Posted on February 26th, 2016 by Rachel
The JMM’s latest original exhibition, Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America, is almost complete! We look forward to the opening in just two short weeks. Meanwhile, you can preview the exhibit by taking a tour of the Beyond Chicken Soup website. The website lists the basics – you know, hours, upcoming events, resources for teachers, but also a whole lot more.
If you check out the lower part of the homepage you’ll see “Join the conversation by using #ChickenSoupSelfie.” Here we’ll be curating images and thoughts shared with us by YOU! So after you visit the exhibit be sure to tweet, Instagram, tumble, and post with the hashtag #ChickenSoupSelfie and we’ll be sure to share it on the website’s front page.
Don’t forget to share!
The Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit is full, with more than 400 images, documents and objects from the JMM collection and 85 other private and public lenders. Even with all this material, there are more stories to tell, people to recognize, tangents to take. Our website not only tells you more about what is included in the exhibit, it explores ideas, events, and people we didn’t have room for. You can find these “extra” materials in the aptly named “Explore” section!
The exhibition is set up as a series of environments, each exploring a different kind of medical interaction. There’s the Doctor’s Office, the Hospital, and the Pharmacy—all spaces you might expect. We also explore the experiences of students learning the medical professions in the University, the history of healthy lifestyles in the Gymnasium, and the relationship between heredity and identity in the Laboratory. Finally, we consider the changing face of medicine as a concluding section.
The gymnasium explores fitness through exercise, nutrition, and public perception.
The “Explore” section mirrors these spaces with the addition of a catalog section, which highlights excerpts from the in-depth essays written by our chosen scholars; and the miscellaneous section – which includes all kinds of information, material, and resources that just don’t quite fit into any other spot.
Miscellaneous includes our “Women in Medical Science” series and our “Changing Face of Medicine” gallery.
We’ll be adding new content throughout the year – and we’re taking suggestions! You can propose a story or post by emailing Rachel Kassman at email@example.com.
Head on over and check out ChickenSoupExhibit.org now!
Posted on January 28th, 2015 by Rachel
A Collecting Wish List For
Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America
Our curator, Karen Falk, needs YOUR help! We’re working on our next original exhibit, Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America. The exhibition spans the late 19th century until today, with an emphasis on medicine’s “golden age” in America, roughly the 1920s through 60s.* As with all our exhibits we started with our own collections but we need more. Check out the lists below and see if you, your family or any of your friends have examples of the items below that you would be willing to lend (or donate!) to us here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
If you think you’ve got something, please contact Karen right away at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 410-732-6402 x227.
Envisioning a Jewish Medicine
Memorabilia from Jewish fraternities:
*Phil Delta Epsilon, Phi Lambda Kappa, Aleph Yod He (medical)
*Alpha Omega, Sigma Epsilon Delta (dental)
*Alpha Zeta Omega, Rho Pi Phi (pharmaceutical)
“My Son, the Doctor”
Health professions education:
*school and lab notebooks
*study guides, devices to help memory
*instruments/equipment required or helpful for coursework
*memorabilia from white coat ceremony
*photos of students at work: dissection/cadaver, study groups, classroom, laboratory and clinical settings
*memorabilia from body donor ceremonies
*graduation photos, announcements
A ‘Golden Age’ of Medicine?
Health professions practice:
*journals or diaries
*pneumothorax machine, other early treatment equipment for TB
*photos of physicians, nurses, technicians, and others in hospital settings, working with patients or working with equipment
*early 20th century white coat
* early x-ray equipment or components
The Care of Strangers
The image of the Jewish doctor in the American imagination:
*“my son the doctor” jokes
*“physician’s oath” plaques or inscriptions
*kitsch and shtick
Health, hygiene, diet, and exercise:
*materials in Yiddish
*posters, pamplets, signs aimed at Jewish opinions or behaviors
*Note: We will remove names and other identifying characteristics from anything that includes protected health information prior to display. We normally use your name to attribute quotations, and to acknowledge loans or donations of materials used in the exhibition. You have the option to remain anonymous by request.
Posted on December 10th, 2014 by Rachel
I never met him, but I and the JMM owe a great debt to the late rabbi and historian of Jewish food Gil Marks, who died on December 5. Marks’ magnum opus, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food was published in 2010 and became an enormously important reference for our 2011 exhibition, Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Jewish Identity. It’s a remarkable work with entries for dishes from Jewish communities around the world, and for the Jewish meanings of foods one would never think of as “Jewish.” His entry on “Challah,” for example, explains the meaning and origins of the name of our delicious Sabbath bread, and describes the sort of loaf it actually referred to in the time of the Jewish Kingdom. He also has an entry on “Salt.” The book also contains recipes and detailed instructions for several of his entries. I have given it as a gift to several of my foodie friends, and I consult my own copy frequently. I highly recommend it as an irreplaceable resource and a fun read.
Recently published remembrances, (links to two good posts: http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/210409/gil-marks-jewish-food-scholar-dies-at-/ and http://tabletmag.com/scroll/187460/remembering-a-jewish-food-giant )of Rabbi Marks note that even greater than his knowledge of Jewish food and its importance to Jewish culture and identity was his enthusiasm and generosity in sharing his knowledge and work with all who asked. The JMM experienced this generosity first-hand when in 2012 he allowed us to post the recipes for cholent and cholent kugel on our Chosen Food blog. With gratitude for his generosity and sorrow at his loss, here is an excerpt from that post.
I decided to try a cholent made “the right way,” turning for instruction to Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food http://www.gilmarks.com/. Here I found not only the recipe, but the fascinating history of this very Jewish food.
Two Jewish girls carrying pots of food for the Sabbath, Chicago. October 20, 1903. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum.
Cholent (also called schalet), based on the slow cooked stews (hamin, from the Hebrew word meaning “hot”) of the Mizrachi and Sephardi Jews, reached the Ashkenazim of Eastern Europe in the 12th or 13th century, via Spain and France. The word cholent may be derived from the Old French word for warm (chald/chalt) or it may come more directly from the Spanish escallento, also meaning warm. It became the custom for the homemakers of Europe to bring their pots of stew, lids sealed with flour paste to ensure against non-kosher taint, to the local bakery where the coals were banked to remain hot during Shabbat—a custom followed in Europe until the Shoah, and also brought by immigrants to the United States.
I arranged the ingredients in the pot, following the order specified in Marks’ recipe. I had a little trouble with “water to cover,” since my pot was very full. (In fact, it boiled over during the cooking, leaving me with a major post-Shabbat cleaning project.) Don’t skip the hour long simmer Marks recommends. The cholent must go hot into the oven.
Cooking in the pot.
Two teaspoons of salt seemed like a lot to me, but it turns out to be just right. And don’t make the recipe at all if you don’t like the flavor of bay leaves. This ingredient is absolutely essential!
I topped the cholent with Marks’ cholent kugel, rolled into a long log that extended down the center of the cholent, from one end of the pot to the other. When I lifted the heavy lid the next day, I found the loaf flattened into an oval, but it was a beautiful brick red-brown from the paprika. It was surprisingly delicious, if somewhat solid.
How was the cholent? The beans and barley were not only cooked through, they almost lost definition. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth soft, and the seasonings were just on the edge of overcooked. I would have liked a little more gravy; don’t lose yours over the side of the pot!
Recipes (courtesy of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, by Gil Marks)
Ashkenazic Sabbath Stew (Cholent)
6 to 8 servings
1 ½ pounds beef or veal marrow bones
About 2 cups any combination mixed dried navy, lima, pink, pinto, and kidney beans
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, whole or minced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 pounds beef flanken, brisket, or chuck roast
¾ to 1 cup barley
2 to 3 bay leaves
About 2 teaspoons table salt or 4 teaspoons kosher salt
About 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
About 2 quarts water
1. In the order given, place the bones, beans, onions, garlic, potatoes, beef, barley, bay leaves, salt and pepper in a large, heavy pot. Add enough water to cover.
2. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, skimming the froth from the surface, until the beans are nearly soft, about 1 hour.
3. Add more water if necessary. Tightly cover, place on a blech (a thin sheet of metal placed over the range top and knobs) over low heat, or in a 225° F oven, and cook overnight. Serve warm.
4 to 6 servings
5 thick slices challah or 2 large rolls, torn into small pieces
1 ½ cups (7.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ cup vegetable oil or schmaltz
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 to 3 teaspoons paprika
About 1 teaspoon table salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground white or black pepper
In a medium bowl, soak the challah in water until soft but not mushy, about 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess moisture. Place in a medium bowl and mash until smooth. Add the flour, oil, egg, paprika, salt, and pepper, adding more flour if too loose; the mixture should be able to hold its shape. Form into a log and place it on top of hot cholent [before placing the cholent into the oven].
A blog post by Curator Karen Falk. To read more posts from Karen click HERE.