Posted on December 28th, 2018 by

A blog post by JMM’s Director of Development, Tracey E. Dorfmann. To read more posts from Tracey, click here.

Baltimore. It’s taken 18 months, but it finally feels like home. Over my lifetime there have been a few places that I called home. One consistency I have noticed, no matter where I have lived, is that there are many threads of connection between people. I love learning about the individuals with whom I interact, because I’m bound to find a connection. This is indeed what recently happened to me in my neighborhood.

My community is wonderfully eclectic. I live by the northern border of Baltimore City near Belvedere Market. I have wonderful neighbors. One or two hail from Baltimore city and environs but most, like me, are not natives. There is a representative sampling from the mid-Atlantic, a few from the mid-west, and others from the south. Their careers are equally diverse: hospice clergy, architect, health care administrator, fire inspector, costume designer, graphic designer, fabric artist, TV sound production, professional chef, music sound production, attorney, judge, web designer, licensed social workers and even a few non-profit professionals.

I am always eager and excited to share about JMM.  At a recent holiday party, I was encouraging my neighbors to visit the Museum. The last day for the Houdini exhibit is January 21st and I want folks to experience the exhibit before it closes.  One of my neighbors turned to me and asked, “is that where the Lloyd Street Synagogue is?”

I explained that the striking and iconic Lloyd Street Synagogue (1845 –) Greek Revival Architecture is indeed one of the most significant holdings in our collection along with the B’nai Israel Synagogue (1876 – which has an outstanding Moorish Revival interior).  The noteworthy and historic synagogues, two of the oldest in Maryland, flank our Museum building.

My neighbor shared with me that in the late 1970’s she had been a planning assistant at the Commission for Historic and Architectural Preservation. She remembered working on the nomination paperwork for the Lloyd Street Synagogue so that it could to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. Completely fascinated, she enjoyed learning how pivotal JMM is in the revival of the Jonestown neighborhood, how relevant we make our exhibits, the far-reaching scope of our school programs, and the range of our public programs.

The next day I received a text from her saying that she had joined as a JMM member and would be attending a lecture here in the coming weeks.   A few more days passed I received and email with an attachment. The email message read “look who signed and prepared this application.”

What I opened was a copy of the National Registry of Historic Places Nomination Form from 1976. There on the form in the section “form prepared by” was my neighbor’s name. Smalltimore – I get it now.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Once Upon a Time…08.18.2018

Posted on May 1st, 2018 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church by email at

JMM IA 1.0869

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: August 18, 2017

PastPerfect Accession #: IA 1.0869

Status: Identified! Former Governor Theodore R. McKeldin (center) at the dedication of the restored Lloyd Street Synagogue, 1965. Left to right: Marty Stone (possibly); Gerson Woolf; Governor McKeldin; Frieda (Mrs. J. Max) Abramowitz; Grace (Mrs. Irving J.) Abramowitz

Thanks To: Howard Woolf and Judy Chernak

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Graham’s Adult Bar Mitzvah

Posted on June 30th, 2017 by

A blog post by Graham Humphrey, Visitor Services Coordinator. To read more posts by Graham click HERE.

All ready for the ceremony.

All ready for the ceremony.

Earlier this month, I had my adult Bar Mitzvah ceremony in the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.  It was an honor celebrating it in the oldest synagogue in Maryland and the third oldest still standing in the country. I had relatives fly in from England, California and Washington State as well as guests who drove from Rhode Island and Ohio. I was also delighted that some of our volunteers were able to come in addition to my friends from the Jewish community.

Preparing to read from the torah

Preparing to read from the torah

During the service, I lead prayers such as the Shema and the Amidah. Rabbi Dinin did a wonderful job describing the significance of each of the prayers to the audience. My friend RLee sang a version of Shalom Rav and another friend Gereon read a Prayer for Peace. It was also very special having my parents read the Priestly blessing.

Giving the D'var Torah

Giving the D’var Torah

In my Dvar Torah, I tied in my love of sailing, traveling and the environment with my Torah portion of Shelach (Numbers 15: 37-40) and Haftarah portion of Noah (Isaiah 54:1-10). I talked about how since moving to Baltimore three years ago, I have reconnected with my faith through attending services at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, doing service projects with Repair the World and socializing with other young Jewish adults at Moishe House and Chai Life.

After the service, we had a small reception inside B’nai Israel and then some joined us for a dinner in Little Italy. The next day, many of my family members joined me for a tour of the synagogues and were able to explore our exhibits.

The historic Lloyd Street Synagogue

The historic Lloyd Street Synagogue

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. I would like to thank Mickey Rubin, who privately tutored me for the past year and for Rabbi Dinin who officiated the service and to Rabbi Mintz who offered B’nai Israel as the place for my reception. I would also like to thank the Jewish Museum of Maryland for allowing me to celebrate this special occasion at the museum. Don’t forgot, that you too can have your special occasion at the JMM. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me to find out more about renting the Lloyd Street Synagogue for your bar mitzvah or wedding.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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