Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Rachel
It’s that time of year again – Intern Season! You’ve already heard from a few of these bright, eager interns, as they’ve taken to blogging like ducks to water. But we still thought it would be nice to give you a little more in-depth information on the 2014 summer intern class. This year we asked the interns to interview and write profiles on each other. Enjoy getting to know them – we certainly have been!
Emma Glaser is a new Education and Programming Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. I had the opportunity to sit down with my fellow intern and discuss what brought her to the JMM, what she plans to in Baltimore, and, most importantly, how I could obtain her mother’s challah recipe. ~Intern Mandy
Emma is originally from Tacoma Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. that offers both small town charm alongside big city attractions. Emma jokes, “The best thing is our July 4th parade, which is very small-town America, but with a lot of liberal twist!” Yet, though she grew up just a short car ride from the Smithsonian, she cites the New York Historical Society and the Natural History Museum in New York as her favorite museums as a child. Emma explains that her grandmother would often drag her to those museums all the time growing up, stressing the importance of history on Emma at an early age.
Well, Emma must have been listening to her grandmother, because she majored in History and Classics at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith is known to have a unique housing system, where traditional undergraduates are expected to live in a housing community for four years. Naturally, I ask Emma to sell me on her house, Washburn. Emma gleefully states, “Washburn has a reputation for being a little weird, not in a bad way, and the house community is very strong. We also have the best mascot on Smith’s campus—Safety Man.” Apparently, Safety Man is a relic from an old commuter student whose father did not want her driving alone at night. So, she drove with half a mannequin. Now, the students as Washburn continue to take great pride in Safety Man, hiding him in showers and closets. Needless to say, Emma received an amazing college education both inside and out of the classroom.
In fact, it was during her undergraduate career that she realized her passion for museum work. Growing up, museums surrounded her. Trips to the Smithsonian or to the historical society grew old fast to a young and curious mind. Though she loved history, she viewed museums as rather passive institutions. Her feelings completely changed when she studied abroad at King’s College in London. Suddenly, Emma was surrounded by new objects and narratives, just begging to be explored. Emma declares, “I probably saw about 96% of the British Museum while I was there—I had make about six trips, and spend a couple hours each time!” Her feat was so impressive, that one of her classmates claimed she never met someone so into museums before. That’s when Emma realized she might want to look into museum careers and see where she fits best in the field.
Since her English epiphany, Emma has sought out countless opportunities in Public History and Jewish History. She interned in the curatorial department at the National Museum of American Jewish History, and has also for her synagogue, helping to archive materials related to her congregation’s cemetery. At the JMM, Emma wants to build on those experiences while also exploring different areas in the field. As an Education and Programming Intern, Emma is busy working on lesson plans for the A-mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit and gearing up for the upcoming Electric Pickle exhibit.
Mandy Benter is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Arielle
Mandy is the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s fresh, new, and awesome Exhibition Research Intern for this upcoming summer. Mandy went through most of her life without nicknames, but by some she is called Mandy B (even though there’s no other Mandys in her circle of friends), Mahatma Mandy (because of her relaxed and friendly disposition), and Patches (which was earned while she was in AmeriCorps, where nicknames run wild). She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She describes it as a quintessential blue collar city, known for its breweries and motorcycles; but also experiences a renaissance of sorts and developing quite a reputation for its quirky art venues and festivals – similarities she has noticed between Milwaukee and Baltimore!
Mandy studied history and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Wisoconsin-Madison. When she was a junior she realized that she wanted to work as a museum curator so she began to look for internships. Since then she has works with the Institute of Southern Jewish Life and the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. Though she is neither Southern nor Jewish, she felt overly welcomed in her new community and learned a lot about the museum field. She has worked extensively in educational programming, particularly for Mississippi Public School students. After she graduated from UW, Mandy took a year off from her schooling and joined AmeriCorps, working for City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock as a supplemental third grade literacy tutor. She describes this experience as the hardest and most rewarding of her life.
This past fall, Mandy moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to get her MA in Public History from North Carolina State University. Since then she has developed a strong allegiance to Eastern Carolina’s vinegar-based barbecue and has a tendency to call a group of people “y’all”. You can guess that she loves the South!!
Now Mandy has one more year of school before she will earn her MA and is thrilled to be spending her summer as an intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. She will be working with Curator Karen Falk on the upcoming Jews, Health, and Healing exhibit. She hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the project and is excited to learn more about what it takes to put an exhibit together and the fundamentals behind the research process. She is thrilled to work on this exhibit while it’s still at the early stages and is honored that the JMM is entrusting her with this opportunity. She can’t wait to spend the summer in Baltimore and embrace her time working at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!
Barbara Israel is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Emma
Barbara Israel is a sophomore at UMBC, majoring in Ancient Studies and Archaeology. She grew up in Youngstown, OH, but has lived in Baltimore for forty years. After she graduates, Barbara would like to work in a museum, so she is excited about the experience she will gain during her internship. She will primarily be working on the Jewish Health and Healing exhibit. So far, she has really enjoyed learning how to transcribe documents which are in poor condition. Her favorite document that she has worked on is a manuscript from 1896.
Barbara’s favorite historical figure is Thomas Jefferson because she took a class focusing largely on him. She also had a wonderful time taking an archaeology course in Greece this year. The traditional Jewish food that she most enjoys is brisket. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, travel, and reading.
Sarah Moore is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Barbara
Sarah Moore is an intern who came to the Jewish Museum of Maryland from Morgantown, West Virginia, and she graduated from the University of West Virginia at Morgantown. She came back to the museum after a week’s absence with a bout of illness and took on her tasks here with earnestness.
Her favorite food is burritos and she loves Mexican food.
I asked Sarah what her goals were for the immediate future. She plans to take a year off from school to find a job in a museum. In five years she plans to be finished with graduate school in Museology or Art History and find a museum job. In ten years she would like to have a curatorial position in a museum.
Her favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin and her hobbies are reading and swimming.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s summer 2014 Education and Programming interns: Arielle Kaden. ~Intern Sarah
Arielle is a rising junior at Johns Hopkins University. She is majoring in Writing Seminars, which she describes as creative writing combined with liberal arts, and minoring in Jewish Studies. Her favorite place in Baltimore is the Johns Hopkins University Campus. She’s studied there for two years and it is her home outside of New Jersey. Arielle grew up in Randolph, New Jersey, with two younger siblings, a brother who is 18 and a sister who is 12. She considers her best friends.
Arielle recently returned from a two week research trip in Poland. She her new favorite museum is in Poland, The Museum of the History of Polish Jews. “I saw it before its official opening, which is later this summer, and I thought it was fabulous,” says Arielle. “It covers 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland and pays a beautiful tribute to the rich Jewish life that once thrived in Eastern Europe and is resurrecting itself today.”
Arielle hopes to find a career in a field pertaining to Jewish education. She says, “I love finding creative ways to help educate people about Jewish themes whether it is through creative writing, putting together a museum exhibition, or making a film.” She plans to pursue a master’s degree or PhD, and hopes spread the Jewish message around the world. Arielle decided to intern at JMM because she thought it would be a unique, fun, and fulfilling experience. She had visited the museum before and loved its exhibitions. As and Education and Programming intern Arielle looks forward to helping to plan and facilitate educational and programming activities for all of the guests.
Posted on June 26th, 2014 by Rachel
As an Exhibition and Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, it’s my responsibility to describe and dissect the unique connection between the Jewish community and medicine for the upcoming Jews, Health, and Healing exhibit. Every day, I research topics on Jewish identity, conceptions of health, and the changing medical landscape. However, my education in Jewish History begins far before I enter the JMM. My morning walk from Patterson Park to Jonestown is an immediate reminder of Baltimore’s changing ethnic communities and the remnants of a recent past.
Southeast Baltimore and was once home to a thriving Jewish community. This should not surprise our blog readers, as the JMM and corned beef row are located just east of downtown. However, to the casual passer-by, the area’s Jewish presence is not immediate. Jewish History is only found by those who look. One day, as I was walking down East Baltimore Street, I noticed something quite unusual on a Spanish-speaking Roman Catholic Church—Hebrew.
A Hebrew inscription hidden in plain sight.
On the facade of Iglesia de Dios, was a prominent Hebrew inscription, and the date 1899. Stepping back, I looked for more Jewish symbolism hidden amongst the Christian iconography. Sure enough, above the stained glass cross, were the tablets of the Ten Commandments. I could not find the earliest congregation associated with this synagogue; however, with a little research, I discovered this beautiful cream brick building at the corner of Baltimore and Chester may have been the home of former Adath Israel Congregation. This Orthodox congregation was founded in 1914 and amalgamated with Congregation Emanuel in 1920. This community worshiped at this location from 1920-1948, until it merged with Beth Isaac to form Beth Isaac-Adath Israel Congregation. The community is still thriving, just in a new location in Northwest Baltimore.
Iglesia de Dios on E. Baltimore Street is an excellent example of a re-purposed religious space.
Re-appropriating sacred places is certainly not a new concept to our readers or the JMM. The Lloyd Street Synagogue was once used by the Lithuanian Catholic community before they raised enough money to build their own house of worship. Though I am sure it is hard to leave a place that was once your home every Saturday, it must have reassured former congregants that their synagogue was still used for praise and reflection.
The Lloyd Street Synagogue took on multiple faith communities in its lifetime.
Unfortunately, not all former synagogues find other communities. Just of the corner of E. Baltimore and S. Caroline, I walked past a razed former synagogue. Yet, despite the graffiti and draped blue tarpaulins, I could see the beauty the structure once had. There is no name, just an inscription of a psalm and the date 1925. The closest congregation I found near this site was Agudas Achim Anshe Chernigov Nusarch Ari Congregation, an Orthodox community located at 132 South Carolina Street from 1913-1950.
Though it’s near demolition, one can still appreciate the structure’s subtle beauty.
Although I have just scratched the surface of Baltimore’s past congregations and Jewish communities, I realize I am so fortunate to work in a place that keeps these memories alive. If you have any more information on these structures, please let the JMM know – email firstname.lastname@example.org!
This blog post was written by Exhibitions Research Intern Mandy Benter. For more information on Baltimore’s many synagogues, please see Earl Pruce’s Synagogues, Temples, and Congregations of Maryland, 1830-1990 or visit the website: http://www.kilduffs.com/Synagogues.html. To read more posts by and about JMM interns, click here.