Hanukkah Cuteness Throughout Our Partnership Schools!

Posted on December 29th, 2016 by

The JMM piloted its successful Museum-School Partnership program eleven years ago, working with four Baltimore City schools and met with great success.  This model includes moving beyond the one-time annual field trip and one-time classroom activity.  The JMM provides 4-8 programs over the course of the year, some at the Museum and other at the school.  Independent evaluations, participant-observer reports, and direct testing of knowledge, documents the value and productivity of sustained engagement between the Museum, the school, and the students. In each partnership, Museum education staff work with individual teachers and administrators to adapt JMM program offerings to meet the specific needs of the specific schools and students.

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A little bit of Chanukah dancing!

Our Museum-School partnership has become a signature achievement of the JMM’s education department since it was launched eleven years ago.  During this academic school year, we are working with five specific schools, that are our neighbors in East and West Baltimore- Patterson Park Public Charter School, City Springs Elementary/Middle School, John Ruhrah Elementary /Middle School, Morrell Park Elementary/Middle School and Windsor Hills Elementary/Middle School.

Learning to play dreidel

Learning to play dreidel

During the holiday season, it is a thrill to go inside the classrooms and expose children to the  Jewish customs and traditions of Hanukkah.  The importance of multicultural education in our schools is so important especially in today’s world where our schools consist of children from a wide array of cultures including people from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa; whereas, in earlier generations immigrants came from mostly western and northern Europe. Our schools play an important role preparing students for the responsibilities of an ever-changing diverse and global society.

Chanukah storytelling

Chanukah storytelling

Over the past 3 weeks, the JMM has spent a lot of time inside the classrooms of our museum/school partnerships schools serving more than 300 students and teaching them about Hanukkah.  In many instances, our education programs are the first time that many children have ever heard about other religions, or customs other than their own.    Our staff had so much using storytelling, dreidel spinning and dancing to teach students about the Jewish customs and traditions of Hanukkah.   We hope that you will enjoy some of these special moments with area school children!  Happy Hanukkah!

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Our Miniature Chanukah Celebration – Part 2

Posted on December 22nd, 2016 by

Following up on last week’s post, here’s a closer look at a few more of the Chanukah programs featured in our mini exhibit in the Lloyd Street Synagogue…

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

First, a nice little souvenir program for a “Grand Chanuka Concert given by Rev. S. Schenberg with a double choir, assisted by the talented violinist, Mr. Charles Weissmann. Given on Sunday December 5th, 1915, 5:30 pm under the auspices of Aitz Chaim Congregation, the Eden Street Synagogue. Dr. Romanoff, Rabbi of the Congregation.”  This is an eight page booklet, with a tasseled cord around the binding. Inside can be found the evening’s musical selections, in both English and [Yiddish], and the event committee is listed on the back cover. In case you’re still planning your own Chanukah concert, you can take some inspiration from the program here:

Music Selection Ida [sic] from Verdi

Brohcos – Grossman

Hanaras H’lolu – Berkowitz

Selection, Israeli – Weissman

Lecture ‘Chanuca’ – Dr. Romanoff

Mismoir Schier Chanukas – Sestofol

Solo Violin – Weissman

Ma Oshiv – Schenberg

Serenad Music – Schubert

Ahavti – Weissman

Loy Omus – Schenberg

 

Most of the booklet, however, is given over to advertisements, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, for a variety of  businesses:

>J. Castelberg’s National Jewelry Company

>Baltimore Commercial Bank

>Hendler Creamery (“The Velvet Kind”)

>R. Ember Co. – furniture

>Osias Schoenfeld’s New York Dairy Lunch

>Commercial Savings Bank [in Yiddish]

>N. Ginsburg, Dealer in Cigars & Tobacco

>Y. Samuelson – pictures and frames [in Yiddish]

>F. Hurwitz Kosher Delicatessen

>Barney’s Café

>The Capitol Tailoring Co.

>Frank Merin, Contractor and Builder

>Hochschild, Kohn & Co.

>I. Greenhood Ladies’ Tailor

>E. Tamres, Dealer in Leather, Shoe Findings and Shoemakers Supplies

>Old Town National Bank

>Jack Lewis with Robert Kinnier, Hiring and Boarding Stables

>Jack Lewis, Undertaker and Embalmer [in Yiddish]

>Goldenberg Brothers ‘Greater Stores’

>Rev. Samuel Schenberg, Cantor of ‘Etz Chaim,’ First Class Practical Mohel; also does weddings [in English and Yiddish]

>The Reliable Plumbing Co.

>Stewart & Co.

>National Marine Bank

>The Eden Street Synagogue (“Aitz Chaim”)

>B. Mankowitz, Dealer in Delicatessen, Scotch Herring, Sardines

>Schaeffers Orpheum Theater [in Yiddish]

>Bernstein, Cohen & Co., Bankers

>A. Sindler, Furniture and Carpets

>Rev. N. Glazer, Hebrew School (“Special attention given to Bar Mitzvah children with the nicest English and Yiddish speeches”) [in Yiddish]

>Kosher Mikveh for all Jewish Women, with the approval of Baltimore Rabbis [in Yiddish]

>London Fur Mfg. Co.

>Saiontz Fur Co.

>Hackerman’s The Lucky Corner – Hatter and Gent.’s Furnisher

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

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Gift of David L.C. Golberg. JMM 1993.26.44

…Another inside-peek-worthy item in the exhibit is the script for What Happened on Chanuka, by Rabbi G. Lipkind, published by Bloch Pub. Co. in 1924.  According to a note inside the cover, the play was “Presented twice with great success by the Intermediate Adath Boys on Sun. Dec. 13, 1933 (& Dance) & on Tuesday Dec. 19, 1933. Coached by Saul Taragin (15 rehearsals)”.  Taragin (1917-1997), son of a rabbi, emigrated to the US in 1929; he worked as a teacher and, in 1992, helped found Baltimore’s Yeshivat Rambam Day School.  The “Adath Boys” may have been affiliated with Adath B’nei Israel, a young adult congregation founded around 1920, though it could also refer to Adath Israel (now Beth Isaac Adath Israel), founded in 1914.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

What I’d expected to be a light-hearted story about a family celebration is actually a rather deep examination of assimilation, adoption, intermarriage, and personal religious identity.  (Though I confess I have not read the entire script yet.)  There are a few annotations throughout, with some word changes here and there.  This page spread touches on a few of the play’s themes, as well as the central event of the Gerson family’s Chanukah celebration:

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

The cast list, delightfully, includes the actors’ names in pencil. I’ve not matched all of them up to their histories (and I’m not sure who played young Benno), but the players included Zelda Zafren (later Rivkin), born 1918; Pauline Kurland (later Kramer), born 1918; Beatrice Shoenig (later Krohn) born 1917; and Yetta Townsend, born 1918, who played the role originally written as Louis – it looks as if, for the purposes of Taragin’s production, it was changed to “Rebecca”.

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Gift of Rose Cohen. JMM 1997.130.1

Fifteen rehearsals is a lot of work for a bunch of teenagers, especially when their leader is himself only 16. I’m glad that Taragin’s “great success” can be remembered today, thanks to the annotated script.

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic [link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltimore_Polytechnic_Institute] in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10

Saul Taragin, right, with an unidentified friend, possibly at his graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic in the early 1930s. Museum purchase. JMM 2003.83.10

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

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Our Miniature Chanukah Celebration – Part 1

Posted on December 15th, 2016 by

Nature abhors a vacuum, and collections managers abhor an empty exhibit case. Why not put such a thing to good use? So we moved a spare case to a corner of the basement of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and now we have to make sure it’s filled.  At the moment, we’re featuring a few items from Chanukah celebrations of the past.

Children preparing decorations for a Chanukah party, circa 1980.  Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. JMM 2006.13.274b

Children preparing decorations for a Chanukah party, circa 1980. Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore. JMM 2006.13.274b

Compiling a small thematic exhibit like this one is fun, because it gives us a chance to pull together just a few related items that might not often get their day in the (metaphorical) sun.  Archives-based exhibits can also be frustrating, however; we get to see all the pages of the booklets and albums, but we know the visitor usually cannot. That’s where the magic of the internet comes in. (The mantra of the completist curator trying to narrow down the exhibit list: “Okay, that could go on the blog instead.”) I think the covers of our Chanukah entertainments are great, but here’s a chance to show you a bit of what’s inside.

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

First off, the smallest piece: A tiny “programme” from the “13th Annual Chanukah Banquet of the Baltimore Talmud Torah Society, Hebrew Free School, 21 N. High Street to be held at Hazazer’s Hall, 111 W. Franklin St. on Sunday, December 4, 1904.” (To see Hazazer’s, scroll down to the Hs on this site.)  Inside, we learn that the banquet featured music, speeches, prayer, and refreshments; several “pupils of the school,” namely Masters Tarshish, Shapiro, Cohen, and Freilichow, had the privilege of addressing the audience.  The Talmud Torah officers, Banquet committee, and “Committee of Appeal” are listed on the inside cover, including a few names familiar to us today such as Harry Friedenwald, M.S. Levy, and Jacob Epstein.

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Anonymous gift. JMM 1991.222.1

Next, an invitational handbill and the formal libretto from the “Grand Chanuka Celebration” held for the benefit of the Hebrew Young Men’s Association on Tuesday, December 9th, 1879 at Baltimore’s Concordia Opera House.

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.1, .2

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.1, .2

Although visitors can read the full invitation in the case, I must give a shout-out to the delightful introduction:

“Dear Sir: Amply as we are supplied with Jewish Festivals, there is one still, claiming a share for our rejoicing which of late we have not fully accorded to it. It is the festival of Chanuka, full of the most thrilling events described in the history of the Maccabees, and so beautifully set to music by Handel in the Oratorio of Judas Maccabaeus. Desirous of giving the festival the place due it in our midst, we are now actively engaged in completing arrangements for a  Grand Chanuka Celebration…”

(And only fifty cents admission for ladies! I’m sold.)

The cover of the libretto is informative, but there’s even more detail on the title page inside, namely the fact that the text was written by Miss Henrietta Szold (“all proprietary rights reserved”).  Further in the book, we learn the names of the musical soloists and speechgivers before we are treated to the full text of the address; song lyrics and poetry; and descriptions of each tableau vivant, because yes, like all good Grand Celebrations, there were tableaux.

Then we move on to the sponsoring advertisements, usually my favorite part of this type of document (I wish advertisers still noted “All Orders by Post will be promptly attended to,” as does A. Myers, Cabinet Maker), though the ad for Christmas presents is a tad awkward; I think in this case the tableaux are the winner. Altogether, this is a wonderful document, and I’m glad we can share it with you both in person and in virtual form.

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

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Gift of Herbert J. Goldsmith. JMM 1993.116.2

Next week: two (at least) more documents from our mini Chanukah exhibit – tune in!

JoannaA blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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