Volunteer Spotlight on: Judy Tapiero

Posted on December 7th, 2015 by

Judy Tapiero is volunteering to organize the Anne Adalman Goodwin Library of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. That’s what she did in her professional life – she was a library consultant.  She organized and set up libraries for companies and associations.

She has lived in Baltimore for 10 years. Born in England, she arrived in the United States in 1956 when her family moved to Scarsdale, NY, to be near New York City, in a community with good schools.  Her father, Oskar Rabinowicz was born in Aspern, Austria near Vienna. His family moved to a small town in Czechoslovakia, then moved to England when Hitler moved into Czechoslovakia. He had joined the Zionist movement while in college. He taught Byzantine history but then became a banker and scholar when he moved to England.  He wrote the book Winston Churchill on Jewish Problems: A Half Century Survey.  The book History of Jews in Czechoslovakia was dedicated to him.  Judy labeled him quite the Renaissance man. Her father wanted her to have a profession so she attended Brandeis University.  Her mother was an accomplished sculptor who exhibited her pieces and won juried competitions. She was also involved with Friends of the Hebrew University and their synagogue.

After college, Judy moved to Montreal with her husband but couldn’t work without a visa so she pursued the Library degree program at McGill University.  When they moved to the New York area she completed the Library degree program at Rutgers.  Along came their two children, so she volunteered at their synagogue and opened their library where she facilitated Library Hour at the synagogue school library.   Once the children were older, she began in Princeton then commuted to New York City to work, setting up libraries for consulting firms.

Judy Tapiero

Library Volunteer Judy hard at work!

Very few people do exactly what Judy does. She founded a consulting firm to organize and set up libraries that someone else then runs. Her goal is to make sure each library continues. She hones the collection to make it relevant to the mission of the organization.  At the JMM, she realizes that we cannot discard any Institutional Archives and that there is more and more digital information.  Library collections are changing and she wants to assure that everything is retained in its best form. Judy describes what she is doing at the JMM as a “labor of love.” It is taking a lot of time but she is glad to donate hers.  First, she has to review what is in the data base and compare it with the card catalog. Next, she reviews all of the cards to determine which are copies (each book has 4 – 5 cards, depending upon the description).  There is an author file, title file and subject file.  Her hardest task is determining single subject cards. She endeavors to reduce the card file by half, to eliminate duplications.  There are currently ~2500 volumes, plus Hebrew and Yiddish books that are now in English.

People are increasingly interested in library contents today because it has become so much easier to search. Judy adds that the The Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center for genealogy at the JMM is very good.  She looks forward to developing that more too.  She is attempting to make everything more user friendly so that more people will use it.

She suggests that the JMM library could use an infusion of new books. Before donating books elsewhere, she hopes that members and others will consider the JMM for books having to do with Judaism and Maryland – the books must have this connection to be of use to our collection.

Her greatest surprise in volunteering at the JMM has been her discovery of some unbelievable “treasures.”  In particular, she mentioned the books with colorful fold-out maps. She is also impressed by the Museum’s collection of rare books and hopes that one day they can be put on display so that visitors will be able to appreciate them too.

If anyone reading this has a love for books like Judy, please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Ilene Cohen, as once this phase of the library project is completed, volunteers will be required to physically move things around.

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: Bob Brooks!

Posted on October 26th, 2015 by

Bob Brooks has been volunteering at the JMM for over 6 years. For most of that time he has been a Docent, but while nursing an injury he helped out in the Archives for a while too.  Prior to becoming a docent at the JMM, he was a docent at Homewood Museum.

pic Bob Brooks

Originally from New York, he became a Baltimorean upon retirement. His wife, Devorah was originally from Baltimore so she became a replant, while Bob became a transplant.  Prior to retirement he was a certified financial planner and worked as the Administrative Vice President and Controller of a manufacturing company. He worked for the same company for 40 years.

Bob has an interest in all subjects that are Jewish. He has gained knowledge from many years of study and as a regular shul goer.  In addition to the many classes he takes at Beth Tfiloh, he also likes to learn about subjects as varied as photography, computers, and physics at CCBC and elsewhere around town.  He determined that these interests would lend themselves well to becoming a docent at the JMM. His favorite aspect of being a JMM docent is meeting the visitors. He particularly enjoys meeting out-of-towners and especially non-Jewish visitors. With them he feels he can impart a certain knowledge that they do not yet have. He reaches back to the time when he taught Comparative Religion to Confirmation class students at his Conservative synagogue. He fondly remembers when he took those students to a Lubavitch Center on Hoshana Rabbah, to demonstrate differences in their own religion, not simply compared to other religions.

Bob recalls an incident that occurred while touring with a group of inner-city students on the synagogue tour at the JMM. One of the students asked, “Didn’t the Jews kill God?” The teacher was mortified! Bob’s response however was, “You can’t kill God, there is no way you can kill God.”  Great answer Bob!  He describes his volunteer experience at the JMM as a very good one. We look forward to continuing that experience together, for many more years.

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: Warren Clayman

Posted on September 16th, 2015 by

Warren Clayman is a Diversity Consultant.  As such, he was invited to a Leadership Luncheon at the JMM in 2008.  What he learned about the Museum that day convinced him that it would be a good place to volunteer.  The blend of his professional skills and his interest in Judaism were a good combination of qualities that resulted in him becoming a Museum Docent. His family emigrated from Russia to Ohio. His grandfather was a rag merchant who traveled to Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland. He has always been impressed with the courage of immigrants, especially with the fact that they preserved their religion in their new home and established synagogues like the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

Doesn't Warren have a great smile?

Doesn’t Warren have a great smile?

Before coming to the JMM, Warren was a Director of Planning with HUD in Baltimore. While working in the neighborhood in the 1970’s he noticed the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and watched the renovation of the building years later.  He currently works in Workforce Diversity. He works with corporations to ensure ethnic and civil rights. He enjoys traveling around the country and partners with a person of color, to give his work legitimacy.  He still likes walking around the neighborhood and often does so between his scheduled tours.  While traveling, he likes to visit Jewish museums and synagogues.

His favorite aspect of volunteering at the JMM is meeting the fascinating visitors.  He recalls people who came from as near as the Baltimore Convention Center, to the Caribbean Islands, from Russia, and in particular an Asian woman who had a Jewish boyfriend and wanted to learn about his religion.  One group of Russian immigrants came with an interpreter.  He understood that the Jewish religion had passed a lot of the visitor’s right by but they seemed fascinated nonetheless.  When he opened the ark in the Lloyd Street Synagogue, two visitors ran up and had tears in their eyes as they looked at the Torah’s up close. He endeavors to focus each tour on the relationship of the visitors to the synagogues, in a warm and friendly way. He learns as much as he can about their connection (or not) with Judaism and sets the tone of the tour from that.  He says it has been a great volunteer experience so far. His favorite part of Docent training is getting to know the other volunteers and the staff of the JMM.  He recalls the storytelling sessions facilitated by Jennifer Rudick Zunikoff as a “phenomenal” experience.

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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