Last week, the JMM held its 11th Annual Summer Teachers Institute (STI) in partnership with the Baltimore Jewish Council and the Maryland State Department of Education. STI is a professional development opportunity for teachers in the area of Holocaust Education. The goal of the program is to give educators the opportunity to meet with scholars and experts who are in the trenches of teaching best practices of Holocaust education. The topic of the Holocaust is so vast, and over the years we have touched on topics of Persecution to Liberation, Rescue and Resistance and Propaganda. This year’s topic was Art and Remembrance-and teachers learned how the Arts were such an integral part of how many survived through the dark period of WWII and the reign of the Nazis.
Summer Teachers Institute 2016
We had phenomenal presenters this year at STI. Our last day of the seminar included a presentation by Bernice Steinhardt, Executive Director of Art and Remembrance, who spoke about the beautiful tapestries made by her mother Esther Nisenthal Krinitz. We heard testimony from Mrs. Golda Kalib and we had master teachers in area schools share lessons on the Holocaust they use in their own classrooms.
My favorite presentation on Wednesday was from Gail Prensky and Sarah Baumgarten, and The Jüdische Kulturbund Project. From 1933-1941, the Jewish Kulturbund (Jüdischer Kulturbund), consisting of thousands of members at its peak, performed in 42 theatres across Germany. When the Kulturbund closed, some members emigrated or went into hiding; most were sent to the camps. This is a little-known story of the power of music, resiliency of the human spirit, and will to survive. The Jüdische Kulturbund Project work with educators and music specialists to produce materials and engaging experiences for the classroom.
Gail and Sarah facilitated a very engaging session for teachers. The mood and scene that these educators set for teachers was tremendous. For more than 30 minutes, the JMM sounded like a classroom of students, engaged and having fun exploring their environment. The intention of the program was to explore issues resulting from the choice artists make everyday living under oppression. The goals of the program was to encourage discussion amongst the teachers about social and cultural history, theatre, and music- and encouraging educators to think of how the story the Jüdische Kulturbund is relevant today.
Following the session, Gail shared the video that she took of the teachers having a terrific time engaged in learning. Enjoy.
A blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.
Have you ever noticed this bronze sculpture, sitting in the corner of the lobby near the entrance of the Museum? JMM 1989.143.1
The sculpture was made by Dina Lee Steiner, a Baltimorean and prominent artist whose works are in private and public collections throughout the world. Steiner and Stuart J. Cordage, gifted the work to the Museum in memory of the sculptor’s parents and brother: Ida, Maurice and Henry Steiner.
The plaque reads: Henrietta Szold 1860-1945 born in Baltimore where she founded the first night school for immigrants; she gave the world Hadassah; and Youth Aliyah.
Henrietta was the eldest daughter of Rabbi Benjamin Szold, the spiritual leader of Baltimore’s Temple Oheb Shalom. Throughout her life, Henrietta was committed to helping those who were in need. Szold’s many contributions included establishing a night school in Baltimore for new immigrants and the creation of Hadassah, a national Zionist women’s organization devoted to improving health care in Palestine that is still in existence today. She spent her later years living in Palestine where she was involved in the rescue of European Jewish children during World War II through her work with Youth Aliyah, an initiative that helped resettle and educate Jewish youth in Palestine.
In 1909 Szold and her mother travelled to Palestine, which led to a life-changing experience that would bring a major change and direction in her life. Horrified by the lack of medical resources and treatment available to Jewish women and children, Szold became committed to improving the social welfare systems in Palestine.
Szold’s strong will and determination inspired thousands of American women to embrace Zionism and advocate for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Hundreds of women joined Daughters of Zion (which in 1912 became Hadassah) chapters throughout the country.
Henrietta Szold with a class of nurses, December 21, 1921, Jerusalem. JMM 1989.79.24
Henrietta Szold’s story serves as a wonderful companion to the exhibit and provides additional interpretation about the role that American Jewish women played in improving healthcare in Palestine.
We invite you to join us on Thursday evening, September 22nd, when JMM will debut the incredible story of a rabbi’s daughter who broke from the traditional roles of women during the 19th century, to help strengthen her people, at home and abroad.
An advocate for education, Zionism, and health care, Henrietta Szold was a champion of community organizing and Jewish engagement and our own “Hometown Heroine. The Henrietta Szold Story will offer audience members a unique educational experience that will appeal to diverse audiences—including students and adult groups—from across the state and region.
Playwright Dale Jones and Making History Connections and actress Natalie Smith have embraced Szold’s own words and stories to tell the gripping tale of a hero whose tenacity and courage played a vital role in the expansion of social services, medical services and the founding of the state of Israel.
The Szold living history character is presented in conjunction with Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America. Find out more at www.chickensoupexhibit.org.
Funding for the Henrietta Szold Living History project was provided by the Kolker-Saxon –Hallock Family Foundation, Inc. supporting foundation of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.
The educational program for the Henrietta Szold living History Project is funded through the Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Fund for the Enrichment of Jewish Education of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.
For more information about the Henrietta Szold Living History project, contact JMM’s Director of Education, Ilene Dackman-Alon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout the month of June, Ilene Cohen will be tying up loose ends and training staff members about the JMM’s Volunteer Program and her role as Volunteer Coordinator, a role that Ilene established over 12 years ago. Ilene came to the JMM because she loves museums – she had been a docent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond and she wondered about volunteer opportunities after moving to Baltimore. Ilene met with Deborah Cardin and former assistant director, Anita Kassof; she was recruited as Volunteer Coordinator. She remembers signing in for the first time on February 7, 2004 and since then Ilene has led the JMM in her position as Volunteer Coordinator. Her duties include volunteer recruitment, volunteer retention, scheduling, interviews, meetings and deciding the “best fit” for each volunteer throughout the various departments in the museum. Ilene sits at her desk in the education/programs wing, two afternoons a week. The JMM is so grateful to Ilene for her years of dedication and love for our volunteers and the JMM.
The marvelous and miraculous Ilene!
Over the past few years, Ilene has been a monthly contributor to the JMM’s blog, highlighting the JMM’s incredible volunteers in her Volunteer Spotlight. I love this monthly piece because I learn more about our volunteers, their lives outside of the JMM, and the reasons that brought them to the JMM as a volunteer. I asked to write this month’s Volunteer Spotlight, especially as we celebrate our volunteers and Ilene Cohen’s retirement at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Event on Sunday evening, June 5th.
Ilene Gudelsky Cohen was born in Kensington Maryland and attended Montgomery County public schools. She attended Walter Johnson High School (the only school named for a player on the Washington Senators); and later attended the University of Southern California and received a bachelor’s degree in gerontology.
After college, Ilene moved back to the DC area where she worked as a travel agent. She met her future husband, Neri Cohen, who was attending medical school in Baltimore on a blind date. After a year, Ilene moved to Baltimore and this year she and Neri will celebrate 30 years of marriage.
Ilene and Neri moved to Richmond Virginia, where Neri continued his medical career. They started their family, and today they are the proud parents to Dena Cohen Blaustein, who just married on Memorial Day weekend, and Joel Cohen, who works and lives in DC. They are empty-nesters and moved downtown after raising their children in Owings Mills. They love living downtown so close to great restaurants and places of interest.
Ilene volunteers at the JMM, because she just loves to just hang out in museums. She loves the JMM staff and also loves to contribute to the institution. Ilene has loved getting to know all of the volunteers and feels that the role of Volunteer Coordinator suits her perfectly- as she likes to take care of “all the details and arrangements”.
Ilene was very excited about the possibility of working at the JMM because both of her parents grew up in Baltimore. As we all know, living in “Smalltimore” everyone knows everyone- and Ilene has enjoyed meeting visitors and making connections to her own family’s past. Ilene receives instant gratification in her job when she sees the volunteers fulfilled in their volunteer duties at the JMM. She also loves working on the annual Volunteer Appreciation Event. Ilene knows that our organization would not be what it was without the help and support of so many generous volunteers.
Ilene feels a lot of pride in the role that she has created as JMM’s Volunteer Coordinator. She is proud that the JMM has a dedicated person in the role, and she has enjoyed networking with other volunteer coordinators throughout the ASSOCIATED agencies through the Jewish Volunteer Coordinator Network.
After 12 years of service, Ilene will be moving on. In her spare time, Ilene volunteers in various organizations throughout the city.
Docent at the Walters Art Museum for the past 11 years.
Reading partner at Francis Scott Key Elementary
President, Charm City Hadassah Chapter
Active in the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation through the ASSOCIATED.
In addition to volunteering, Ilene and her family love to travel to exotic places and have travelled to places like the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Australia and Istanbul.
Ilene has been invited to be a part of the Docent Executive Committee at the Walters Art Museum where she will work with a corps of over 70 volunteers. We know that she will do an outstanding job in her new role.
We thank Ilene Cohen for all of her dedication and love for our volunteers and the JMM over the past 12 years. We wish her happiness and contentment in her next role. We also look forward to seeing her and Neri at future JMM events!!
Every month we highlight one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, send an email to Sue Foard at email@example.com or call 410-732-6402 x220! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museumhere.