Why Resist a Good Story?

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by

I am such a sucker for a good story – and with Valentine’s Day looming ever so close, I wanted to share a little story that I heard yesterday while speaking to Lillian Reyes, a teacher who brought her 7th graders from Har Sinai Congregation to the JMM to learn about the life in Baltimore during the Civil War and the connection between Rabbi David Einhorn, Har Sinai Congregation and slavery.

I asked Lillian how the morning was going and she mentioned that she loved the Jewish Museum of Maryland and was very excited about bringing her class to the Museum- as the JMM was where she met her future husband.

Lillian, a recent transplant to Baltimore was single and was looking for fun things to do and places to meet other Jews.  She had previously been to “Late Night on Lloyd Street” events at the JMM and a friend suggested attending a B’nai Israel young adult program “Pizza in the Hut” during Sukkot (September) 2013. Lillian met Marc Soloweszyk in the crowded room, hit it off right away and spent the entire night talking!

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

After a beautiful courtship during which they both realized how perfect they were for each other, Marc wanted to propose, but hadn’t figured out just the right place to do it. On December 27, Marc took Lillian for a surprise evening in downtown Baltimore and while walking down Lloyd Street, reminisced about the night they had met.  Suddenly, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand, asking Lillian to marry him. After briefly hyperventilating and a random “Congratulations!” shouted from a passing car, Lillian said “Yes!”. Marc put the ring on her finger and they stood in front of the entrance to the Jewish Museum/Bnai Israel and all of the sudden fireworks over the Inner Harbor, lit up the sky.

Lillian says, “It was a magical night and we both feel so blessed to have met each other. We already loved the exhibits and events at the JMM and now the museum has a whole new meaning for us! The wedding will be April 30, 2014, G-d willing, in Pikesville, MD.”

ilene A blog posy by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.

 

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National History Day

Posted on January 15th, 2014 by

Typically every week, the education staff gets many requests to schedule school group visits to the Museum.  Over the past week, in addition to field trip requests, – we have had several requests from schools to participate as judges at the schools’ upcoming National History Day competitions.  Over the years we have been invited by schools to  participate, but I thought it was kind of unusual that in the past week, three separate schools have reached out to the JMM to be judges at their school’s National History Day competition.

nhd

http://www.nhd.org/ 

I wondered what would be involved – being a judge ….. it just sounds so OFFICIAL.

So, I did some investigating about National History Day.  National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.     National History Day makes history come alive for students by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural and social experiences of the past.    NHD inspires students through exciting competitions and transforms teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.  Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites.

Every year National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The National History Day theme provides a focused way to increase student’s historical understanding by developing a lens to read history, an organizational structure that helps students place information in the correct context and finally, the ability to see connections over time. This year’s theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, National History Day also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • research and reading skills
  • oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • self esteem and confidence
  • a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

As a judge, for National History Day, each judge will be given a rubric and some “interview questions” for each student. Each judge will be given a set amount of students to interview and judge based on the final project.

The National History Day program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete. This year’s competition will be held on June 15 – 19. 

The education staff at the JMM is delighted to be asked by our partner schools to participate in such an exciting learning experience for area students.   It’s wonderful that history and social studies are being taught in our schools.  The fact that teachers bring their students to the JMM for field trip opportunities and attend professional development workshops only reinforces the importance of history museums in our community. It’s even more exciting that teachers view the Jewish Museum of Maryland as an important stakeholder in our community.

You can find out more about National History Day by visiting their website at http://www.nhd.org/ and more information about Maryland History Day here!

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more post by Ilene, click here.

 

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Thanksgivukkah

Posted on November 24th, 2013 by

Last Thursday evening, people all over the United States gave thanks and celebrated Thanksgiving with family and friends.  In addition to the Thanksgiving celebrationJews also lit a candle for the celebration of Hanukkah.  Thanksgivukkah is a pop-culture name given to the convergence of the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah on Thursday, November 28, 2013.

thanksgivvikuh

This week Time Magazine mentions five (5) things that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have in common.

  1. 1.      Both holidays are a great excuse to stuff yourself silly. 
  2. 2.      Both are rooted in religion.
  3. 3.      Both were started by groups who found refuge in America.
  4. 4.      Both are all about being thankful
  5. 5.      Both are a reason to go home.

 

Read more: Thanksgivukkah: Five Things Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Have in Common | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/25/happy-thanksgivukkah-five-things-thanksgiving-and-hanukkah-have-in-common/#ixzz2lmcroWYh;

 

So, as you gather around your holiday dinner table with family and friends, reflect on all of our blessings and even get a little silly with this little ditty… (tune to My Little Dreidel)

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
Come light the menurkey
Let’s have a party
With latkes and turkey.
Maccabbees and Pilgrims
Americans and Jews
Thankfulness and freedom—
The lessons we choose.

Chorus:
So come spin the dreidel,
And lighting the candles we gloat.
Hearts skip a beat
For we know soon we’ll eat
Pumpkin pie and some sufganiot!
Hearts skip a beat
For we know soon we’ll eat
Pumpkin pie and some sufganiot!

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
A joyous occasion
Everyone join in
This rare celebration
Lift up high your voices
With songs and with cheers.
The next one won’t be coming
For 79 thousand years. (Chorus)

Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgivukkah,
A marvelous yuntiff
Bringing together
The rebbe and pontiff.
Blending our traditions
Can give quite a shock:
Nays gadol hayah sham

At Plymouth Rock (Chorus)

 

Hag Sameach!  Happy Holidays!

How did you celebrate Thanksgivukkah? Send us your stories and photos!

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