Sum-Sum Summertime!

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 by

Memorial Day is officially behind us and that means it’s summertime!  I read recently that Maryland beaches are probably some of the best in the country, surrounded by water from both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  There are so many vantage points throughout the state where one can see beautiful sunsets.

Capturing the View

Capturing the View

Last weekend, my hubby and I went on a “road trip” to the Eastern shore. We did not take our usual path across the Bay Bridge.  Instead, we headed north to Chesapeake City in Cecil County and then drove directly south through the counties on the eastern shore along the Chesapeake Bay.  I had a mission in mind, I wanted to see the infamous, Tolchester Beach, the place where many spent hot summer days in the late 19th and early 20th century.  In its hey-day, Tolchester was a beach destination that had had hotels, restaurants, and games, picnics, horse-racing and an amusement park with a merry-go-round and a roller coaster. The steamship lines ran from 1877 through the early 1950’s to Tolchester until the construction of the Bay Bridge, enabling people to cross the Chesapeake by car.

Welcome to Tolchester!

Welcome to Tolchester!

I first heard about Tolchester Beach in one of the monologues of Ida Rehr, one of the JMM’s living history performances.  According to Ida Rehr, you could only get to Tolchester in the early days by steamship ferries that crossed the Chesapeake Bay. Part of Ida’s story includes reminiscing about the picnic lunch that she took on the trip – fried chicken wrapped in waxed paper.

I asked my own relatives if they recalled going to Tolchester.  My Aunt Naomi recalled that she along with my father and grandparents went to Tolchester many times.  They would leave in the morning and come back home around dark.  Aunt Naomi recalled my grandparents rushing in the car to get to the docks on Pratt Street, so not to miss the ferry. My grandmother loved the trip on the ferry and always prepared a picnic lunch for the day trip to the eastern shore.  The trip took about an hour.  My aunt recalled the sandy beaches, even though she was not allowed to go swimming.  She also remembered that my grandmother broke her wrist when she slipped on the deck of the ferry because of the rain.

From the Museum Collections - Edward Rosenfeld’s relatives at the Tolchester beach, c. 1935. JMM 2000.72.29

From the Museum Collections – Edward Rosenfeld’s relatives at the Tolchester beach, c. 1935. JMM 2000.72.29

Today, Tolchester Beach is just a memory and there is nothing visible that would allow one to imagine the vibrant place that it was during the 19th and 20th centuries. .  From the eastern shore, one can see the western shore’s skyline making Baltimore, Middle River and Dundalk seem like such a short distance away.  Today, there is a marina at Tolchester along with a tiki bar.  There were people on the beach enjoying the views.  In fact, I was not the only person trying to imagine the place of yesteryear. I met a friend from high school (who I had not seen in 40 years).  She and her hubby took their speedboat to Tolchester for the day.  She had also heard about Tolchester back in its hey-day and was looking for sea glass, hoping to find some beautiful treasures along the eastern shores of the Chesapeake.

Ilene and Deborah

Ilene and Deborah

We had a great day trip we had and I loved seeing and learning about Tolchester Beach!  Definitely worth the trip!

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

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Warm Fuzzy Notes!

Posted on April 15th, 2015 by

Nothing gives me the “warm fuzzies” more than receiving a package filled with “thank you” notes from students that visit the Jewish Museum of Maryland on school field trips. I love the way children express themselves… they allow the reader to know exactly how they feel… using emotion, honesty and humor.  Please enjoy some of the precious notes from third graders  from The Calverton School in Calvert County and fourth graders from Temple Adas Shalom from Havre de Grace in Harford County.

A Warm Fuzzy!

A Warm Fuzzy!

“Dear Jewish Museum,

Thank you for the amazing tour.  I thought the synagogues were awesome.  Hebrew is an amazing language.  I also loved the scavenger hunt.  Thank you for everything.

Sincerely, Kylie”   – The Calverton School

 

“Dear Jewish Museum,

Thank you for showing me all about immigrants.  I loved the synagogue and scavenger hunt.  When you showed me the church, I lit up!  Thank you Jewish Museum!”

Check out that artwork.

Check out that artwork.

“Dear Jewish Museum,

Thank you for taking us into a synagogue.   Also, thank you for showing us matza.  Thank you for having us wear a yarmulke.  Sincerely, Steven”   – The Calverton School

 

“Dear Jewish Museum,

Thank you for letting my school come to your interesting museum.  I liked the scavenger hunt.  I also liked when Ida Rosen came.  Things got super, duper interesting.  Love, Baliee” – The Calverton School

A Whole Passel of  Warm Fuzzies!

A Whole Passel of Warm Fuzzies!

“Dear Jewish Museum,

Thank you for showing us the synagogues.  Thank you for showing us the actor Ida Rosen.  That was a great act.  Thank you for letting us have a scavenger hunt in the museum.  It was fun experiencing more about immigrants.

Love, Damani” – The Calverton School

 

“Thank You So Much!  Thank you so much for showing us around the two synagogues.  They were really cool and interesting and pretty!  That was the best field trip ever!

From, Eliana J.“  – Temple Adas Shalom

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way……

Posted on March 11th, 2015 by

Okay, I am the first one to tell you that the winter weather has put a damper on the daily happenings at the JMM.  Over the past few weeks, field trips, outreach programs and professional development workshops for teachers were all cancelled due to school closings, icy conditions and frigid temperatures.  However, there was a “ray of sunshine” that happened last week that will keep us warm until spring comes in a few weeks.

A little ray of sunshine...

A little ray of sunshine…

Last Tuesday morning at 9:30a.m., I received a phone call from the President of Mercy High School, a Catholic school located in Baltimore City.  The faculty and 11th graders were planning a field trip that morning to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC but decided against it due to the weather forecast. They were wondering if they could bring 84 students along with the teachers and chaperones to the Jewish Museum of Maryland instead.

Museum Educator Carolyn Bevans works with students.

Museum Educator Carolyn Bevans works with students.

My first reaction-OMG!  My second reaction – I went into command mode.  I asked the teachers what the students were learning about with regard to Holocaust studies.  I spoke to the JMM’s education staff and volunteers about the possibility of hosting such a large group and the logistics behind hosting the group.  We were all in agreement to “go for it” and within the hour we welcomed Mercy  High School to the JMM!

Lives Lost: Lives Found- Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1939-1945 photo activity.

Lives Lost: Lives Found- Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1939-1945 photo activity.

We divided the group into two sections. One group visited the Lloyd Street Synagogue and learned about the history of the building and the different immigrant groups that used the building, which was used as a Catholic Church at the beginning of the 20th century.  The students also learned about Jewish rituals and customs that take place inside the synagogue.  The other group stayed inside the Museum and watched a short movie about the JMM’s exhibition, Lives Lost: Lives Found- Baltimore’s German Jewish Refugees 1939-1945. Following the movie, the students looked at images that were depicted in the exhibition and used critical thinking skills to find meaning in the posters.  After an hour, the groups flip-flopped so that everyone had an opportunity to participate in both activities.

Visiting the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

Visiting the Lloyd Street Synagogue.

The education staff was pleased with the decision to host the group, especially in this instance when the bad weather was to our advantage.  With all school groups, we give the teacher an evaluation form to fill out about the education experience.   I received the evaluation form back from the teachers but I also received this lovely email… along with lovely posies……  A little kindness  really does go a long way….

IMG_20150307_120933901Dear Ilene,

Many thanks for the warm welcome you extended to our 84 Mercy High School juniors, faculty and parents today!  I am deeply grateful to you and your staff and volunteers for offering a wonderfully enriching experience to our students with less than an hour’s notice!  I learned today that most, if not all, of the students visiting the museum had never been inside a synagogue.  What a gift you gave to them!

I hope that this is the beginning of a new partnership for Mercy High School with the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  In the meantime, if we can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call upon us.

Best regards,

Mary Beth Lemmon ‘85

President, Mercy High School

 

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

 

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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