JMM Insights: Greetings Graham!

Posted on December 18th, 2015 by

Regular readers of this newsletter may recall that our former visitor services manager Abby Krolik wrote a quarterly “Dear Abby” column to answer questions about JMM operations that we just knew were on your mind.  Our current manager, Graham Humphrey, is reviving this tradition and so we bring you “Greetings Graham.”
Greetings Graham,
I was planning on coming to see the Paul Simon exhibit – because I have a thing about Paul Simon.  Problem is that I’m coming from a galaxy far-far-away and don’t want to discover that all the tickets have gone over to the dark side.  Is there a way to buy tickets in advance?  May the force be with you.


Yes, there is! We have started an online ticketing program for the Paul Simon exhibit. You are not required to buy tickets in advance, but we have set up a system for the convenience of our visitors. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, you can visit this link ( and choose which day and time you would like to visit. After you pay securely on our website, please either print out your confirmation or have it readily available on your phone when you visit the Museum. Don’t worry if you cannot come during the timeslot you picked; you can use the ticket anytime you please.

Greetings Graham,

I just got back home from a great trip to the chocolate factory and saw on TV your Director, Marvin Pinkert, talk about the Paul Simon exhibit.  How can I arrange for my friends to come visit?

Mike Teavee

We would love to have you and your friends visit our Paul Simon exhibit! Please either call me at 410-732-6400 ext. 235 or send an email to In your message, please include what dates/times works for your group, how many people you expect to attend and any special needs you may have. Don’t postpone calling or writing as dates are filling up quickly. Also remember that the exhibit closes on January 18th!

Greetings Graham,

I came to the Museum a few Sundays ago at 2pm, but found out the program began at 1pm. I thought you always have programs at the same time on Sundays?

Frustrated Anne

NO! We sometimes change program times to take into consideration big city wide events, such as Ravens games. It is thus very important you read the event information carefully to ensure you don’t miss a fabulous program.

Greetings Graham,

My grandchildren are visiting and love to create music by banging their hands on my table and stomping their feet to create some beats. I don’t think my table can survive another week. Oy vey! Do you have any suggestions of a program that they could attend at the Museum?

My antique table can’t handle it

Yes! Christmas Day is Mitzvah Day at the Jewish Museum and we will be having a host of programs including a children’s activity in the morning where your grandchildren can make musical gifts for other children spending the holidays in the Herman and Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital at Sinai Hospital. For our adult visitors, our Executive Director, Marvin Pinkert, will be talking about the influence of people of Jewish heritage on the American Folk Revival at 1 pm. Please clink on this link ( for more information. Remember too that the Museum will be open from 10 am-3 pm on Christmas Day and on New Years Eve.

Greetings Graham,

I overheard that you will be doing a chicken soup exhibit. I have won multiple awards for my Matzah ball soup. Would you like my recipe?


Starting on March 13th, we will be opening our next original exhibit, “Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America.” ( While the exhibit will be focused more on the interplay between culture, religion and the practice of medicine, we will be doing a cook off sometime next year where you can share your Matzah ball soup recipe with the community. Please watch out for more details.

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JMM Insights November 2015

Posted on November 20th, 2015 by


The end of an era

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who’ve visited the JMM over the past 23 years, there’s a good chance you’ve met Esther Weiner.

Everyone's favorite shop manager.

Everyone’s favorite shop manager.

Esther’s warm hospitality has been a mainstay of the Museum Store and the Museum for as long as anyone can remember. In 1992, then a member, Esther answered a help wanted ad in the Museum’s newsletter.

At first, her duties mainly consisted of administrative work in the back office, but somewhere along the way, the store fell into her lap. Despite being new to retail, Esther tackled her new task with gusto, and she succeeded marvelously. It’s the only way she knows how to do things!

Now, more than two decades since she answered that newsletter ad, it is with mixed feelings (sad for us, happy for her) that we report that as of December 2015, Esther will be applying her warmth and gusto to the next chapter of her life. We wish her all the best as she exits our gift shop, leaving it far better than it was when she got there.

We would like to invite our Board, our members, our volunteers and our staff to join us in a “Tribute to Esther” on December 14 at 6:30 p.m.  Come join us as we share stories and photos stretching across nearly all of the Museum’s history.

The fruits of her labor

Esther’s good nature, good sense and good taste have built the Museum Store into an institution that supports the mission of the JMM even as it enhances the experience of our visitors. If you haven’t been into the store recently now is the time to come and enjoy the fruits of her labor.  There are so many great items we’ve added that make perfect holiday gifts.

Pictures are a record clock, a record bowl, and a selection of cds.

Selections from the shop

For instance, in support of the Paul Simon exhibit, the Museum Store is offering playful books, toys, art objects and gifts chosen to complement the character of the experiences in our galleries and our programs. From clocks, bowls and journals crafted from old vinyl records to pull-back racers that remind us of the flower-power of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘60s to the lovely catalogue published by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Museum Store lets  visitors share a bit of their Paul Simon experience with family and friends.

We’re also excited to be carrying new products featuring the newly-launched JMM logo. Be the first on your block to sport the new JMM baseball cap or quaff down that coffee with a JMM/Jonestown mug – can’t guarantee it will taste better, just that it will be in good taste.

Add JMM to your Black Friday plans

For the first time in its history, the Jewish Museum of Maryland will be open the day after Thanksgiving (from 10am to 3pm)! The unusual Black Friday opening not only provides an alternative to the madness at the malls, it also gives us an opportunity to join in Story Corp’s National Day of Listening.  Make a reservation for an interview between you and a family member to record a significant family memory.  Stories recorded at JMM will be preserved at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.  I can’t think of a more precious holiday gift… but just in case you want to top off your story with a tangible treat – Esther is offering a rare one-day sale in the Store: nearly everything but the Simon merchandise will be marked down 20%! We’ve got gifts for everyone on your holiday list, from baby to bubbe.

P.S. Don’t forget Nora Guthrie is coming to speak on Sunday.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

JMM Insights: Here Comes Rhymin’ Simon

Posted on August 21st, 2015 by

Raised in Queens. Enshrined in Cleveland. Loved in Baltimore.

It’s official.  This October the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s exhibit, Paul Simon: Words and Music, which celebrates the life of one of America’s greatest singer/songwriters, will make Baltimore its first stop on a nationwide tour.  READ THIS ARTICLE TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN RESERVE A SPOT AT OUR EXCLUSIVE MEMBERS’ PREVIEW AND CONCERT ON SATURDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 10.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon

Paul Simon: Words and Music features autobiographical films, videos of select performances and more than 80 artifacts, chronicling the life, career and creative inspiration of two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Paul Simon. Included is original narration by the artist, recorded specifically for the exhibit and unavailable elsewhere, as well as costumes, film clips, letters and memorabilia associated with his career.

“We wanted to give Paul Simon the opportunity to tell his own story. We interviewed him for hours and asked him how he got started, his creative process, and how he came up with some of his songs,” said Karen L. Herman, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “His stories provide context to the places where his music intersected with our culture, from Simon & Garfunkel to Saturday Night Live. We used that to really define how the exhibit would work, with much of the footage used to guide visitors through his life and career.”

Simon's guitar

Simon’s guitar

Among the exhibits artifacts are guitars like Simon’s 1967 Guild F-30-NT-Spec, used to write and record most of Simon & Garfunkel’s canon, and Simon’s first guitar, personal summer camp correspondence between Paul and Art, jackets, rare photos, and handwritten lyrics to songs like The Boxer (starting with notes made on an in-flight magazine) and the album Graceland (scratched out on a yellow pad). It covers all the genres of Simon’s work – folk, rock and world music.

And the main exhibit is just the beginning:

> We are also preparing a small pop-up exhibit “An American Tune:  Jews and Folk and Folk-Rock”.  Did you know that Arlo Guthrie was trained for his bar mitzvah by Rabbi Meir Kahane?  Find this and other surprises in our special lobby exhibit.

> Both exhibits will be used as platforms for an outstanding series of JMM programs including:

Scott Bernarde speaking on Jewish rock stars on Oct. 11; Cantor Solomon and Cantor Klepper in a performance/lecture on folk music and Jewish liturgy on Oct. 18; Nora Guthrie talks about Woody’s Hanukah songs on Nov.22;  a film festival on Tuesday nights in November, featuring Under African Skies, A Mighty Wind, Inside Llewyn Davis and Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune;  Joanie Leeds returning for a special Hanukah performance and a dozen other lectures and performances.

You will find a full list of events and program details in our Sept. 4 edition of Museum Matters.

> In November, we’ll be adding a “Sounds of the Synagogue” Tour to our menu of special Lloyd Street Synagogue adventures.  The tours will be on Sundays at 3pm.

> The education team has also prepared a curriculum for school groups at grade levels from elementary school to high school to go with the Paul Simon exhibit that combines humanities and the arts.  At upper levels students will be asked to compare the America of the 1960s that Simon wrote about, with Baltimore today.  They will be asked to prepare their own topical lyrics about the challenges of our times.  If you know of a teacher that wants to take advantage of this opportunity, please connect them with our Visitor Services manager, Graham Humphrey ( and he’ll make all the arrangements.


Most of the people who receive this newsletter are JMM members.  One of the benefits of JMM membership are invitations to exclusive member previews for all our exhibits.  And the preview for Paul Simon on October 10 is so special that we’re asking members to make advance reservations.

The Guthrie Bros.

The Guthrie Bros.

In addition to being among the first to see this great new exhibit, we have arranged a Simon & Garfunkel Tribute Concert by the Guthrie Bros. (no relation to Woody, but great musicians – see more here: The Guthrie Bros.  To maximize the number of people who can see this concert, we’ve moved it into the Lloyd Street Synagogue.  Overflow and accessible seating will be in the JMM building with live remote video.  Doors will open at 7:30, and the concert begins at 7:45pm

Because we anticipate high demand for this member’s only event, we’ve set up a special reservations mailbox:

Total capacity in the Lloyd Street Synagogue is 220 seats, so you will want to reserve early.  Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis so we request that you only make reservations via the special reservation mailbox.  Individual members will be able to reserve one ticket, “senior couple” members will be able to reserve two, and family members can reserve up to five tickets. For more information please contact Trillion Attwood at or 410.732.640 ext.215.





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