Jewish Marylanders wedding traditions.
6. In preparation for our upcoming exhibit, Remembering Auschwitz, JMM staff, in partnership with artist Lori Schocket and The Human Element Project, held a series of workshops for Holocaust survivors and their families. The workshops resulted in the creation of collages, created on canvases that incorporated photocopies of participants’ photographs and documents that will be transformed into plaques. The plaques will be on display as part of our spring exhibit (March 5-May 29, 2017)
The Rozga siblings make collages honoring their parents.
7. Our educational programs make connections between past and present –
One example can be seen in a visit this fall by a group of students that included Syrian refugees who learned about immigration history – as they made connections with their own personal experiences – through a tour of Voices of Lombard Street.
In addition this year’s Lessons of the Shoah, a high school interfaith program co-sponsored by the Baltimore Jewish Council that took place at John Carroll High school, focused on the plight of refugees, past and present.
8. We continued to build new partnerships and expand existing ones – JMM has long benefitted from our continued partnerships with such organizations as the Baltimore Jewish Council, The Maryland State Department of Education and Baltimore City Schools. This year we were proud to co-sponsor programs with the Gordon Center; the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies; Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University and many others. These collaborations give us the opportunity to reach new and diverse audiences and also allow us to provide access to speakers and programs we would not be able to afford on our own.
One particularly successful joint program was developed in partnership with the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, an October event that was billed as a Jewish Baltimore Family Reunion. Alfred Moses delivered a talk in the Lloyd Street Synagogue based on his book about his family’s business.
9. After more than 160 years in existence, the Lloyd Street Synagogue receives new attention – The JMM’s star attraction, the Lloyd Street Synagogue, was the subject of new research, art, conversations and some well deserved maintenance. In conjunction with Paul Simon: Words and Music we developed a themed building tour that examined the role that music has played in the life of the different congregation that have called LSS home.
We also invited artists for a day of plein air painting and were delighted by the different artistic interpretations of our beloved synagogue.
Our efforts to breathe new life into the building resulted in a series of two conversations held with community stakeholders and representatives of other local history organizations. We asked participants to provide feedback about how we can better make use of the synagogue as a venue to attract new audiences (as well as encouraging repeat visitation). We were thrilled by the responses we received and look forward to implementing some of the ideas that were generated. Noting that the inside of the synagogue had gotten a little worn over the years, we also decided to invest in a major fall cleaning project that resulted in a sparkling interior.
10. JMM receives an award from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for an upcoming exhibit on the scrap industry – How gratifying it was to receive notification in September that the JMM, once again, was selected to receive a prestigious (and competitive) grant award from this federal agency. We received the notice just weeks after we launched the second phase of planning for our upcoming exhibition Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling with a site visit from members of our exhibit team including curator, Jill Vexler, and the folks from our design firm, Alchemy Studios.
As part of the team meeting in September, we visited a nearby scrap yard, Baltimore Scrap Corp.
The exhibit opens in Fall 2018.
As with all Top Ten lists, there are so many more highlights from the past year that I could have included. 2016 was, indeed, a banner year for the JMM. We look forward to seeing you in the year ahead and wish you and your family happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
A blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.
Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by Rachel
“Don’t be frightened!” cried Tevye as he started to explain his nightmare of Fruma Sarah.
JMM is feeling ever so slightly ghoulish these days as we invite back Dr. Arnold Blumberg to speak about zombies and prepare for the return of the ghost of Mendes Cohen in early November. Maybe it’s the “haunting” music in The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit or the creaking of the pirate ships on the Oct. 19 Chesapeake program.
But I can assure you that these are all friendly ghosts, so don’t resist. Come join us at an upcoming event. Also be sure to check out our NEW tour hours below and note our November opening of yet another specialty tour of the Lloyd Street Synagogue – this one looking at the building from the vantage point of 1845.
Get into the spirit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland this October.
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 / email@example.com. For more information on JMM events please visit www.jewishmuseummd.org.
A Star-Spangled Banner New Year: Author Tova S. Yavin
Sunday, October 12, 1:00pm
Program Free with Museum Admission
Explore the Jewish experience at Fort McHenry with children’s author Tova S. Yavin. Yavin, received the 2008 Notable Book Award for her novel All Star Season, has been developing an article for Highlights Magazine for Children on the Jewish experience of the War of 1812. Learn how the events inspired Francis Scott Key and what his famous poem meant to America’s Jewish community.
All-Star Season will be available for purchase in the JMM Museum Shop during the program.
In Full Glory Reflected: Author Dr. Ralph Eshelman
Sunday, October 19, 1:00pm
Program Free with Museum Admission
In Full Glory Reflected, co-authored by Dr. Ralph Eshelman and Burt Kummerow, will be available for purchase in the JMM Museum Shop.
Dr. Ralph Elsheman, co-author of In Full Glory Reflected: Discovering the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake, will be standing in for his writing partner Burt Kummerow. Eshleman, a historian who helped develop the “Star Spangled Banner Historic Trail” will share gripping tales of devastating raids, heroic defenders, gallant privateers, fugitive slaves and threatened lands from his treasure chest of Chesapeake tails.
Free Fall Baltimore
The Golem: A Horrific Hero with Feet of Clay: Speaker Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg
Sunday, October 26, 1:00pm
Where are the Jewish zombies? For this year’s Free Fall Baltimore program at the JMM, we welcome back Dr. Blumberg as he reveals the background of the mythical Golem and its place in contemporary pop culture.
Arnold T. Blumberg teaches courses in zombies in popular media (Univ. of Baltimore) and comic book literature (UMBC).
Mendes’ Baltimore: The Industries that Built a City
Sunday, November 9th, 1pm
Speaker Jack Burkert
Jack Burkert, a museum educator at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, will discuss the industries and technology that played a vital role in the growth and development of Baltimore during Mendes Cohen’s lifetime. Plus after join us for our newest synagogue tour Technology in the Temple.
Jack joined the Baltimore Museum of Industry as a Museum Educator in 2010. Through this employment, he offers educational programs and information to both adults and young people. Jack has made a specialty of adding content and background to his work through research into the history of Baltimore, its port, businesses, people and immigration. A 1969 graduate of the University of Maryland, Jack graduated with honors with a degree in history and education. His working life, some 40+ years, was spent in various educator roles, beginning in the Baltimore City School system, then as a staff member at the Pennsylvania State University, through private employers and then until his retirement a few years ago, in his own consulting firm.
Mendes Cohen Living History Performance
Sunday, November 16, 1:00pm
Program Free with Museum Admission
The Ghost of Mendes Cohen
See history come alive with this performance of our newest Living History character and subject of our recently opened exhibit, performed by actor Grant Cloyd. Learn more about this fascinating character as he recounts some of his most captivating anecdotes, including his experience as a defender at Fort McHenry and his time spent traveling throughout Europe and the Middle East. This will be the first full performance of “the ghost of Mendes Cohen” at the JMM.
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.
Exhibits currently on display include The A-mazing Mendes Cohen (on display through June 14, 2015), Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!
NEW – Hours and Tour Times
The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm.
Starting October 5 we will offer combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel, Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. We will offer tours focused on the Lloyd Street Synagogue, Sunday through Thursday at 3:00pm and on Sunday at 4:00pm. On November 9 we will introduce a new Lloyd Street “1845: Technology and the Temple” tour at 3:00pm and the tour will be available every Sunday and Monday at 3 until The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen closes next June.
Please note we are closed for the Jewish festivals on October 9, 10, 16 and 17.
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.
Get mugged….get lost…..get burned!..…
Baltimore is buzzing for our A-Mazing Mendes MUG! (and dishwasher safe!)
Lost in the Maze, but you can be found in the JMM Museum Shop!
Only Candles burn and oh so brightly on our Fire Engine Menorah!
To round out our fantastic and A-Mazing shop, look at this gorgeous dish!
Merchandise purchased in the Museum Shop directly benefits the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Members receive a 10% discount on JMM Shop purchases.
For information, call Esther Weiner, Museum Shop Manager, 410-732-6400, ext. 211 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on August 30th, 2013 by Rachel