The Bells of the 16th Street Baptist Church

Posted on November 6th, 2013 by

ileneOur excellent Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon has guest blogged for AASLH (the American Association for State and Local History)!

Last month, I attended the AASLH annual meeting in Birmingham.  I had the opportunity to enjoy Southern hospitality at its finest, as well as meet other professionals that work in historic houses, museums, libraries, etc. from around the world. (I met professionals from South Africa too at the conference!)  I attended thought provoking sessions with noted scholars, educators and historians and took back ideas to implement in our education programs at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  I also had the opportunity to meet the other members of Religious History Affinity Group at the conference and I look forward to working with them in moving the group’s mission of providing a forum in which history of all faiths may be shared, understood and appreciated.

Read the rest of her post here:

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Another Farewell to Zap! Pow! Bam!

Posted on August 26th, 2013 by

Baltimore Hebrew Day School 03.12 (2)

Getting a little reading in at the exhibit.

There are many times that the development and education departments work together to write grant proposals to seek funding for various education initiatives.   As a thank you to the funder, we usually write a final report detailing how many students came to the Museum, and where the students resided in the state of Maryland.   We also like to report about the educational activities that students participated in.  In addition, to these statistics we like to include the comments that teachers included in their evaluation of their field trip experience.


Going onto the moving truck.

Last weekend, we said goodbye to Zap, Pow, Bam- The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950.  It struck me as I was culling through the evaluations of  Zap, Pow, Bam, that the comments were very interesting- and they surely would provide good fodder for a blog post.

  • “I really liked the set-up of the Superhero exhibit.  It was very spacious and neatly organized.  The students seemed very interested to learn that Superman had parents, the names of the various comic book publishers.”  It was also important for them to learn that by achieving greatness- you also have great responsibilities.”  The students also love seeing the artifacts.
  • “The students really like the diversity of the exhibits, and the hands-on learning they were able to do.
  • “Fascinating, new information!  Great connections between pop culture and history to Judaism.”
  • “They enjoyed discovering new comic heroes. The references to Hitler and WWII were perfect this is what the students are studying now in middle school.”  (pix of students by wall)
  • “It was a wonderful experience, all of the hands-on learning activities and the wealth of knowledge from the guides.”  (pix of students with masks drawing)
  • “It’s important for students to learn about all cultures.  The Museum gives them a unique perspective, and helps the students to recognize the differences as well as the similarities to their own cultures.
  • “Our second graders just finished studying Helen Keller, so seeing the Braille comic book – AMAZING! “  (girl reading reading comic book)
A school group enjoys our hands-on "artist studio."

A school group enjoys our hands-on “artist studio.”

It is wonderful that teachers recognize the Museum as a place for active learning and engagement.  We look forward to reading more informative notes from teachers in the next few months with the opening of our next exhibition, Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War which opens on October 13, 2013.

Young gentlemen from the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day school enjoy the displays.

Young gentlemen from the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day school enjoy the displays.

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


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

A Busy Week for Education at the JMM!

Posted on March 15th, 2013 by

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.

The JMM’s education program provides high quality experiential education experiences for students of all backgrounds in grades PreK-12. Education is an integral part of the Museum’s mission, and we consider school groups to be our highest priority audience.  Each year we serve approximately 7,000 students and teachers from public, private, and parochial schools through on-site field trips and outreach services. The majority of participating students are not Jewish, and our educational programs introduce students to Jewish history, traditions, and religion as a means increasing their awareness and appreciation of the culture and experiences of a minority group.   front

All JMM educational programs align with the Maryland State Curriculum’s social studies and English language arts goals and standards. Our resources also align with the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts/Literacy. Furthermore, the JMM is a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s prestigious State Aided Educational Institutions (SAI) program, a testimony to the high quality of our educational programs and their relevance to classroom learning state-wide.

Because we believe in the importance of cultural enrichment programs for all children, regardless of income or background, the JMM has invested heavily in subsidized programming for students in City schools. We are proud of our track record of providing free field trips and outreach activities to all participating Baltimore City schools including unlimited admission and program fee waivers and transportation subsidies. For many schools, this valuable financial assistance is needed in order to make field trips possible.

This past week has been a wonderful example of our education department in action.  Our Museum educators welcomed adult and school groups everyday this week (including Sunday) from all part of the State of Maryland and beyond.

This past Sunday, we welcomed an adult group from Tiferet Israel, a synagogue group from  the Washington D.C. area that was interested in learning about the history of Jewish life in Maryland – and in particular The Jew Bill.  The group met with JMM’s Executive Director, Marvin Pinkert about one of Maryland’s most important bills in early American life in this country.  With the adoption of the federal Bill of Rights in 1787, which ensured freedom of religion to all American citizens, such restrictions on the holding of public office in Maryland–including military service and the practice of law–became blatantly unconstitutional to the Jewish people, as it required that public office holders to swear an oath of allegiance to Christianity. Not until the Maryland legislature passed the “Jew Bill” in 1826, Jewish public officials were allowed to swear a substitute oath, and Jews achieved full civic equality in the state.


On Monday, we welcomed Israeli teens from Ashkelon (our sister city in Israel) that are participating in the Diller Baltimore Teen Fellows, a leadership program of the Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) through THE ASSOCIATED.   This innovative program for 11th graders is designed to inspire leadership among Jewish youth in our community. Focusing on social action, community involvement and Jewish learning, this year-long program includes a three-week summer seminar in Israel. These teens and their Baltimore counterparts visited the JMM to learn about the history of the Jewish life in Baltimore and to see the travelling exhibit, Zap, Pow, Bam: The Superhero: Comic Books from 1938-1950.

On Tuesday, the entire student body of the Baltimore Hebrew Day School came to see the exhibit, Zap, Pow, Bam and learned about the Jewish creators and illustrators of the early comic book heroes.  The students also learned about the hero’s journey and compared that journey to heroes mentioned in the Bible.


On Wednesday, we welcomed high-school students from St. Francis Academy who came to participate in one of our core-programs – Introduction to Judaism – an exploration of Jewish history, religion, and culture that takes place in the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue (Maryland’s first synagogue, built in 1845) along with The Immigrant Experience – A tour of both the Lloyd Street and B’nai Israel (1876) Synagogues that focuses on Baltimore’s role as a vibrant gateway for Jewish immigrants and how these buildings are reflections of the diverse immigrant communities – including a Lithuanian Catholic congregation – that occupied them.

On Thursday, we welcomed a small group from the Calvary Christian Academy located in Cumberland, Maryland who also came to the JMM to participate in our Introduction to Judaism program and to learn about the creators and illustrators of the comic books of the Golden Age. Following their visit, to us, the group travelled over to the other side of the Inner Harbor to explore the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Finally, on Friday, we welcomed over 100 fourth graders from Hamilton Elementary who also come to the JMM to learn about the synagogue buildings and the immigrant groups that used them.  After their experience at the Museum, the students and their teachers walked over to one of the local delicatessens to enjoy a good old corned beef sandwich on Lombard Street!  All in all over 250 students and adults visited the JMM to participate in our education programs!


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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