Volunteer Spotlight On: Aileen Bormel, Museum Shop!

Posted on July 8th, 2015 by

Aileen Bormel has been volunteering in the JMM Museum Shop for three years.  She enjoys educating the customers about the beautiful merchandise and many unique items. She occasionally ends up buying for herself too.   She began volunteering in the shop as a way to support the JMM and she appreciates the opportunity she gets to meet people from not only the Baltimore community, but all over the world.

photo Aileen Bormel

Aileen in the Museum Shop

Aileen formerly taught deaf students at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia, and also in Baltimore City.  She did sign language interpreting too, mostly for children.  She is an active Hadassah member. She was recently President of the Greater Baltimore Chapter and currently sits on the National Board where she is co-chair of the Society of Major Donors.  She was previously co-chair of the National Mission to Israel and has enjoyed visiting there many times. Her husband, David works for Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. Her daughter, Allison lives and works in DC as the communications director for a US Congressman from the East Bay of San Francisco.  Her son, Eric lives and works in New York City as an investment banker.

Recently a visitor from Indonesia asked Aileen why our shop was selling a handcrafted box in the shape of a pyramid. The customer had no idea that Jews had any connection with Egypt.  Aileen was delighted to share information regarding Judaism, the tie with Egypt, and teach this particular visitor about something that most visitors to the Museum take for granted.

The box in question.

The box in question.

Aileen likes that her volunteer position is easy and not stressful, like many other facets of life can be. She does however wish that there were more customers in the shop and reminds us that one of the benefits of JMM membership is a 10% discount on all merchandise.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday(ish) of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at icohen@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

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Volunteer Spotlight on: Laurie Weitz, Front Desk!

Posted on June 1st, 2015 by

Laurie Weitz has been volunteering as a Front Desk Receptionist at the JMM for 2 years.  She knew Volunteer Coordinator, Ilene Cohen through Hadassah and the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation of the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, who convinced her of the need for more JMM volunteers.  It was not a hard sell, she lives in Federal Hill and likes to support downtown institutions and she had recently enjoyed a Hadassah sponsored trip to the Museum.

Laurie Weitz

Laurie Weitz

In the past Laurie has run businesses and worked at various salaried jobs but she is most proud of being a professional and passionate volunteer.  She appreciates knowing that she is making a difference in the lives of others.  Outside of her volunteer work, she enjoys being active and in particular likes to swim, hike, bike, snow ski, and walk.  She also enjoys traveling. Her favorite destination used to be France but now she ranks Spain, South America and Israel at the top of her list.  She also loved a recent trip to Budapest, Prague and Vienna.  She has visited many of the U.S. National Parks and intends to visit more.

She has been very happy volunteering at the JMM.  She commented on how great James McVay, our security guard is (he works closely with the Front Desk Receptionist).  She particularly enjoys the people she meets at the Museum, especially the student groups and the senior groups. She likes seeing how interested they are in learning about the history of Jews in Maryland.  She shared a recent instance when someone learned about corned beef and potato latkes on tour and then wanted to try them out for themselves (she suggested one of the nearby delicatessens). Her “stand-out” experience was with a group of Asian visitors who were in Baltimore for a wedding.  They barely spoke English but she convinced them to go on the tour of our historic synagogues.  They enjoyed the tour so much that they made it a point to come back and report to Laurie how good it was.  She also thinks that our exhibits are “fabulous” and really enjoyed Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture and American Jewish Identity and Project Mah Jongg.

Laurie has been very happy with her volunteer experience at the JMM and looks forward to continuing. We look forward to having her as a member of our volunteer corps for a good long while and hope she will convince some of her friends to do so as well.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday(ish) of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at icohen@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Volunteer Spotlight on: Ellen Stein!

Posted on May 11th, 2015 by

Ellen Stein has been volunteering at the Jewish Museum of Maryland for just over 2 years.  Her original connection with the JMM began while she was still working in Baltimore County Public Schools. She worked on school curriculum with Ilene Dackman-Alon, Education Director. But when Ellen began volunteering she chose to start in the Museum Shop. She has designs on moving into the Education Department after a while, perhaps as a Docent, but until then, she is happy to enjoy herself in the shop.   While there, she sells merchandise, assists with inventory (she especially enjoys seeing new items come in), tags and shelves items, and even polishes the silver. She is happy to do anything that Esther Weiner, Shop Manager, requests.  One of her favorite outcomes of volunteering has been getting to know Esther, who Ellen describes as a wonderful multi-tasker.

Ellen Stein

Ellen Stein

As mentioned above, before volunteering at the JMM Ellen was with Baltimore County Public Schools for 32 years.  She taught kindergarten for 17 years, was a Teacher Mentor, and finished her career as a Language Resource teacher in Title 1 schools.   She knew that she wanted to get back to volunteering when she retired and is glad to fill her time at the JMM.  She thinks the Museum is a wonderful place to visit.  She especially enjoys meeting people from out of town and likes to learn about where they are from and assist them with their purchases in the shop.  A perk she enjoys are the field trips and behind-the-scenes tours that are planned specifically for the volunteers. In particular, she mentioned a visit to the National Archives (our Executive Director Marvin Pinkert’s old stomping grounds).  Also while at the museum, Ellen enjoys learning about Jewish history through attending the exhibits. She took advantage of the Project Mah Jongg exhibit and learned how to play. She is now in a regular game.

While away from the Museum, Ellen enjoys being a mother to 3 and grandmother to 4. One family is in Chicago but she was able to spend Mother’s Day with all those who live in Baltimore.  She concluded by describing her overall volunteer experience at the JMM as wonderful, and something she really enjoys. She said that all of the staff has been helpful whenever she has needed assistance.  We feel exactly the same way about her.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday(ish) of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at icohen@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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