Connecting Community

Posted on June 14th, 2019 by

This month’s edition of Performance Counts comes from Development Director Tracey E. Dorfmann and Office Manager Jessica Konigsberg as they introduce our newest Board Members and share some details on a year’s worth of board activities! To read past editions of Performance Counts, click here.

Welcome FY 2020 Board Members

This year we are welcoming two new board members bringing our total to 30.

We are excited that Anita Kassof will be rejoining our ranks on the board side. She is currently the Executive Director of the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Anita has served as Deputy Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, and was the Associate Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Previously she co-founded Historic Jonestown, Inc., and served as a curator at the Baltimore City Life Museums and was on the founding staff of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

And we are thrilled to welcome Iris Krasnow, an award-winning author and journalist to the board.  This summer Iris is putting the finishing touches on a book about the lasting power of summer camps, which is due for publication in 2020. Her writing has been featured in many national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and AARP The Magazine. She has been a guest on numerous television and radio programs. Iris is also a journalism and relationship studies professor at American University in Washington, DC.

Our board now connects us to 12 different neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Maryland.  Home base neighborhoods include Locust Point, Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Mt. Washington, Roland Park/Cross Keys, Druid Hill/Bolton Hill, Remington/Hampden, Pikesville, Reisterstown, Columbia, Owings Mills, and Annapolis.

And while staff offer insight into museum operations, Board Members bring a breadth of professional experiences and community connections to the Museum.

Represented among our FY 2020 Board Members’ professional affiliations are fields ranging from medicine and health to real estate, construction, and law. Our Board Members’ backgrounds include nonprofit work and education—representing everything from cultural programming, museums, academia, to Jewish communal services. Also represented is expertise in fine art, interior design, marketing and public relations, investment banking, engineering, and public service. JMM’s Board Members serve on the Boards of local synagogues as well as on Boards and in volunteer capacities with other community organizations.

FY2019 Year in Review

The JMM board and past presidents are, as a whole, a very engaged group, active in in all aspects of JMM stewardship! Throughout the year board members participate with museum life in a myriad of ways.  Each member of our board serves on one or more committees including: Board Education, Board Nominating, Collections, Development, Finance & Auditing, Visioning, Facilities, Marketing, and the Executive Committee.  More than a third of our board members made time this year to enthusiastically welcome museum visitors, introducing films, speakers, and programs.

Public programs are not the only places you’ll see Board Members regularly lending their expertise and passion to the Museum’s daily operations. We also have four active Board Members serving on our JMM volunteer team: one welcoming visitors at the Front Desk, one leading historic synagogue tours as a Docent, one working in the Archives, and one supporting Outreach and Programs. The only volunteer-supported department currently without a Board Member volunteer is the Gift Shop (maybe in fiscal year 2020…let Jess know if you’re interested!).

In fiscal year 2019, the Board Education Committee—comprised of six Board Members and three staff members—introduced a series of Board engagement sessions designed to offer Board Members behind-the-scenes experiences and deepen Board Members’ knowledge of museum management, exhibit design, collections management, and education, connecting Board more closely with the daily projects of JMM staff.

The committee successfully launched three engagement series focused on different aspects of the Museum:

>In January, six Board Members attended the first Tuesdays with Marvin lunchtime lecture with Executive Director Marvin Pinkert, where they learned about museum management, ethics, mentors, and more.

>In March, three Board Members (including one Past President) and three eager staff members joined collections staff Joanna Church and Lorie Rombro in an exploration of purple objects from the collection—a total of nine objects including Pikesville High School cheerleading pom-poms, a Baltimore user’s guide from Jewish College Services, and a beaded handbag originally belonging to Henrietta Szold.

>In April two Board Members joined 43 seventh graders and four teachers from John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School to see JMM’s lively school programs in action—led by staff members Ilene Dackman-Alon and Paige Woodhouse. Board members joined students as they conducted research and created stories based on objects on display in the Fashion Statement exhibit, observing as students thought critically about what we can (and can’t) learn about someone based on their clothing choices. The class also experienced the Lloyd Street Synagogue through the eyes of a student learning about the Jonestown neighborhood and the immigrant community.

Already on the calendar (for Noon on September 10th) is the next Tuesdays with Marvin lecture, titled “31 Years, 80 Exhibits and a Few Lessons Learned.” The Committee is currently working on planning a neighborhood walking tour, the next object study session, and another opportunity to observe school programming in action.

In addition to the series, the committee helped make our Board Retreat possible. On November 13, 2018, at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, seventeen board members joined four staff and one facilitator (Acharai’s Beth Gansky) for a three-hour process of discovery and discourse, as we learned more about the whys, whats, hows, and how-I-loves of JMM. (Watch for another board retreat this September, tentatively scheduled for September 17th.)

Thank you to our fantastic board for their counsel and guidance in the year ahead: Robert Keehn (President), Nancy Kutler (Senior Vice President), Jeffrey Scherr (Vice President), Len Weinberg (Vice President), Jerry Macks (Treasurer), Arnold Fruman (Secretary), Duke Zimmerman (Immediate Past President), Toby Gordon, Saralynn Glass, Judy Pachino, Ira Malis, Bob Gehman, Erica Breslau, Robert Manekin, Stuart Rosenzwog, Angela Wells-Sims, Steven Hawtof, Alan Dorenfeld, Bonnie Heneson, Abe Kronsberg, Lola Hahn, Lee Rosenberg, Claire Tesh, Roberta Greenstein, Suzanne Levin-Lapides, Sheldon Bearman, Neri Cohen, Rikki Spector, Iris Krasnow, and Anita Kassof.

We are looking forward to an exciting new year together!

~Tracey & Jess

Jonestown Festival 2019

Join us Sunday, June 23rd at the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House for a day-long, neighborhood celebration!

Not yet a member – or know someone who you think should join the family? Share this link and help grow the family today!

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Welcome Summer 2019 Interns!

Posted on June 6th, 2019 by

We are so pleased to welcome this summer’s Interns to the Museum! This cohort has spent their week learning about the Museum and diving into their intern projects. You’ll be hearing from them throughout the summer as they explore the world of Museums and the Jewish Museum of Maryland in particular. Below they have kindly introduced themselves in their own words.

Hi! My name is Ariella, and I’m from Livingston, New Jersey. I’m a rising junior at Johns Hopkins University, a short drive away in the Charles Village neighborhood. I’m majoring in Writing Seminars and minoring in Marketing and in Museums and Society, so it makes a lot of sense that I’m here for the summer. I’m interning in the Education and Programs departments for the next few months. Some facts about myself are that I play Quidditch at school (it is a real competitive sport, I promise), I perform stand up-comedy, and I lived in Israel for a year before starting college. I also love Game of Thrones, but I’m three seasons behind and actively trying to avoid spoilers.

I’m really excited to be interning at JMM this summer! As a freshman, I was pretty unsure as to what I should study. Hopkins offers a Museums minor, and my friends (and my mom) thought that I’d love a class or two in the department. During my soph-omore fall, I realized I love the subject. But I want more than just classes: I want to have real experience in a real museum. That’s where JMM comes in, and I can’t wait to work on projects here!

With Education and Programs, I hope to develop new programming and continue connecting to the community. I also want to have a general sense of what it’s like to work in a museum. I’m looking forward accomplishing these tasks in the next ten weeks.

Hi! My name is Megan Orbach. I’m from Potomac, Maryland and am an incoming senior at Towson University. I’m studying family science and am pursuing a master’s in leadership in Jewish communal service and education. I chose this path of study after having attended Jewish day school, visiting Israel and generally being interested in Jewish affairs. A couple fun facts about me include that I studied abroad in Tel Aviv this past spring and I love playing soccer!

I am extremely excited to be interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland this summer for a few reasons. The first is that my field of study and passion are both related to the mission of the JMM, which is all about preserving history and Jewish education, and the exhibits that are displayed at the museum. I find it fascinating to be able to walk through years of history and to learn about, not just the Holocaust, but also unique stories like that of Hedy and Paul Strnad.

This will not be my first experience interning at a Jewish organization, but it will be my first experience interning at a museum. I am very interested to learn about the intricacies and workings of the museum and how each department contributes to its functioning. As an undergraduate student who will soon be graduating, my interest is always peaked by learning opportunities and potential career paths.

This summer, I hope to further strengthen my skills in development and fundraising and learn more about how each exhibit is planned and executed. (Photo: Bahai Gardens – Haifa, Israel)

Hello! I’m Mallory Connaughton. I am from Crofton, Maryland and I go to school in Reading, Pennsylvania at Albright College. I am a history major with a minor in evolutionary studies. My historical focus tends to be on European history, specifically during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; although I do love world history and learning about new topics. I also have a strong background in science. I was in the STEM program in High School, focusing on Green Architecture and Sustainable design – which has slowly bled into the Bio/Psych of my evolutionary studies minor.

Outside of school and work, I tend to fill my time with various creative activities. I sew, write, dance and story tell regularly. I go to comic conventions with my roommates, most of the time partaking in panels (even running some), dressing up and holding photoshoots.

While looking for collection internships I found JMM. My other internships had been in DC and in Chestertown, so I’ve never really looked at Baltimore before. But I did find the position at JMM and I was quick to apply, as it was exactly what I wanted to do. As I wasn’t familiar was the museum, I started to look into programs at JMM, current exhibits and exploring the website. I was immediately interested in the exhibits at JMM; I love historical fashion, my roommate and I often creating historical replicas of the various fashion trends of different times. I also saw how they had an extensive and wide variety of artifacts, manuscripts, books, and photographs in their collections – Which I found very interesting.

I am so excited to work with JMM this summer! I can’t wait to learn more about working with collections, learning new methods of working with the materials, and working directly with a wider variety of works than I had before.  I’m incredibly excited for all the options that will be presented over this summer, everything from directly working with the collections, to working in a museum, to networking – I cannot wait for everything I am going to learn and experience.

Hello there! My name is Hannah Balik, and I am an Education and Programming intern here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland this summer. I am 21 years old and from Westchester County, New York. I recently graduated from Goucher College with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in History. Some facts about myself: I love to bake (bread, cookies, pies, etc.), I have dog named Daphne (who you can follow on Instagram at @daphnethesheepdog), and I get no greater joy than binging whole TV shows in one night.

I wanted to intern at a museum because I have always loved museums. I love the feeling that I get stepping into a room filled with history and historical knowledge. Museums serve a very important role in public education, which is something that I am very passionate about. I am also specifically interested in Jewish history, and I think that it is extremely important, especially in our time, to remember the past so that we can learn and grow from it. I think that it is essential for this knowledge to be publicly available for everyone to engage with.

This summer, I hope to learn more about how museums work from the back end, as well as try my hand at creating and helping to execute educational programs for people of all ages. I have always loved museums and learning about Jewish history, so I am greatly excited for this opportunity to gain real world museum experience and dive deeper into subjects that I am passionate about.

Hello! My name is Elana Neher and I am a collections intern at the JMM this summer. I am originally from New Jersey but have been at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for the past three years where I major in Archaeology and East Asian Studies with minors in Museums and Society and Near Eastern Studies. I’ve been in love with museums of every kind for as long as I can remember. Once I began exploring my interests in college, I realized that my museum studies courses and any class where I was able to work with material culture were some of my favorites. My wish to strengthen my connection with my Jewish heritage through my love of objects and material culture led me to interning at the JMM.

Outside of school, I enjoy cross stitching, doing yoga, and watching science fiction movies, especially superhero ones . One fun fact about me is that in order to complete my required fieldwork for my archaeology major, I spent the summer of 2017 in Israel excavating the site of Legio, an ancient Roman military camp in the Galilee area, and interning at The W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, right outside the Old City. I connected with Israel’s history and culture in a way that I never was able to before. Throughout my college career I have had the unique opportunity to study many different times and places of the human past, particularly through their material culture, and I am excited to finally engage with my own culture and its objects at the JMM this summer.

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Welcome Summer 2018 Interns!

Posted on June 7th, 2018 by

We are so pleased to welcome this summer’s Interns to the Museum! This cohort has spent their week learning about the Museum and diving into their intern projects. You’ll be hearing from them throughout the summer as they explore the world of Museums and the Jewish Museum of Maryland in particular. Below they have kindly introduced themselves in their own words.

Hello all! My name is Marisa Shultz and I am an intern in the Education and Programs Department!

I am a recent graduate of Gettysburg College, where I studied English, the American Civil War, and Education. However, my time spent studying aboard in Prague, Czech Republic, awakened a deep passion for world literature, particularly works that explore the rise, fall, and dire consequences of fascism and authoritarianism in twentieth century Europe. I melded these interests with my love of science fiction for my departmental honors thesis, which explores systems of oppression in literary works about robots.

My experiences studying Jewish mysticism and folklore at home and abroad brought me closer to my Jewish heritage and fueled my excitement to research my genealogy. What I found was that parts of my family emigrated from Russia settled in Baltimore on Low Street, just three blocks away from the museum! I am extremely excited to bring my passion for public education and Jewish life to help facilitate experiential and unforgettable learning for all who come through our doors! If you spot me around the museum, please feel free to stop me and say hi!

Taken after climbing the hundreds of steps up the historic Belfry Tower in Mála Strana, Prague.

My name is Alexia M. Orengo Green, I’m a history and archaeology double major at Dickinson College.

I was born in Spain and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I love traveling, reading, drawing, and watching Netflix. Ever since I was little I’ve been interested in history specifically the topics of the Second World War, The Tudors, and Greece.

I decided to intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland because I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to gain experience on the museum world while working on different topics I’m interested. I’m eager to research the Lloyd Synagogue and create exciting exhibitions for the public. This summer I hope to expand my knowledge on Jewish history and explore the city of Baltimore!

Hello! My name is Ellie Smith.

I am originally from Pennsylvania but have been living in Nashville for the past two years while I attend Vanderbilt Divinity School. I am working on my Masters of Theological Studies degree and will finish this December. My areas of focus are the Holocaust and Jewish Studies. I received my bachelor’s degree from Albright College and my majors were History and Religious Studies with a Holocaust Studies certificate. I love to read and am very excited to spend the summer reading for pleasure. In my free time I enjoy cross stitching and watching horror movies.

I wanted to intern at a museum this summer because after I graduate from Divinity School I want to work in the museum world. I have always loved going to museums since I was a small child. I have previously worked in archives and libraries. I am thrilled to be working in the education and programming departments this summer.

This summer I hope to broaden my knowledge of the inner workings of museums. I hope to hone my research skills this summer while working on a variety of different projects.

I want to help educate the children and the adults that come through the museum and leave them with an experience that they will never forget. I look forward to everything that I will be doing this summer and I am thrilled to be here.

“Forever an Intern, Never Employed”

Hi! My name is Cara Bennet. I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, MD. As a Maryland Jew I am beyond excited to be interning at the JMM this summer. I graduated from Vassar College in 2015 where I majored in history and minored in Native American studies. I am currently a graduate student at George Washington University working towards my Masters in Museum Studies and cannot wait to gain more hands-on exhibition development experience. This summer I’ll be working with Joanna on exhibition development where I’ll get the opportunity to observe and contribute to all stages of the process from initial research to script writing to installation.

I love internships. Throughout my academic career I have had some incredible internship opportunities that have taught me so much more than I could ever learn in a classroom setting. My first museum internship experience was conducting research for the curatorial department at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC during the summer after my freshman year of college. Since then I’ve interned at the National Women’s History Museum and as a tour guide at Clara Barton National Historic Site. While I love internships, my ultimate goal is to be gainfully employed by a museum one day (hopefully in the near future) otherwise, JMM I may be back next summer to set the record for oldest intern.

When I’m not busy contemplating my career outlook, I love to run, hike, bake, and go to concerts. Some fun facts about me in no particular order: I’m a former college athlete (cross country and track), I studied “abroad” at the University of Hawai’i, and I wrote my senior thesis on Disney and 1960s counterculture (still not sure how I got away with that one).

Repping UH (Go Bows!) and rocking the side pony.

Hi! My name is Ash Turner.

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to Baltimore four years ago to study at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). I’m the Collections Intern this summer for the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where I’ll be focusing on processing donated objects, as well as researching for an upcoming exhibit of the 100th year anniversary of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

 I recently graduated (this past May, in fact!) from MICA with a BFA in Interactive Arts. For the past three years, I’ve mostly focused on coding and creating interactive and narrative spaces through my artwork. At MICA, I found that I liked to research various topics and tell stories that engaged audiences, and so I made sound pieces, games, and installations throughout all of my undergraduate years. 

I also found that I enjoyed reading and learning about nature, food, the internet, architecture, and art history. Frequently, I spent my free time dancing, playing with my cats, reading, and cooking.

In my senior year at college, I realized I wanted to get back to working in a hands-on environment, and found that museums combined all of my interests in education, creating narratives, and interactivity. I found that museum work was an interest of mine, but I felt I didn’t have enough experience to know if it was the right path for me. That’s what brought me to interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland as one of the Collections Interns this summer. I want to discover how I fit into the museum world, while also learning more about my Jewish heritage. I also am excited to be inspired by working with the objects and photos in the collections, and I hope I can bring what I see and learn, and more of my Jewish experiences, into the art I make in the future.

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