Posted on August 19th, 2016 by Rachel
From Director of Education Ilene Dackman-Alon:
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.
Henrietta is mentioned in Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews And Medicine in America, which explores the American Jewish involvement with medicine from the late 19th century through the “golden age” of American medicine in the 20th century.
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
Posted on June 10th, 2016 by Rachel
Were you a June bride or groom? How about July or August? Well next June we’ll be opening an exhibit to celebrate weddings from all parts of the Jewish community and every month of the year. And you can be a part of the celebration!
On June 18th, 2017, the JMM will open “Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland,” an original exhibition that exploring the many different ways our community has tied the knot from the 19th century through today. We look at many of the ways that couples combine family, religion, fashion, and tradition to make their ceremony meaningful and personal?
Invitation to the marriage of Sarah Metzger and David Wiesenfeld, 1871, at the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Gift of Joseph Wiesenfeld. JMM 1985.121.006
The JMM collections are home to a treasure trove of wedding stories. These stories are told by artifacts, images, and documents, both secular and religious, expected and unexpected: wedding gowns, ketubahs, albums, invitations, gifts, speeches, chuppahs, souvenirs, and more that have been entrusted to us by Jewish Marylanders since the museum was founded.
Ketubah on parchment, dated Wednesday, 8 Kislev, 5590 (1832), Baltimore. Ze’ev Dov, son of Joseph, married Leah, daughter of Moses. Gift of Samuel Himmelrich. JMM 1989.101.1
We can create a rich exhibit out of what we already hold. Just in the first few months of research, we’ve already discovered that many of our treasures are, indeed, treasures: a handwritten invitation in German, from 1841. Baltimore ketubahs that predate the building of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Formal photographs that show the breadth of options available to, and choices made by, Maryland couples.
Left to right:
Ida Fine and Mendel Glaser, 1894. Gift of Robert Steinberg. JMM 1992.228.001
Sophie Frenkil and Lee L. Dopkin, 1921. Gift of Sophie and Lee L. Dopkin. JMM 1990.116.006
Miriam Caplan and Hal Rosenblatt, 1948. Gift of Miriam Rosenblatt. JMM 1996.054.015
Sandra Dean and Ivan Fried, 1975. Gift of Faith Dean. JMM 2010.039.001
But Joanna Church and this summer’s great team of interns aren’t stopping there.
Our collections are particularly strong when it comes to Baltimore in the decades between 1890 and 1950 – but now we’re turning to you, our members, friends and volunteers to help us flesh out the stories of a diverse Jewish community all across Maryland over the past sixty years.
If you’re interested in donating or lending your family wedding stories for display in the Feldman Gallery, let us know! We have some fantastic wedding gowns from the 1900s-1930s but we’re looking for dresses and other textiles from the decades before and after. We’re particularly looking for modern-day material capturing the breadth of our community, from the ultra-traditional to the newly created; we’re looking for weddings of all stripes – maybe even polka dots. For more information, or to discuss potential donations and loans, please contact Joanna Church, Collections Manager, at email@example.com or 443-873-5176.
In a few weeks we’ll kick off of our official collecting initiative, in which we’ll ask people across the state to contribute an invitation and a photo from their weddings (and their parents’ weddings and their grandparents’ weddings); the results will be incorporated into a companion exhibit on our website. So start pulling out your albums and finding your favorite photos now!
This summer we’ve gone “beyond chicken soup”, next summer we’ll get beyond “Sunrise, Sunset”… who knows how far we can go?
Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Rachel
On May 29 we’re putting out the welcome mat as six of greater Jonestown’s well established historic and cultural attractions celebrate the arrival of three brand new facilities planned over the next few years. We hope you’ll join JMM, the Carroll Museums, Zion Church of Baltimore, Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, Port Discovery, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and B’Nai Israel: The Downtown Synagogue, in saying “welcome!” to our future neighbors.
We thought it might be a good idea to share the backstory behind this event. Most of you will recall that last October we facilitated the development of the Jonestown Vision Plan and the launch of the new Jonestown brand identity. In the months since, we’ve continued to work closely with the community and Historic Jonestown Inc. (HJI), led by Lindsay Thompson and Joe Cronyn on ways to put our ambitious goals into practice.
HJI is in the process of organizing itself into affinity groups, bringing together the neighborhood’s social service organizations, its religious institutions, its hospitality industry and its historic/cultural organizations to work on parts of the plan that are a natural fit with each group. Our historic/cultural group has been concentrating on events and programs. We felt very fortunate to be included in the Carroll Mansion’s current partnership in support of the All American House and we are studying other two-way and three-way collaborations to bring life to the streets of Jonestown, including tentative plans for a plein air art experience on surrounding streets later this summer.
Meanwhile we’ve had some terrific news about institutions bringing new activity and energy to our immediate vicinity. Just a block away from the Lloyd Street Synagogue, Ronald McDonald House is well on its way to starting construction on a new facility. The new Ronald McDonald House, which will be built at 1200 E. Baltimore Street, will reflect a commitment to incorporate best practices into all of its programs and services. The new house is intended to fulfill an institutional goal of establishing Baltimore as providing not only quality pediatric care but the most effective and compassionate family-centered care in the world. Amenities included in the design of the new house were carefully selected through input from staff, volunteers and families. The new House will serve approximately 55 families daily and 2,200 families a year. We intend to extend outreach to both volunteers and families. The coming of the new facility will also mean upgrades for the adjacent McKim Park.
And just a block away from the park, at 1100 E. Fayette Street, Kevin Plank and Under Armour have provided more than $6 million in support for a new recreation center, scheduled to open later this year. The new center will be operated by Living Classrooms. Jonestown’s cultural institutions are exploring ways to engage youth at the new center in our ongoing programs.
Go just a few blocks further down Fayette Street and you’ll come to 901, announced last January as the new site for the National Aquarium’s animal care and rescue center. Preparations are beginning now for an anticipated 2018 opening. The Aquarium hopes to provide some public access to this behind-the-scenes space. Jonestown has been welcoming new immigrants for more than 200 years – now we’ll have new arrivals with fins and tails as well.
Welcome to the New Neighbors!
It seemed like a great time to bring these new institutions into the Jonestown family. From 1pm to 4pm we’ll have family activities for every taste. Art projects, craft work, storytelling from Port Discovery and our new friends at the National Aquarium are bringing with a bearded dragon… just in case you’ve never seen a real dragon, or at least a real dragon with a beard. Admission to the Museum and to all the activities is free.
Happy birthday Mr. Jones!
Speaking of every taste, there will also be birthday cake. Whose birthday you ask? Well Jonestown, of course. On June 15, 1641, David Jones built his home by the falls that bear his name (not to mention the expressway they put on top of it). So we’ve decided to jump the gun just a little and pull out the 355th birthday cake at our Jonestown celebration. It seems a fitting way to mark a milestone for Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood and newest destination: Jonestown – proudly we hail.