Dear Abby 1.5

Posted on December 2nd, 2013 by

Dear Abby is at it again!

 

Dear Abby,

My dear friend, “S” has put himself into a bit of a pickle. He has a reputation for being a know-it-all, and now he’s made an ill-advised bet with his archenemy (let’s just call him “M”) that he knows everything about the Jewish Museum of Maryland. He even wagered his prized violin! There’s only one problem: “S” has never been to the JMM! Obviously, he needs to visit the museum as soon as possible. When is the soonest that he can go on a tour? Do your tours cover the whole museum? Another potential problem is that “S” has lived a long, full live, and his knees just aren’t what they used to be, so he is not comfortable using stairs—even with railings. Will this be a problem?

Signed,

Dr. W. 

Dear Dr. W.,

Sherlock_Silhouette

A wager is very serious business, so I will try to do everything I can to help your friend learn what he needs to know in order to keep his violin! First of all, we offer five tours a day, Sunday through Thursday, so there are plenty of opportunities for “S” to go on a tour. These tours go out at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, and 4:00pm. I would recommend that he come for the tours earlier than 3:00pm because the 3:00pm tour talks more about the Civil War than about the history of the synagogues, and the 4:00pm tour is abbreviated because we have to close up the synagogues at 4:30pm. For future reference, you can always find our tour schedule on our website, here: http://jewishmuseummd.org/visiting/.

The tours do not cover the entire museum. They only cover the two synagogues—Lloyd Street Synagogue and B’nai Israel Synagogue. The exhibits inside the museum, and in the basement of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, are all self-guided.

Unfortunately, while the main museum building is handicap accessible, both synagogues require our visitors to climb a lot of stairs, and because they are historic buildings, it’s very difficult to install ramps or elevators that still comply with the historic trust’s rules. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll have a solution to the problem of ensuring access while preserving the historic character of these buildings, but for the time being, we’re stuck with what we’ve got.

Generally, I assume that each visitor knows his or her own abilities best, but if “S” is uncomfortable with stairs, even when they have railings (as ours do), then he will not be able to see the sanctuaries of the synagogues…in person. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t go on a tour! Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we have a DVD version of the synagogues tour that we can set up in as little as five minutes! If “S” asks for it at the front desk, we will have him set up in no time at all.

Yours Truly,

Abby

 

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Dear Abby 1.3

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by

Dear Abby gives some solid advice for what to do with the family on Thanksgiving weekend in this installment!

 

Dear Abby,

Because of “Thanksgivvukah”, the entire family is descending on our house for the holiday this year for a whole five days. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and I’ll be happy to see them on Thursday, and maybe Friday. But by Sunday, there’s no doubt that our house will be a wreck and my husband and I will be certifiably insane! Please tell me that your museum will be open the Sunday after Thanksgiving and that there will be things to interest all ages! My daugher-in-law doesn’t think this is a good idea because she thinks her kids are too young to learn about the Holocaust. I reminded her that this is not the Holocaust Museum, but she insisted that I write to you to ask—just in case. That’s mechotenem for you, right?

Anyway, it’d be great to know that, any time the family comes for a too-long visit, we have a place to which we can reliably turn for entertainment.

Sincerely,

B-more Bubby Gone Bonkers

 

Dear B-more Bubby,

A Bubby gone bonkers can’t make the batches and batches of latkes that are needed for Chanukkah, and we can’t have that! It’s exactly for that reason that the JMM is always open on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. In fact, it’s usually a special Family Day Sunday, with activities for kids and adults. This year is no different; we will be having a “Civil War Photography Family Day” in honor of our Civil War exhibit. For the kids, we’ll have hands-on activities that will allow them to learn about photographic processes that don’t involve pixels—including making their own stereoscopes to view 3D images! For the adults, there will be a lecture at 1:00pm by Russ Kelbaugh, an expert on early photography and Jewish photographers during the Civil War. To find more information about these and upcoming programs, you can always check out our events calendar online here: http://jewishmuseummd.org/calendar-event/upcoming/.

Just one of the many child friendly activities in our exhibits!

Just one of the many child friendly activities in our exhibits!

Although we don’t have Family Day every day, we do always have activities for all ages. Each of our exhibits—besides being fascinating in and of themselves—contain stations that provide hands-on engagement for children as well as those who want an immersive experience of the exhibits. From listening in on conversations through the ages in “Attman’s Deli”, to understanding the physical evolution of the Lloyd Street Synagogue through movable wooden blocks, to creating your own care package for a wounded Civil War soldier, there are so many ways for people of all ages to learn together and to partake in the Jewish Museum of Maryland experience!

I hope this is enough information to convince your daughter-in-law that it is always a good idea to bring the family to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, no matter the age or occasion!

Yours Truly,

Abby

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Dear Abby 1.3

Posted on November 21st, 2013 by

The newest installment of “Dear Abby!”

 

Dear Abby,

My wife and I live in the North Pole, but every so often, we take the reindeer down to Baltimore to eat some good crabs and maybe catch a Raven’s game. At our last visit, we saw your brochure at the Visitors’ Center, and we tried to visit your museum. I say tried because we came across two problems. The first was that we couldn’t find a parking space! A sleigh is not exactly a compact vehicle, so street parking was out of the question, and your lot was full. We finally decided to give up and come another time when we saw a large group of schoolchildren walking into the museum. As much as we love children, due to the delicate nature of my occupation, it would simply be disastrous if I visited a museum while large numbers of children were present. We were also worried that the level of noise that generally comes with schoolchildren would startle our reindeer.

I don’t suppose you have any “adult only” hours at the museum?

Signed, Kriss

 

Dear Mr. Kriss,

I’m sorry to hear that you had such a frustrating time trying to visit us! The lot that you saw across the street from us does not actually belong to the museum, unfortunately. That is a city lot, and it does often get filled up during the work week, as you saw. On Sundays, it is much easier to find a spot there, and on the street—which is free on Sundays too. There’s also a garage nearby where you can park. The entrance to the garage is on Baltimore St., just before crossing East St. To make it even better, we have a deal with that garage! The regular price for parking there is $5 for the day, but if you let us know that you parked there, we’ll give you a coupon that takes $2 off of that. You can also find information about parking at the museum on our website, here: http://jewishmuseummd.org/visiting/parking-and-transportation/.

School children discovering the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

School children discovering the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

As for not wanting to share the museum with a school group, that is an understandable dilemna. Schoolchildren can be very exuberant in their quest for knowledge (and in their excitement to be out of the classroom), and while some people might enjoy the energy that those kinds of fellow visitors bring to the museum experience, others might prefer a more peaceful, maybe even zen-like quality. If you (or your reindeer, in this case) are the latter kind of visitor, than I would recommend that you visit on a weekday afternoon. Most of our school groups come in the mornings, and our busiest day, in terms of any type of visitorship, is Sunday.

And don’t forget that, unlike many other museums, we are open on Mondays! You can extend that relaxing weekend feeling by visiting us on a Monday afternoon.

I hope this helped you and that we will be seeing you and the Mrs. very soon!

Yours Truly,

Abby

abby krolik copyHave a question of your own for Abby? Click HERE to email her! Make sure to put “Dear Abby” in the subject line! 

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