Museum Matters May 2013

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by

Since I came to JMM last June, I have used this newsletter to share many “triumphs” large and small: the work of the futures committee, the expansion of our hours, the new partnerships with public schools, the fun programs like Gefiltefest and initiatives in membership, marketing and fundraising.  Even this last month has been filled with good news – 38% growth in year-over-year attendance for the quarter, 50% growth in the Board’s personal financial commitments over 3 years ago, outstanding media coverage – including the spectacular article in the travel section of the New York Times.  But today I must also share some sobering observations.

In a few weeks, museum colleagues from across the globe will gather in Baltimore for the annual conference of the American Alliance of Museums.  We have much in common with our guests – a commitment to building community, an effective approach to informal learning, and a drive to innovation.  Unfortunately, there is one more thing we share with too many of our fellow museums: the struggle to find financial security and the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2008/2009 we suffered a one-two punch:  First a significant drop in value of our endowment portfolio, resulting in a roughly $100K average annual decline in revenue yield and second, the loss of a state funding program that supplied another $100K of our annual budget.  While we have had substantial success in fundraising for specific activities and programs over the last four years, we have never found a reliable replacement for these general operating funds and in several years we have relied on reserves to fill the gap.  Our reserves are now exhausted.

We know what needs to be done in the long-term to solve this problem:  We need to improve earned revenue and to increase the size of our endowment.  We will make this happen (with your help), but our realistic assessment is that it will take two to three years.  Faced with this reality, the Museum’s management and Board have had to make some difficult choices.

Starting June 1 we will be restructuring the JMM’s services.  We have elected to retain our capabilities in exhibition and education.  We will build on our success in generating new attendance and raising the visibility of the institution.  We will continue to strengthen our relationships with schools and expand our partnerships with agencies of The Associated.  We will redouble our efforts to seek private and public sector support for our activities.  And we will meet our obligations to preserve the extensive collection of materials documenting regional Jewish history.

However, there are some services that we will no longer be able to sustain in their current form.  The positions of the two staff members who support archival processing, research, family history, the library and publications are being eliminated.  Deb Weiner and Jennifer Vess have provided long and dedicated service to JMM and they will be sorely missed.  I ask for your patience as we work through the details of how we adjust our delivery of research and library services.  In addition to Deb and Jennifer, we will also be losing the able support of Sharon Buie, the organization’s administrative assistant.  Our whole team grieves at the thought of parting ways with such dedicated colleagues.

But our task is clear.  We need to focus our energies on building a strong and resilient Jewish Museum of Maryland.  We need to build a wider and deeper foundation of support so that all of our core activities can be restored in future years.  I am convinced that we can accomplish this if you will stand with us.

~Marvin

 

Museum Conference Coming Soon 

The JMM is delighted to announce our participation in the upcoming American Alliance of Museum (AAM) conference that is taking place in Baltimore May 19-22. This convention is expected to attract thousands of museum professionals from across the country for this premiere event that takes place at Baltimore’s Convention Center. Many JMM staff members are participating as volunteers as well as attending sessions that explore all facets of museum operations.  We look forward to hosting museum colleagues at the JMM throughout the week.

Of particular note are two special events that are open to the public:

Monday, May 20, 11-12:30

Onsite Insight: Everything Old is New Again (see details below in the program calendar)

 

 May 22, 10am – 5pm

Baltimore Museum Week 

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has declared May 19-24 as Baltimore Museum Week. Enjoy a celebration of our region’s museums and cultural institutions in conjunction with the AAM annual conference. Many area museums are offering buy-one / get-one free admission during the week.  The JMM will be offering this deal on Wednesday, May 22. For a full list of participating institutions, visit http:///baltimore.org/museumweek/bogo.html

 

Upcoming Programs 

Please note that unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). For more information and to RSVP for specific programs, contact Rachel Cylus: (410) 732-6400 x215 / rcylus@jewishmuseummd.org. For more information on JMM events please visit www.jewishmuseummd.org.

 

Happy Free Comic Book Day

Sunday, May 5

10am-5pm

Mention this promotion and receive buy-one / get-one free admission to the JMM!

 

An Evening with Austrian Ambassador Dr. Hans Peter Mans

Thursday, May 9, 7-8:30pm

Admission: $10 with advanced registration / $15 at the door

RSVP: harrisj@ajc.org

Sponsors include: the JMM, AJC, B’nai Israel Young Adult, Moishe House and Baltimore Jewish Council.

Ambassador Manz, a career diplomat, will share his thoughts about Jewish life in Austria today, relations with the Jewish community in the U.S., and address key policy issues including the Austria-Israel bilateral relationship. Program includes a wine and cheese reception at the JMM.

 

Museums Love Mom: Mother’s Day Special at the JMM

Sunday, May 12, 10am-5pm

Bring your mother or grandmother to JMM and she will receive free admission for the day.

 

Onsite Insight: Everything Old is New Again

Monday, May 20 11am – 12:30pm

Free Admission

In honor of the Alliance of American Museums Conference, which will be held in Baltimore from May 19 – 22, we will hold a special free public seminar about our exciting new plans to interpret the Lloyd Street Synagogue. The JMM campus features two historic synagogues (1845; 1876) including the 3rd oldest in the nation. Recent initiatives embark on exciting new ways to interpret these old sites and draw repeat visitors: a multimedia exhibition, specialty tours focusing on unexpected themes, and a new series of dialogs with living history characters. Visit the Museum, tour the synagogues, and learn about the process involved in creating the specialty tours.

 

Tot Shabbat

Friday, June 7, 10:30am

Free Admission

Co-sponsored by the JCC

Please contact Kim Jacobsohn at kjacobsohn@jcc.org, 443-248-4219 with any questions.

Join us on as we welcome Shabbat with singing, dancing, puppets and more. Your child will learn the blessings over the candles, wine (grape juice) and Challah. Families will also engage in a Jewish ritual craft project to take home. Following the program, JMM exhibits will be open for families to visit.

 

Annual Meeting – Save the Date

Sunday, June 9, 4pm

More details to follow.

 

Clark Kent’s Bar Mitzvah Party

Sunday, June 16, 1-4:00pm

$5 member individuals, $10 non-member individuals

$13 member families, $18 non-member families

Superboy becomes Superman!  Celebrate the opening of the new Man of Steel movie with a coming of age party of heroic proportions.  Enjoy music, food, games, prizes and crafts to reminisce about Clark Kent’s childhood and help him have a day no one will forget.

“Through the Eye of the Needle: The Art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz” – film screening

Tuesday, June 18, 6:30pm

This program is free and will take place at the Myerberg Senior Center

3101 Fallstaff Road, Baltimore, MD 21209 

More than 40 years after the Holocaust, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz began creating fabric collage and embroidery panels to tell her story of survival.  Esther’s daughter, Bernice Steinhardt, will screen and discuss the award winning documentary, Through the Eye of the Needle, and the book, Memories of Survival, chronicling her mother’s experiences and artwork.

Through the Eye of the Needle is a film by Nina Shapiro-Perl and is a production of Art and Remembrance.

 

Comic Themed Super Art Fight

Sunday, June 30, 1:00pm

Program is free with Museum admission

Super Art Fight is a mixture of live art, pro-wrestling style characters and storytelling and a dash of hilarious, improvised commentary, which makes for a show unlike anything else in the world today.  Take part in a special ZAP! POW! BAM! themed Super Art Fight.

 

MORE PROGRAMS

The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. The following programs are taking place there this month:

May 15th – All Day Learning following Shavuot Services

May 18th – Support Our Shul Harbor Cruise aboard the Black Eyed Susan

May 23rd – Rabbi Yuter will give a public lecture at 7pm

May 30th – B’nai Israel Young Adult at Camden Yards

For more information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat and Shavuot visit bnaiisraelcongregation.org or biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on facebook 

Baltimore is fortunate to have not just one but two Jewish museum experiences within a 50 mile radius. In each month’s Museum Matters, we are pleased to share with you programs taking place at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

 

Program Recap: We Will Never Die

Image We Will Never Die

Seventy years ago Ben Hecht’s pageant We Will Never Die alerted official Washington to the Holocaust. Our friends at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington commemorated the anniversary this month with a special program. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and seven Supreme Court justices attended the original performance at Constitution Hall.

This moving program included dramatic readings, remarks by two academics, and the remembrances of a Holocaust survivor.

To learn more about programs offered by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, visit their website!

Space Still Available on Walking Tours!

There’s still time to join DC’s Jewish Historical Society on their spring walking tours of Arlington National Cemetery (May 5) and Downtown Jewish Washington (May 19). JMM Members get a $5 discount!

EXHIBITIONS

Exhibits currently on display at the JMM include ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950; Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore; and The Synagogue Speaks! 

HOURS AND TOUR TIMES

The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm. We offer tours of our historic synagogues each day at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00.

 

Please note that our Museum is closed the following dates: Wednesday, May 15 and Thursday, May 16 in observance of Shavuot and Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day.

GET INVOLVED

The JMM is looking for volunteers to help staff our front desk, work in the gift shop, and lead tours as docents. No prior knowledge or training is required. All that is needed is an interest in learning about the JMM, our historic sites, exhibits, and programs and a desire to share this knowledge with the public. All volunteers are provided with thorough training. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen at 410.732.6400 x217 or icohen@jewishmuseummd.org.

MEMBERSHIP

We have officially launched our new membership program. Revamped and revitalized, membership at the JMM is now better than ever – with new categories, benefits, and discounts to enrich every visit to the Museum for you and your friends and families.

All members will receive our monthly e-newsletter, along with a 10% discount at the Museum store, free general admission to the Museum, free admission to all regular programs, attendance at exclusive member opening events and discounted weekday parking at the City-owned garage at 1001 E. Fayette Street. Your membership provides much needed funding for the many programs that we offer and we hope we can count on you for your continued support. For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org.

MUSEUM SHOP

For that special wonder woman in your life, check out the JMM Gift Shop for an array of fabulous mother’s day gifts.

shop 10_31_2012 052Wonder Woman Shopper Tote (2)

 

 

 

 

 

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Museum Matters: March 2013

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by

Purim Pandemonium 

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Every year the Museum throws a themed Purim costume party to celebrate the story of Esther and bring young people together at the Museum.  This year marked the JMM’s seventh annual Purim Pandemonium. Targeted at the 21-40 crowd, this is often our largest young adult event of the year and this was no exception! Over 160 people came out to enjoy the party, dancing and drinking the night away. The Museum’s lobby was festooned with streamers and balloons in blue and silver, along with little touches like classroom signs and championship sports banners to evoke the feel of a high school gym – the perfect atmosphere for a prom-themed Purim party! That’s right; this year’s party was Purim PROMdemonium: Prom on the Big Screen. Party planners and guests alike turned to a variety of Hollywood films for inspiration, taking a night to live out Prom experiences from the world of movies.

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This successful (and entertaining!) event would not have been possible without the help of many people, particularly our Purim Planning Committee. Committee members represent a broad spectrum of young adult Baltimoreans, from the residents of Moishe House to BIYA to members of the Museum’s own Board of Trustees. The committee also boasts members from the general community! We’d like to use this opportunity to thank our committee members for all their hard work culminating in the party of the season!

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And the thanks don’t stop there – Purim Pandemonium would not be as great as it is without our sponsors. Naron Chocolates provided the kosher butter creams and nonpareils that gave the evening a touch of sweetness. Charm City Ice made sure everyone’s drinks stayed frosty, and our marketing efforts would not have reached nearly so far without the dedicated assistance of Changing Media, BIYA, and Moishe House. We also have to thank all the volunteers who came out and helped with the evening, including the decorating leading up to the party!

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Make sure to check out our Facebook page for more photos from Purim Pandemonium and start thinking about themes for next year!

Super Spring Programs at the Jewish Museum of Maryland 

Please note that unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). For more information and to RSVP for specific programs, contact Rachel Cylus: (410) 732-6400 x215 / rcylus@jewishmuseummd.org.

Retro TV Day: Sunday, March 10, 2:00pm, free with Museum admission

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Wonder Woman #1, Summer 1942. Publisher: DC Comics. Collection of Michigan State University Libraries.

Watch the hit 1970s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter. Popcorn, candy and soft drinks included. Dress up optional!

Up, Up and Oy Vey: Sunday, March 17, 2:00pm, free with Museum admission

upupoyvey300_colorRabbi Simcha Weinstein, recently voted “New York’s Hippest Rabbi,” discusses his bestselling book, Up, Up, and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture, and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero. Rabbi Weinstein has appeared on CNN and NPR and has been profiled in the New York Times, Miami Herald, and The Guardian. A syndicated columnist, he writes for the Jerusalem Post, JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), the Royal Shakespeare Company, Condé Nast, and many other agencies. He chairs the Religious Affairs Committee at the Pratt Institute in New York.

 

Family Fun Day: Sunday, March 31, free with Museum admission

Join us for a full-day of comic book and superhero fun for the whole family. Children will learn how to create their own superheroes and write and illustrate their own comic books with Lisa Perrin. And then in the afternoon, Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman will reveal the startling bombshells he uncovered during his research, including one that may change our understanding of pop culture history.

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11:00am: Create your own comic book workshop with illustrator Lisa Perrin (Workshop space is limited – RSVPs are requested.)

boys

2:00pm: Jewish Superhero Creators, Jaw-Dropping Backstories with children’s book author, Marc Tyler Nobleman

 

A special thanks to The David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation for their generous support of the exhibit ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938 – 1950, and affiliated programs.

Learn more about JMM programs at www.jewishmuseummd.org or contact rcylus@jewishmuseummd.org /   410-732-6400 ext. 215

Save the Date: The Annual Risch Program on Immigration, “Songs of Arrival/Stories of Refuge,” will take place on Sunday, April 14th at 4pm at the Langsdale Auditorium at the University of Baltimore (1420 Maryland Avenue)

“Songs of Arrival/Stories of Refuge” features live music from Colombia, Turkey, and Uganda followed by an address by Mark Hetfield, CEO of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and a performance by Yiddish musician Susan Leviton reflecting on the experiences of Jewish immigrants to the US at the turn of the century.

This event is FREE and open to the public.

 

MORE PROGRAMS

Check out the website of our neighbors at B’nai Israel Congregation (www.bnaiisraelcongregation.org/) for more fun and learning for all ages.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Current exhibitsExhibits currently on display at the JMM include ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950; Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore; and The Synagogue Speaks! 

Suburbia brochureJews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945-1968 is currently on view (through March 10) at the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201). On March 11, it opens at Beth El Congregation (8101 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21208). 

1996021007March’s Featured Exhibit in our lobby will highlight the Museum’s Passover related collections items. 

 

HOURS AND TOUR TIMES

The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm. We offer tours of our historic synagogues each day at 11:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00.

Please note that the Museum will close early at 3:00pm on Monday, March 25. We are also closed the following days in observance of Passover: Tues. March 26, Weds. March 27, Mon. April 1, and Tues. April 2. 

 

NEW FEATURE: NEWS FROM DC

Baltimore is fortunate to have not just one but two Jewish museum experiences within a 50 mile radius.  With this edition of Museum Matters the Jewish Museum of Maryland and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington are launching an information exchange – keeping all of our members up to date on events and exhibits hosted at both museums.

dctourDid you know that there were 6 kosher restaurants downtown Washington during the Civil War?

Plan a visit to the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington’s Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum to learn about the immigrant community that lived, worked and worshipped in the historic 7th Street neighborhood—now home to a burgeoning rebirth centered on the Verizon Center.

The Museum is housed in the oldest Jewish house of worship in the capital city. It’s special claim to fame: President Ulysses S. Grant became the first American president to attend a synagogue service when he attended the building’s dedication in 1876.

Historic 1876 synagogue, Washington, D.C.

Historic 1876 synagogue, Washington, D.C.

Book a group walking tour for your synagogue, sister or brotherhood, chavurah, or community group to see the synagogue and trace the Jewish past on one of our downtown walking tours—including four former synagogues in four blocks. Contact David McKenzie at dmckenzie@jhsgw.org or (202) 789-0900 to schedule! Tours cost $200 per group of up to 15, $15/person thereafter and are 1 ½ hours in length.

For more information, visit our website.   

 

GET INVOLVED

Now that we are open more hours, we are looking for additional volunteers to help staff our front desk, work in the gift shop, and lead tours as docents. No prior knowledge or training is required. All that is needed is an interest in learning about the JMM, our historic sites, exhibits, and programs and a desire to share this knowledge with the public. All volunteers are provided with thorough training. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen at 410.732.6400 x217 or icohen@jewishmuseummd.org. 

 

MEMBERSHIP

We have officially launched our new membership program. Revamped and revitalized, membership at the JMM is now better than ever – with new categories, benefits, and discounts to enrich every visit to the Museum for you and your friends and families. Check out the membership page of our website for more info: http:///www.jewishmuseummd.org/museum-membership

All members will receive our monthly e-newsletter, along with a 10% discount at the Museum store, free general admission to the Museum, free admission to all regular programs, attendance at exclusive member opening events and discounted weekday parking at the City-owned garage at 1001 E. Fayette Street. Your membership provides much needed funding for the many programs that we offer and we hope we can count on you for your continued support. For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




November 1963

Posted on November 18th, 2011 by

By Deb Weiner

Seeing that November 22 is just around the corner, and noticing that the 1963 volume of the Jewish Times was easily at hand on the library table outside my office, I decided it might be interesting to post something about the reaction of Baltimore’s Jewish community to the assassination of President Kennedy.   So I opened the volume to the November 29 issue, and found—lo and behold—there was no local coverage related to the assassination.

Image via NASA.

That’s because there was virtually no local coverage of anything in the JT back in those years, except for social columns, obituaries, announcements of communal events, and entertainment listings. All the news was national or international, mostly gathered from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency wire service.  I don’t think there was even a single reporter on the local staff. Made me appreciate the JT of today all the more (and I already appreciated it).

I did learn something about how JFK’s death affected Jews, though. On page three, one wire service story informed readers that “All Israel Mourns Kennedy’s Death.” The Knesset held a memorial session and all Israeli flags flew at half mast. Another wire story focused on the reaction of Jews across the U.S. (by which they meant, New York). The most interesting article was a small sidebar noting that Jack Rubenstein, aka Jack Ruby, who had just killed JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, had attended a special memorial service for JFK at Temple Israel, the Conservative synagogue in Dallas where he was a member. (However, he usually only attended services on the high holidays.)

The famous image of Jack Ruby killing Lee Harvey Oswald.

Once I had the JT volume open, I flipped through it as I usually do, and as usual I found a bunch of interesting ads. First, forSalem: the JT’s cigarette ads never cease to amaze me. “Take a Puff… It’s Springtime!” You just don’t see slogans like that anymore.  Plus this one comes with a quiz just above it. I didn’t know any of the answers, maybe you’ll do better.

Second, as a Mad Men fan, I was delighted to see an ad for Patio Diet Cola. Patio was featured as a client in one episode of the show (the one where they tried to get an Ann-Margret look-alike to sing a song about the cola). I had never heard of this product before seeing it on Mad Men, but apparently it was a precursor to Diet Pepsi. Now that I’m working on a new project at the museum, on the suburbanization of Baltimore Jewry, the ad resonated with me more than it otherwise would have. The name “Patio” is obviously an attempt to associate with the new, exciting suburban lifestyle of the early 1960s.

Third is an ad for “Butler Boy of the Month,” which struck me because the kid is so damn cute. Mark Sherman, if you’re still around, please forgive me.

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