Posted on August 14th, 2015 by Rachel
From Rachel Kassman, Development & Marketing Manager and Official Intern Wrangler:
This was my first year as the official “Intern Wrangler,” and Jobi Zink left me some very dainty yet incredibly challenging shoes to fill. Luckily this summer’s amazing interns helped keep things running smoothly and made the job much easier for me than I expected! This year’s interns hailed from a variety of schools – George Washington University, Cooperstown Graduate Program, University of Maryland, Towson University, Dickinson College, and Johns Hopkins University, representing both undergraduate and graduate student programs.
Interns at the National Federation for the Blind.
While each intern had their own individual projects and assignments, it was all hands on deck for de-installing The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit and installing Cinema Judaica. You couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic crew. The interns were also of invaluable assistance for Cinema Judaica’s grand opening on July 2nd. But I think my favorite group project was the creation of our Paul Simon lip-synch videos – I won’t go into too much detail but trust me, when you see them you’ll understand all the laughter that’s been happening in the office this summer. All of these projects were a great opportunity for staff and interns to work together and get to know each other better.
Every year we try and make sure our summer internships are well-rounded, fully-immersive experiences that benefit our interns as much as they benefit us through a variety of field trips, workshops, and other professional opportunities. This year was no exception.
We were so pleased to be hosted by our neighbors at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American history for their birthday open house. We also had special tours of the National Federation for the Blind, where the interns learned about accessibility; and the Baltimore Museum of Industry, where the interns were able to go “behind the scenes” and check out the BMI’s collections storage area (trust me, it’s more fascinating than you think!). The interns also visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the Summer Teachers Institute.
Posing in the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture special exhibit.
Exhibit interns Sophia and Elizabeth also had the opportunity to visit the National Library of Medicine in the course of their internship while researching potential exhibit object loans. Collections intern Kaleigh visited the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia to pick up an item, visited the Maryland Historical Society to return loan items used in our Amazing Mendes Cohen exhibit, and made multiple trips into the community to pick up Museum collection donations.
Museum staff members were kind enough to volunteer their time to provide a series of professional workshops for the interns as well. Curator Karen Falk introduced them to exhibition planning and evaluation while Collections Manager Joanna Church gave them a hands-on course in object handling. Deputy Director Deborah Cardin covered the ins-and-outs of grant proposal writing while Assistant Director Tracie Guy-Decker took them through the whirlwind of project management. Programs Manager Trillion Attwood and I led the annual “Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviewing” workshop – though we were very impressed already with the professionalism of this year’s intern cohort! Executive Director Marvin Pinkert hosted all of the interns for a brown bag focus group on marketing the Museum – particularly its upcoming exhibition projects.
Collections Intern Kaleigh inventories a doctor’s bag.
Saralynn and Sheldon Glass Education Interns: Eden Cho & Falicia Eddy
Our education interns always have their work cut out for them – every summer the Museum participates in SuperKids, a “summer cultural enrichment program designed to help elementary grade students in Baltimore City Public Schools maintain and/or improve their academic skills.” Once a week the Museum hosted campers for a half-day experience at the Museum, including an in-depth tour and scavenger hunt in our Voices of Lombard Street exhibit and a “Create Your Own Neighborhood”hands-on activity. In addition to working with these campers, education interns lead tours of our two historic synagogues, assisted at the front desk, helped plan and execute our three day Summer Teachers Institute and much more.
Each intern also had her own special projects – Eden created a treasure hunt of things to look for in our current Cinema Judaica exhibit, analyzed teacher evaluations of school tours for grant writing purposes, researched the history of St. John the Baptist Lithuanian Church for the development of a new synagogue tour, and designed a curriculum for our upcoming exhibit Paul Simon: Words and Music. Falicia adapted the Ida Rehr’s immigrant trunk lessons to immigrant experiences today, created a small lobby exhibit as a companion the 2015 Summer Teachers Institute, conducted research on businesses in Pikesville and assisted with a lesson plan on protest and injustice in Baltimore’s history that connects Jews and African Americans.
Education Interns Eden and Falicia direct a SuperKids activity.
Saul L. Ewing, LLC in Memory of Robert L. Weinberg Exhibitions Interns: Sophia Brocenos & Elizabeth Livesey
The summer 2015 exhibition interns Elizabeth Livesey and Sophia Brocenos worked on our upcoming Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America exhibit. This exhibit opens in March and I think it’s going to knock your socks off – in no small part because of the efforts fo Elizabeth and Sophia!
Elizabeth’s research focused on scientific research conducted in Jewish hospitals in the 20th century and different medical milestones during the “Golden Age of Medicine.” She then translated this research into exhibit panels and object and image labels. Elizabeth also looked into ancestry and DNA survey programs, and the lives and careers of Drs. Salk and Sabin. She also conducted and transcribed an oral history for the exhibit.
Sophia’s internship focused on identifying, executing, and processing loans of digital images from institutional collections. This involved contacting an employee at said institution and working out the paperwork to receive the digital image and the rights to use it in the exhibit as well as cataloging them in the JMM collections system and creating a physical file. She also assisted Curator Karen Falk with maintaining consistent data over various exhibit files.
Exhibitions Intern Sophia hard at work.
Saul L. Ewing, LCC in Memory of Robert L. Weinberg Collections Intern: Kaleigh Ratliff
This summer’s collections intern Kaleigh was an amazing asset. The Museum manages a large and ever-growing collection of objects, photographs and archival material that is cared for by a single staff member. Having a full time summer intern means getting caught up with the day-to-day work of collections that often gets delayed due to more immediate concerns. Kaleigh worked on this year’s collections inventory, working her way through roughly 1,600 small objects. She also updated and reconciled object loans (both those we loaned out to other institutions and those we borrowed), housed artifacts in their proper places, processed new accessions into the collections, assisted on artifact pick-ups of new donations, and prepared materials for researchers.
Jewish Museum of Maryland Marketing Interns: Rachel Sweren & Carmen Venable
I may be a little biased (I am the marketing manager after all) but these two interns put the fun back into summer for me. With their combined efforts the Museum created 13 separate lip-synch videos (which I can’t wait to share with you – don’t worry, they’ll be coming soon!), assisted with the Museum Shop annual inventory, and researched and created content for use on all the JMM’s social media platforms.
Carmen also created an exhibit installation in miniature video with collections intern Kaleigh (you can view it HERE), wrote instructions on how to create future videos, whipped our Tumblr into shape, sent out promotional materials about JMM’s summer programs and researched multiple marketing strategies and ideas.
Interns at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.
YouthWorks Summer Jobs: Zericka Jones and Darius Smith
This year the Museum also participated in the Baltimore City’s YouthWorks summer jobs program, which matches up Baltimore City students, ages 14 – 21 to five-week work experiences with private sector, nonprofit, and city and state government employers. We were thrilled with both our YouthWorks employees. Zericka worked with Marvin Pinkert as an administrative assistant, helping to organize his office, prepare meeting and project materials, and assisting wherever needed throughout the Museum. Darius worked with Joanna Church in the collections, assisting with an inventory of the photograph collection and digitizing genealogy and family history records.
Darius inventoried all the boxes with pink tags!
If you haven’t already been following along already, I strongly urge you to head over to our blog and check out some of the truly excellent posts these interns have created throughout their summer here at the JMM – THIS LINK http://jewishmuseummd.org/tag/interns/ will take you directly there!
Posted on August 10th, 2015 by Rachel
The MD/DC/VA area has always appealed to me as a place I would like to settle down, but the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York will always be my home. I was born and raised in the Adirondacks (ADKs) and most of my family was as well. In my bias opinion, it is the most beautiful place to live.
Map of Adirondack Park
View from Owl’s Head Mountain.
I spent this past week (my birthday week, YAY!) at a camp on Lake Champlain with my family. Out of curiosity, I began to research Jewish influence in the ADKs. I discovered an interesting family who shared my love of the ADKs and made it their home.
Louis Marshall, son of two German Jewish immigrants, was born in Syracuse, NY in 1856. As a child he attended Hebrew school. He became a lawyer who fought for the rights of minorities, a conservationist who was extremely passionate about protecting the Adirondacks, and a Jewish leader who served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and helped found the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Later in his life he taught himself yiddish.
Louis traveled to the ADKs during his young adult life and fell in love with the area. He found enjoyment in hiking and dreaming of having his own summer camp to visit. Unfortunately, several summer camps excluded Jews and other minorities from becoming members. Louis and his family, along with five other families, bought 500 acres of land on the Lower Saranac Lake and had their own camp built. It was called Knollwood.
To quickly digress, Albert Einstein visited Knollwood quite often. He was actually at Knoll on August 6, 1945, the bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima.
Louis’ children spent several summers enjoying Knollwood. His son Robert “Bob”, was deeply influenced by the ADKs and closely followed in his father’s footsteps. Bob became a conservationist and writer, and was the co-founder of The Wilderness Society. In 1925 he became the 3rd ADK46er, meaning he hiked all 46 high peaks of the ADKs.
The Marshall family has left a lasting legacy, making the ADKs a tranquil and meaningful place for themselves and other Jews. I am always interested in making connections between my life and the past, and this was a great one!
A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.
Posted on July 31st, 2015 by Rachel
Realistically, there must be people who dislike going on field trips, but I am not one of those people. Throughout my internship with the JMM I have been observing and practicing the work that Joanna, the wonderful Collections Manager, does on a daily basis, reaffirming my desire to become a Collections Manager. On July 23rd I was able to accompany Joanna to the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to pick up a donation, reminding me that Collections Managers sometimes go on field trips to other museums. I immediately added that to the list of reasons why I am on the right career path!
The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)
When we arrived at the museum, Claire Pingel, the Chief Registrar and Associate Curator of the NMAJH, met us in the lobby. She arranged for us to be able to look through the museum before we signed the paperwork and exchanged the donation.
The main lobby of the NMAJH
The museum consists of five floors. The 1st floor contains the museum store and café, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, and small rotating exhibits. Floors two though four hold the core exhibition which is split into three time frames. The exhibition begins on the 4th floor with “Foundations of Freedom: 1654 – 1880,” continues on the 3rd floor with “Dreams of Freedom: 1880 – 1945,” and ends with “Choices and Challenges of Freedom: 1945 – Today” on the 2ndfloor. The fifth floor is home to larger rotating exhibits, currently showing “Richard Avedon: Family Affairs.”
Claire escorted us to the 4th floor. Joanna and I quickly walked through the 1stthird of the core exhibition and then decided to look though the museum store and have lunch in the museum café. We then quickly walked through the 2ndthird of the core exhibition and called Claire when we were finished. She met us in the lobby and Joanna signed the Receipt, proving that the donation was transferred to her and the JMM.
Joanna signing the receipt!
This was my first ever trip to Philadelphia. Despite the unfortunate short duration of our stay (3 hours), I was able to see a little of the city, catch a quick glimpse of Independence Hall which is situated right next to the NMAJH, and see some of the NMAJH exhibits. Although this field trip was fun, it was also educational. I was able to observe a museum partnership, which demonstrates how museums can help each other to be successful.
Skyline of Philadelphia
I absolutely plan to return to the NMAJH to look through their exhibits again when I have more time. I encourage others to visit as well! The museum is innovative and interesting. There are a ton of kid friendly activities throughout the core exhibition, and activities that adults can enjoy too.
A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.