Once Upon a Time…03.13.2015

Posted on December 1st, 2015 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 at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

1972036001089Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 13, 2015

 

PastPerfect Accession #:  1972.036.001.089

 

Status:  Mostly Unidentified – do you know any of the other Weiss Memorial Award Winners from 1965? The photo was taken on November 17 in the office of Baltimore Mayor McKeldin. Jacob Fisher is in the back row, far right.

 

 

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JEWISH COMMUNITY PAYS TRIBUTE TO MAYOR SCHAEFER

Posted on April 27th, 2011 by

Just about every Baltimorean—and many other Americans as well—know about Mayor William Donald Schaefer’s famous 1981 swim with the seals, a characteristically audacious stunt that signaled Baltimore’s revival and helped launch the National Aquarium. Far fewer know that Mayor Schaefer also helped launch the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

In the early 80s, the leaders of Jewish Historical Society of Maryland (the Museum’s predecessor) were considering a building project. The group had saved the Lloyd Street Synagogue from demolition in 1960 and continued to run tours there. Now they wanted to construct a building that would house the Society’s growing archives, serve researchers, and include an exhibition gallery. They planned to build it uptown, near the growing Jewish community.

E.B. Hirsch, Mayor William Donald Schaefer and Robert Weinberg at the signing of City Council Bills 47 and 69 regarding the Jewish Heritage Center, 1984.

Enter Robert Weinberg, trustee and head of the Jewish Heritage Center task force, who recommended locating the new center on Lloyd Street, flanked by the Lloyd Street and B’nai Israel Synagogues, in what was once the heart of immigrant Jewish Baltimore. It was a risky idea at the time; the neighborhood was in decline, and deteriorating public housing high rises dominated.  The bold venture was on Robert Weinberg’s mind as he walked down Lombard Street one April day in 1982 and encountered Mayor Schaefer. Weinberg told him about his idea and the mayor, eager to spread redevelopment beyond the Inner Harbor, embraced it immediately, committing City funds that were critical to the project’s success.

That encounter was on my mind as I walked down Lombard Street yesterday, 29 years later. I was on my way to join a small crowd of people who were waiting for Mayor Schaefer’s funeral cortege to roll down Corned Beef Row. Many of us—including Councilwoman Rikki Spector, Rabbi Alan Yuter of B’nai Israel, Martha Weiman, president of the Baltimore Jewish Council, and I, were there representing the Jewish community, to which Mayor Schaefer had been a longtime friend. Others came simply to pay their respects to a man who had the courage to believe in Baltimore at a time when it wasn’t necessarily fashionable to do so. 

The procession was running late, so the group waited on the street corner for nearly an hour, swapping memories, both solemn and celebratory. Finally, the approaching helicopters announced the arrival of the procession. Together with Rikki Spector and Martha Weiman, I had the honor of presenting an enormous bouquet of flowers to Lainy Lebow-Sachs, Mayor Schaefer’s friend and longtime aide. 

I came to Baltimore several years after Mayor Schaefer moved on to the State House, but I found the occasion—standing on a sunny street corner shooting the breeze with Baltimoreans of all stripes, Jews and non-Jews, old and young, black and white, human and canine——surprisingly emotional and affirming. Where else but Baltimore, Hon?

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