JMM Insights November 2015

Posted on November 20th, 2015 by


The end of an era

If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who’ve visited the JMM over the past 23 years, there’s a good chance you’ve met Esther Weiner.

Everyone's favorite shop manager.

Everyone’s favorite shop manager.

Esther’s warm hospitality has been a mainstay of the Museum Store and the Museum for as long as anyone can remember. In 1992, then a member, Esther answered a help wanted ad in the Museum’s newsletter.

At first, her duties mainly consisted of administrative work in the back office, but somewhere along the way, the store fell into her lap. Despite being new to retail, Esther tackled her new task with gusto, and she succeeded marvelously. It’s the only way she knows how to do things!

Now, more than two decades since she answered that newsletter ad, it is with mixed feelings (sad for us, happy for her) that we report that as of December 2015, Esther will be applying her warmth and gusto to the next chapter of her life. We wish her all the best as she exits our gift shop, leaving it far better than it was when she got there.

We would like to invite our Board, our members, our volunteers and our staff to join us in a “Tribute to Esther” on December 14 at 6:30 p.m.  Come join us as we share stories and photos stretching across nearly all of the Museum’s history.

The fruits of her labor

Esther’s good nature, good sense and good taste have built the Museum Store into an institution that supports the mission of the JMM even as it enhances the experience of our visitors. If you haven’t been into the store recently now is the time to come and enjoy the fruits of her labor.  There are so many great items we’ve added that make perfect holiday gifts.

Pictures are a record clock, a record bowl, and a selection of cds.

Selections from the shop

For instance, in support of the Paul Simon exhibit, the Museum Store is offering playful books, toys, art objects and gifts chosen to complement the character of the experiences in our galleries and our programs. From clocks, bowls and journals crafted from old vinyl records to pull-back racers that remind us of the flower-power of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘60s to the lovely catalogue published by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Museum Store lets  visitors share a bit of their Paul Simon experience with family and friends.

We’re also excited to be carrying new products featuring the newly-launched JMM logo. Be the first on your block to sport the new JMM baseball cap or quaff down that coffee with a JMM/Jonestown mug – can’t guarantee it will taste better, just that it will be in good taste.

Add JMM to your Black Friday plans

For the first time in its history, the Jewish Museum of Maryland will be open the day after Thanksgiving (from 10am to 3pm)! The unusual Black Friday opening not only provides an alternative to the madness at the malls, it also gives us an opportunity to join in Story Corp’s National Day of Listening.  Make a reservation for an interview between you and a family member to record a significant family memory.  Stories recorded at JMM will be preserved at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.  I can’t think of a more precious holiday gift… but just in case you want to top off your story with a tangible treat – Esther is offering a rare one-day sale in the Store: nearly everything but the Simon merchandise will be marked down 20%! We’ve got gifts for everyone on your holiday list, from baby to bubbe.

P.S. Don’t forget Nora Guthrie is coming to speak on Sunday.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Maxine Cohen

Posted on February 3rd, 2014 by

Max Cohen

Max Cohen

Maxine (Max) Cohen has been affiliated with the Jewish Museum of Maryland for almost 30 years.  She started the Genealogical Society of Maryland at what was then the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland with Carol Rider.  Her father-in-law, Morton Oppenheimer, led her way and was one of the first presidents of the Jewish Historical Society.  She became a member of the Board of Directors for two terms and helped with marketing for the museum.  She soon after became a volunteer in the Museum Shop where she remains today.  Esther Weiner, Shop Manager was instrumental in recruiting her as a Shop attendant all those years ago – they knew each other as members of Covenant Guild.

She worked for 26 years as a junk mail specialist, consulting in marketing and advertising for non-profits.  She endeavored to get people to send their money through the mail for wonderful causes.  She has ghost written for all types of companies.  Max is an avid skier and member of the Baltimore Ski Club.  Her favorite places to ski are in the western United States and Europe.  She is married with 2 children, a dog, and a minivan and is about to become a first time grandmother.  Plus, her 2nd child just became engaged, while on a chairlift during their last ski trip together.

Max’s favorite part of volunteering at the JMM is meeting people from out of town who have found the museum.  She enjoys introducing them to Jewish Baltimore.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

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Highlights from Our Museum Shop!

Posted on July 18th, 2013 by

Olivewood yad, hand carved $64.00

Olivewood yad, hand carved $64.00




Every Thursday we’ll be highlighting one of the great items in our shop, managed by the lovely Esther Weiner. We hope you’ll come in and take a look! And remember, Museum members get a 10% discount! Interested in making a purchase or just have questions about our inventory? Give Esther a call 410-732-6402 x211 or drop her an email at

Be sure to follow us on Twitter!

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