Performance Counts, July 2015: Education at the JMM – A Year in Review

Posted on July 10th, 2015 by

The beginning of summer marks the end of the school year- the time when the education department reviews its activities of the past year to see how our programs and resources have the impacted students, teachers and adult audiences.  We wanted to take the opportunity to share some of our accomplishments with you.

Number of Students:   We are pleased to report that we had a successful year serving close to 4600 area school students from Maryland public, independent, and parochial schools (including Jewish day and congregational schools).  Our breakdown of school attendance is as follows:

Public Schools

District Students Served Number of Schools
Baltimore City 1855 16
Baltimore County 134 4
Frederick County 76 1
Howard County 23 1
Montgomery County 42 1
Prince Georges County 42 1

 

Independent and Parochial Schools and Others**

District Students Served Number of Schools
Anne Arundel County 47 1
Baltimore City 855 19
Baltimore County 37 2
Carroll County 5 1
Frederick County 31 1
Harford County 250   1*
Montgomery County 15 1

 

*Outreach program at John Carroll High School where area high school students from more than a dozen schools participated in Lessons of the Shoah.

 

** We had visitors from Central High School –Philadelphia, PA  and Stockton University-  Galloway, NJ

 

Jewish Day and Congregational Schools 

District Students Served Number of Schools
Anne Arundel County 44 1
Baltimore City 124 4
Baltimore County 561 5
Harford County 14 1
Howard County 124 5
Montgomery County 67 3
Prince Georges County 28 1
Other*** 82 4

 

*** Visitors were from Washington DC, Forest Hills, NY, and Diller Teens from Ashkelon, Israel

Educational Programs and Activities

T he JMM education department continues to provide high quality educational resources that align with Common Core goals and objectives that enhance the social studies curriculum. Education programs include field trips and tours of our historic synagogues and changing exhibitions, and  outreach programs in the classroom such as our successful Immigrant’s Trunk living history program (students learn about immigration history through dramatic one-person plays based on the real lives of real life immigrants  who settled in Baltimore in the early 20th century). Other programs include enrichment activities such as art projects and creative writing workshops.  We also have History Kits and archival explorations on a number of topics available for school groups.

The Amazing Mendes Cohen Education Activities

Using puzzle pieces as the motivation and hook for students- the education department created two separate activities for both elementary/middle school and high school groups using puzzle pieces to engage students.  Our younger visitors were given blank puzzles and explored their own identity using the puzzle pieces from the exhibition describing different attributes of Mendes Cohen.  How was Mendes Cohen a family man?  How are you part of a family?  How was Mendes Cohen a patriotic American?  How are you a patriotic American? Where did Mendes Cohen travel?  Where have you travelled?  How was Mendes Cohen a civic advocate? What are some ways that you demonstrate being a civic advocate?  The students loved filling in their puzzle pieces and then putting the actual puzzles together and sharing with their friends and family.

The older students were also given an activity that involved looking at the puzzle pieces describing the attributes for Mendes Cohen.  They were challenged to find the supporting evidence in the text panels of the exhibit to help them understand the many facets of Mendes Cohen.  In addition to these activities, all of the students enjoyed the interactive activities in the exhibit- especially the powder magazine and the world map stringing activity.

Students loved racing against the clock to ensure that the powder magazine did not explode and learning about the names of countries and cities throughout Europe and the Middle East where Cohen travelled. Another exhibit highlight for students was the section of the exhibit where they learned about the story of Cohen creating a flag for his trip down the Nile, viewing the actual flag he created and then making their own flag to hoist up the mast. In addition, to these activities done in conjunction with the exhibit, the education staff put together  a curriculum for teachers that includes lesson plans for elementary , middle and high school audiences.

Living History Performances:

Both school and adult groups scheduled living history performances both on-site at the Museum and at offsite venues throughout the year.  These living history performances, portrayed by professional actors, tell the story of actual Jewish immigrants to Baltimore.  Below is a breakdown of performances this year.

Living History Character Number of Performances Audience
Ida Rehr 18 790
Bessie Bluefeld 5 322
Mendes Cohen 16 836
Saul Bernstein 1 26

 

Professional Development for Teachers and Museum Professionals

Professional development for teachers continues to be an important component of our educational program. We served more teachers this past year than in FY 14 (503 in FY 15 as compared to 439 in FY 14) with workshops devoted to topics including immigration and American history, world religions, Holocaust, and working with primary sources. Our annual Summer Teachers Institute remains a popular professional development opportunity for teachers. Below is the breakdown of districts and those served.

 

District Number of Workshops Audience
Baltimore City 3 90
Baltimore County 1 40
Harford County 4 157
Prince Georges County 2 170
Montgomery County 1 45

 

In addition to these workshops, the JMM education staff attended and facilitated two workshops at the AASLH – American Association of State Local History Museums in St. Paul, MN and also the MSCSS – Middle States Council for Social Studies in Gettysburg, PA.

Kudos to our Volunteer Docents and Museum Educators:

The education department has been privileged to work with committed volunteer docents and museum educators throughout the year in an effort to facilitate our education programs.  Kudos and thank you to  volunteer docents  Barbara Cohen, Harvey Karch, and Lois Fekete in working specifically with our school age audiences.  Special thanks to the amazing museum educators who have also helped promote our education programs. … Virginia Steiner, Jessie Gordon, Arielle Kaden, Emma Glaser, Sean Schumacher, Carolyn Bevans, Kelly Suredam, Abby Krolik and Graham Humphrey.

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Performance Counts: June 2015

Posted on June 12th, 2015 by

A Welcome and a Farewell

With more than 80 people in attendance at Sunday’s Annual Meeting, the JMM membership approved the FY 16 slate of officers and trustees. We are pleased to welcome the following new members to the JMM board:

–Jeffrey Blavatt is the executive director of the Eisenhower Institute of Gettysburg College. He is also a co-founder and managing partner of Legal Services Group. An active member of Chizuk Amuno Congregation, Jeff has served on the boards of the Associated, Child Care Links and Baltimore County Child Care Advisory Council.

–Erica Breslau, PH.D. serves as scientific researcher in the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Since 2002 she has provided scientific leadership for cancer control and prevention activities in the areas of breast and colorectal cancers with concentrated research in aging, patient-provider communication, genomics and genetics in primary care and healthcare system decisions surrounding personalized medicine. She has a strong interest in archaeology and Jewish history.

–Roberta Greenstein is a career coach, travel coordinator for Off the Beaten Path Art Tours and also co-chairs downtown Charm City Hadassah group. Roberta has worked at several Associated agencies including the Darrell Friedman Institute and Jewish Vocational Services (currently known as Jewish Communal Services) and served as Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Howard County.

–Patti Neumann has extensive experience in sales and marketing as well as social medial strategy development. She is the founder/CEO of CITYPEEK. She is also a food and wine and social media columnist and blogger for the Baltimore City Paper, Jewish Times, Business Journal and CITYPEEK

–Judy Pachino is a speech language pathologist and is an active member of Beth El Congregation where she has served as a board member and sisterhood president. Judy has also been a member of Baltimore City’s Women’s Giving Circle.

In addition to these five new outstanding members of our board of trustees, JMM members also approved a new slate of officers including:

–Duke Zimmerman, President… Duke has been chair of the Collections Committee for the last seven years and has served four years as Vice President of JMM

–Dr. Robert Keehn, Vice President… Robert has been a chair of the Development Committee for the last four years and was reelected to a second term as Vice President.

–Saralynn Glass, Vice President… Saralynn will also serve as co-chair of the Collections Committee

–Toby Gordon, Vice President… Toby facilitated last March’s Board Retreat and will join Saralynn as a co-chair of Collections

–Bruce Hoffberger, Treasurer… Bruce is currently chair of the Finance Committee

–Arnold Fruman, Secretary… Arnold has served on the Board for six years

As wonderful as it is to welcome on board new leadership and members, our annual meeting is also always a bittersweet occasion as we say goodbye to several board members whose terms have ended. We would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions of the following individuals:

–Dr. Ira Papel – During Ira’s two-year tenure as President, he oversaw many important initiatives including the launch of our community master planning process, a task force devoted to refining the JMM vision which resulted in the production of new fundraising materials and two successive years of break even budgets which were accomplished through the successful completion of ambitious fundraising campaigns. Fortunately, Ira will remain on our executive committee as our Immediate Past President and will also chair our nominating committee.

–Jeff Dreifuss – As a longtime member of the JMM board and most recently filling the post of Vice-President, Jeff’s insightful perspectives helped shape our visioning process. Jeff also helped broaden our outreach to Howard County where he resides.

–Sarah Manekin – In the role of Board Secretary as well as chair of both our visioning taskforce and board nominating and education committees, Sarah has been responsible for helping to guide the Museum’s future vision.

–Brian McLaughlin – Brian’s experience as a real estate developer and knowledge of the local community informed our community master planning process.

–Jonathan Mogol – As co-chair of our facilities committee, Jonathan has played an integral role in helping us develop a plan for future growth. Jonathan has also worked with our staff to expand our reach to young adults through programs such as Purim Pandemonium.

We wish all of our outgoing board members all the best with their future endeavors and hope that they will continue to stay involved.

 

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Performance Counts, May 2015

Posted on May 8th, 2015 by

So how are our volunteers doing?

Just in case anyone reading this newsletter is unfamiliar with the role of volunteers at JMM we offer this helpful guide:

Volunteers are a treasured JMM resource.  Our volunteers play an important role in helping the Museum fulfill its mission.  They provide many valuable services that supplement the basic essential functions of the staff.  We utilize volunteers in two distinct areas – the front of the museum and the back of the museum.  The volunteers in the front of the museum have direct contact with our visitors. The remaining volunteers work in the back of the museum and can generally be found in the library.  Complete training is offered for all of our volunteer positions.

At the front desk

At the front desk

Front Desk Reception

The front desk reception volunteers provide an invaluable service to the Museum by maintaining a warm and welcome atmosphere for Museum guests.  They serve as the Museum’s customer service representatives while orienting visitors to the Museum complex.  By informing visitors about tour times, current and upcoming exhibitions, and programs, they provide information about all services that the Museum offers.  Other tasks include processing admission fees for groups and individuals, answering the telephone, and maintaining an accurate daily count of visitors.

Museum Docents

Museum docents possess an interest in history and enjoy sharing their knowledge with others.  They perform an essential duty by leading tours and by interpreting the history of the Museum’s two historic synagogues and exhibitions for adults, families, and school groups of all ages.  A series of training sessions is offered to those interested in joining our docent corps and focuses on the history of Baltimore’s Jewish community.

Museum Gift Shop

The Museum’s gift shop, filled with beautiful Judaica, Museum catalogs, and exhibition related merchandise, is a destination for Museum visitors.  Gift shop volunteers assist guests with purchases, process cash and credit card payments, arrange merchandise on shelves and in windows, and assist the shop manager with ordering merchandise and conducting store inventory.

Special Events

Throughout the year, the Museum holds many programs and special events.  Programs include exhibition openings, family holiday programs, lectures, film series, and theatrical and musical performances.  Special event volunteers provide much needed assistance with these events by greeting visitors, processing admission fees, maintaining an accurate count of visitors, helping with refreshments, selling memberships, and facilitating art projects. 

Working in the archives department

Working in the archives department

Archives

The Library and Archives of the JMM offers a variety of volunteer opportunities.  Projects include organizing archival collections, preparing collections for proper storage, creating documents to assist researchers, and digital imaging.  Archives projects are conducive to long term or temporary volunteering.  Typing and computer skills are preferred, but not always required.  All new volunteers will be given an orientation to the care and handling of archival objects.

 Collections

Volunteers in the collections department will work on a variety of projects.  These include writing catalog records for objects, taking digital photographs of objects (camera provided, or you can use your own),  organizing collection records, sorting incoming artifacts, helping to store and pack artifacts, and preparing objects in the collection for exhibition.  Temporary assignments are available.  Experience in the handling of fragile items is desired, but not required.

Genealogy

Volunteers use their expertise to assist researchers in The Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center.  They offer support with the interpretation of the many resources available for pursuing family history and genealogical research. This includes providing lookups, searching out tombstones, and much more.  Experience in genealogical research is required.

The Bottom Line

All told our volunteers contribute over 7,000 hours annually.  This number also includes members of our Board of Directors and our Summer Interns. The Independent Sector values an hour of volunteer time in the state of Maryland at $26.41.  That calculates to a contribution of almost $185,000.00 to the JMM in the last year.  We welcome new volunteers to the JMM year round and appreciate our volunteers dearly. Please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Ilene Cohen at 410-732-6400 x217.

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