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Exploring Jewish Art

Posted on May 28th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday.

All of the activities we share are designed for families to complete together and use supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer include crafts, games, scavenger hunts, online story times, and more. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


Did you know that May is Jewish American Heritage month?

This month we’re using our weekly family activity packets to highlight different aspects of Jewish American history, inspired by our collections. This week’s activities focus on art, looking at just a few examples from what makes up the vast category of Jewish art.

What is Jewish art anyway? One kind of Jewish art is ceremonial objects, also known as Judaica. These are objects used in rituals during Shabbat and holidays, like Torah covers, yads, tallit, candlesticks, etc. and are often beautiful and intricately designed. Another kind of Jewish art is Jewish folk art, which includes thinks like papercutting, calligraphy, and wood carving.

Silver spice box, JMM 1996.141.15. Gold-plated Torah crown used at Beth Jacob Congregation, JMM 2010.7.1. Glass-based wedding cup, JMM 1996.141.25. Cast metal dreidel, JMM 1996.141.46.

Art can also be called Jewish if it was created by Jewish individuals. Jewish artists have worked in a variety of different styles across history. For some artists, like Marc Chagall, Judaism was central to their work, while for others, such as the Impressionist Camille Pissaro, the influence of their Judaism on their work is less apparent.

Sketch by Helen Ries for Levindale Auxiliary Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital contribution card, JMM 19993.138.11. Rosalyn Shechter with her sculpture “Lady Eve,” 1962, JMM 1974.21.17. Sketch of Marian Anderson by Reuben Kramer,” 1954, JMM 1991.115.4. “My Mother’s Bread,” still life painting by Herman Maril, 1955, JMM 1989.125.1.

Learn about these different types of Jewish art through the activities below. From exploring the work of Maryland Jewish artists to creating your own ritual and folk art, we hope you enjoy this introduction to Jewish art.

Think about what you can learn by looking at and making art. The art objects in the Museum’s collections are not just beautiful works, they also tell us important historical information. Things like what materials were available to artists of the time, what places used to look like, and even what people valued at the time.

Art tells stories. What kinds of stories do you want your art to tell?


Everyday Observations

Drawing of a woman and child shopping in Baltimore, JMM 2005.66.84. Untitled painting of Lombard Street, JMM 2010.83.4. Sketchof the bar at Whitbread Tavern, September 17, 1979, JMM 2005.66.74. All works by Jacob Glushakow.

Jacob Glushakow was a Jewish Baltimore artist who painted scenes of everyday life, showing how our city and its people have changed over the years.

Now is a great time to use art to document your own life and how it has changed and is still changing. We’d love to add your work to our collections, just like Glushakow’s paintings! You can donate the work you create to JMM as part of our History is Now: JMM Collects Stories of the Pandemic Initiative.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Paper

Pencil, pen, markers, or paint

Download Instructions for Everyday Observations

Bonus: Grab a copy of our JMM Jacob Glushakow Coloring Book and a special color-your-own Glushakow valentine!

Learn more about Jacob Glushakow’s life and legacy in this video with his nephew, Robert:


Abstract Creations

“Decalogue,” pair of acrylic paintings on canvas, 1977, JMM 1987.50.1a. “Moses at the Burning Bush,” 1951, JMM 2011.18.1. “Aaron,” cut paper relief, 1977. JMM 1987.13.2.

Amalie Rothschild was another Jewish Baltimore artist with a very different style from Glushakow. She created abstract paintings and sculptures, works of art that don’t look realistic or lifelike.

In this activity, create your own work of abstract art using shapes, forms, and colors.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Paper

Pencil, pen, markers, or colored pencils

Download Instructions for Abstract Creations

Bonus: Learn more about Amalie Rothschild in this blog post from former JMM intern Codi Lamb.


Make a Mezuzah

Bezalel-style silver mezuzah, JMM 1996.141.54. Plastic mezuzah, Temple Oheb Shalom Collection, JMM 2004.97.65. Metal mezuzah cover, c. 1950s, JMM 1997.53.16. Bezalel mezuzah from Jerusalem, Temple Oheb Shalom Collection, JMM 2004.97.67.

A mezuzah is one of the key ritual art objects for the home.

In this activity, create your own mezuzah case – we suggest hanging it at a kid-friendly height on a doorpost. This is a perfect activity for using recycled materials from around your home.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Empty matchbox or other small recyclable container with an opening

Popsicle stick

Glue

Craft supplies

Masking tape

Paper

Download Instructions for Make a Mezuzah

If you’re looking for more ways to practice hiddur mitzvah (the beautification of ritual objects), check out this website which has a  collection of Jewish crafts that are great for holidays, Shabbat, and everyday life!


Snowflake Papercuts

Tamar Fishman, papercut artist, at work, Baltimore Jewish Times Collection, JMM 2012.54.24.2. Snowflake-style papercut by Fishman. Ketubah papercut by Fishman. Baltimore Jewish Times Collection, 2012.54.24.4,5. Photos by Craig Terkowitz.

‌Papercutting is one of the most popular forms of Jewish folk art. While you can make papercuts anytime of the year, now is a particularly great time since some people decorate their homes with papercuts before the holiday of Shavout.

Supplies needed:

Paper

Scissors

Download Instructions for Snowflake Papercuts

Bonus: Learn more about papercut artist Tamar Fishman, who also designed the official 2018 US Hanukkah postage stamp!

Discover more about the history of Jewish papercutting and see some examples of beautiful artwork in this video:


Keep‌ ‌Discovering‌ ‌

Explore one of the largest collections of Jewish art online with the Center for Jewish Art. View works of art that are hundreds (and even thousands) of years old as well as more modern pieces.

Learn more about Jewish women artists around the world at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

Wikipedia has a long list of Jewish American artists to explore.


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Coming to America

Posted on May 20th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday.

All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


Did you know that May is Jewish American Heritage month?

This month we’re using our weekly family activity packets to highlight different aspects of Jewish American history, inspired by our collections. This week’s activity packets focus on immigration. These activities celebrate all those brave individuals who left their homes and families to try to make a better life for themselves here in America.

Soviet immigrants aided by HIAS, reuniting with family in the US, c. 1970s. JMM 1997.134.10.

The U.S. is a country made almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants, including the Jewish community. The earliest Jewish individuals came here during the colonial era, before America was even its own country!

The majority of Jewish immigrants to America came between 1840 and 1920 from countries in central and eastern Europe like Germany, Poland and Russia. Deciding to immigrate was a huge undertaking, especially without the modern conveniences we have today like air travel, cell phones, and the internet. People had to plan for a long and challenging journey and the reality that they likely wouldn’t return to their original homes or see the families they left behind again.

Naturalization ceremony held at JMM, June 20, 2019.

Baltimore plays an especially important part in the story of our country’s immigrants. Locust Point was one of the largest immigration ports in the country, second only to Ellis Island in New York. New immigrants could either begin to make a home in Baltimore or easily travel across the U.S. via the B&O railroad.

The activities in this package explore some of the challenges faced by immigrants, both historically and today.

Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome.


Packing Up

‌Greeting new immigrants at the airport, c. 1970s. HIAS collection, JMM 1997.134.682; Hecht family steamer trunk. JMM 2012.115.1; Russian passport for Moses Pines, 1911. JMM 1989.177.1a.

Deciding what to take to a new country is a tricky decision. You need to find a careful balance of both everyday items plus things that will help you earn money, create a new home and keep you connected to your home and family. Plus you are sometimes limited by the size and weight of items you can bring with you!

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Suitcase template

Markers

Scotch Tape

Scissors

Immigration – Packing Up


Get Stitching

Giving a knitting lesson, 1935. JMM 1991.185.1; Baltimore tailor shop, c. 1908. JMM 1991.24.3a; Students from Holabird Academy learn about Baltimore’s garment industry in “Voices of Lombard Street” at JMM.

Did you know that the garment industry was once the largest industry in Baltimore? The textile industry is one that proved especially welcoming to new Jewish immigrants, requiring limited English and the skills many immigrants brought with them from Europe.

In this simple sewing craft you can develop your own sewing skills while also creating an “ear defender,” a particularly useful item in our current time.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Strong ribbon, 1 inch wide

Large buttons

Needle and thread

Scissors

Ruler

Lighter or candle

Download Instructions for Get Stitching


The New New Colossus

Handwritten manuscript of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” 1883. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Unveiling of the Statue of Liberty by Edward Moran, 1886. Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York. Engraving of Emma Lazarus, 1889 by W. Kurtz. Via.

The Statue of Liberty welcomed so many immigrants to our country, but she is so much more than a statue! Learn a little more about the poem The New Colossus and create your own poem to welcome new immigrants to America.

Learn more about Emma Lazarus, author of The New Colossus, The Emma Lasazrus Project at  from the American Jewish Historical Society!

Supplies needed:

Paper

Pencil

Download Instructions for The New New Colossus


Discovering Your Heritage  

Harvey Meyerhoff with baby Joseph Meyerhoff II, 1960. JMM 2004.80.84; Levy Family Tree. JMM 1991.20.30; A.D. Glushakow recording for Baltimore Jewish Radio Voice. JMM 1996.56.23.

The reason we know so much about immigrants to our city and our country, is through people sharing and documenting their family stories. This activity is a great way to connect all generations of your family and help you better learn and understand your own heritage.

Supplies needed:

Paper

Pencil

Download Instructions for Discovering Your Heritage


Keep‌ ‌Discovering‌ ‌

Explore the online portion of the JMM original exhibit Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling. The scrap industry attracted many new immigrants, requiring a low level of financial investment as well as requiring little English to start a new scrap business.

Learn more about other jobs that were more welcoming to new immigrants to America in this archival exploration from the JMM education team!

Listen to the story Mendel’s Accordion and learn about Mendel’s journey to the United States, including the important role music plays in connecting old traditions to his new life.  

The Baltimore Immigration Museum is a great resource to learn about the different groups who immigrated to Baltimore in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Interested in helping new immigrants? The Baltimore-based Esperanza Center has many tips on how to help, including getting involved in advocacy work.


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Discover the Lloyd Street Synagogue

Posted on May 12th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday.

All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


Did you know that May is Jewish American Heritage month?

This month we’re using our weekly family activity packets to highlight different aspects of Jewish American history, inspired by our collections. This week’s activity packets focus on our historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.

The Lloyd Street Synagogue was built in 1845. It is the oldest synagogue in the whole of Maryland and the third oldest still standing in the United States. The Synagogue has seen a lot over the last 175 years! Carte-de-visite, c. 1864. JMM 1997.71.1.

It was originally built for Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, serving new Jewish immigrants from central Europe as they tried to establish themselves in the US. A little later it served a brief time as St. John the Baptist Lithuanian Catholic Church, again welcoming new immigrants but as a Catholic church.

In 1905 it returned to being a synagogue, this time for Shomrei Mishmeres Ha-Kodesh, a congregation of mainly new immigrants from eastern Europe.

Today there is no congregation worshipping in the synagogue. Instead, the Lloyd Street Synagogue is an important part of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, used for education, performances, and even the occasional wedding.

With the activities below you will learn more about the history of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and synagogues in general. You might want to start with this glossary, which will help you understand some of the terms and vocabulary used throughout these activities.

Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome.


Take a Virtual Tour

‌While visiting the Lloyd Street Synagogue in person isn’t possible right now, we have created an interactive virtual tour so you can explore this important, historic building.

You definitely want to start with this tour before heading on to the other activities, as it will help connect each activity to the history of the Synagogue.

Whether you’ve visited the Synagogue before, or just getting introduced, this virtual tour is a great chance to test your knowledge!


Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass window from the Lloyd Street Synagogue during the 1964 renovation of the building. JMM IA 1.0024.  

One of the most iconic parts of the Synagogue is the beautiful stained-glass window showing a Star of David. You can use just a few simple supplies to create your own stained-glass windows!

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

6 Popsicle sticks, you could also use strips of cardboard

Colorful tissue paper

School glue

Needle and thread

Optional – A hot glue gun, for adult use only

Download Instructions for Creating Your Own Stained Glass Window


Building Your Own Synagogue ‌

Painting by Harry Evans, Jr. showing a composite of Baltimore synagogues. Pictured are: Baltimore Hebrew Congregation – Lloyd Street Synagogue, Har Sinai – High Street, Oheb Israel – Eden Street, unidentified, Tzemach Tzedek – Fairmont Avenue, Ohel Yakov – Aisquith Street, Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol – Baltimore Street.) Museum purchase with support from the Ellen Kahan Zager Accession Endowment, JMM 2002.82.2.  

Building your own synagogue model is a great chance to think about the key elements we see on most synagogues while also using your imagination to make some unique architecture. We had a lot of fun with this activity a few years ago, and think you will too.

Build your model out of blocks, Lego, Magna-tiles, clay, or get really creative and use recycled materials from around the house! You could also make a drawing or create a collage of your synagogue design.

Supplies‌ ‌needed:‌ ‌

Recycled materials such as boxes, containers and magazines

Craft supplies such as paper, scissors, glue and markers

Optional printed decor

Blocks, Legos, or other building materials

Download Instructions for Building Your Own Synagogue


Digging Up History

Artifacts found during the archaeological excavation of the Lloyd Street Synagogue’s 1845 mikveh. JMM IA 1.0460.

‌A great way to learn about the history of old buildings is through archaeology. Archaeology is the process of carefully digging into the earth to gather evidence that helps us to better understand a place or building. When the Lloyd Street Synagogue was being renovated and repaired, we found many items in the ground that helped tell us the story of the Synagogue and the people who lived in the neighborhood.

In this activity you will create your own archaeological dig! While the instructions here are based on how we share this activity on-site at the Museum, you can also go bigger and expand your dig into a sandbox or even your whole backyard (be sure to check where it is safe to dig and that you are destroying anything planted in your yard).

Supplies needed:

Foil pan, at least 10” x 12”

Soil or sand, if you have both even better

Small objects you are willing to bury

String

Paint brush or small excavating tools

Download Instructions for Digging Up History


Keep‌ ‌Discovering‌ ‌

Want to know more about what being in the Lloyd Street Synagogue was like a long time ago? You can read our fabulous children’s book, The Synagogue Speaks, written by Anita Kassof and illustrated by Jonathan Scott Fuqua here.

You might also like this short video tour of both our historic synagogue buildings, the Lloyd Street Synagogue and B’nai Israel.

Or check out this blog post from Lauren Mitchell, who wrote about the Lloyd Street Synagogue and historic preservation as a high school senior: Preservation in My Community.


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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