Posted on August 12th, 2016 by Rachel
I’m so pleased to announce another successful summer of interns! The Museum welcomed ten new interns into our intense, ten-week internship program this year, spread across multiple Museum departments.
By the Numbers
10 interns from 10 different schools, half representing Maryland institutions like Salisbury University, Hood College, Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. But we also had interns from Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, University of Rochester and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This year the majority (8) of our interns grew up in Maryland!
Interns in DC
Interns participated in a combined 3,500 hours of work and learning over the course of their internships.
33 Blog Posts – In addition to the 2 individual blog posts we ask each intern to write over the course of the summer, this year we introduced the “Intern Thoughts: A Weekly Response” series. Each week (with one extra to cover our Summer Teachers Institute) interns were presented with a prompt, readings, or a set of questions to consider and respond to. You can check out all the entries in this series HERE. And to see all entries by (and about) our interns on the blog, check out the “intern” tag!
Workshopping with Karen
Staff donated their time and expertise, along with a few outside professionals, to offer 10 professional workshops throughout the summer!
Object Handling with collections manager Joanna Church
Introduction to Exhibitions and Oral History Training with curator Karen Falk
Exhibit Evaluation with Marianna Adams of Audience Focus, Inc
Holocaust Memory Art Workshop training with artist Lori Shocket
Grant Proposal Writing with deputy director Deborah Cardin
Museum Management with executive director Marvin Pinkert
Visitor Services with visitor services coordinator Graham Humphrey
Project Management with associate director Tracie Guy-Decker
Resumes & Cover Letters with development & marketing manager Rachel Kassman and Joanna Church
20 hours of museum shop inventory – The assistance of our summer interns meant we were able to complete this humble but incredibly important job in only a week!
Enjoying Flag Day festivities
Interns were able to participate in 4 fieldtrips over the course of the summer. On Flag Day they visited the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum – director Amanda Davis was kind enough to follow up their visit with a visit of her own to JMM, spending a brown-bag lunch with the interns and sharing the joys and challenges of her role at the Flag House. Interns were treated to an intimate tour of the Library of Congress, with a special stop at the Hebraic Collections reading room; they also got to meet the education staff of the Walters Art Museum and learn about their specialty “touch tours” for the visually impaired. Finally, interns were also able to visit the United States Holocaust Museum & Memorial during the Summer Teachers Institute.
A Quick Summary
Saralynn and Sheldon Glass Education Interns:
David Agronin, Anna Balfanz, Rachel Morin, Benjamin Snyder
This summer saw are largest class of education interns ever. Education director Ilene Dackman-Alon and programs manager Trillion Attwood worked with four interns this summer. All four worked together to create audio tours of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, staff the front desk, research our newest living history character, Henrietta Szold, and organize the Summer Teachers Institute. The education interns were instrumental in working with four summer school classes from Baltimore City Public schools and facilitated education programs in connection with Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in Baltimore; and Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews & Medicine in America.
Anna and Ben had the opportunity to work with students who have visual impairments from the National Foundation for the Blind- Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning Camp. Anna also planned a special Lloyd Street Synagogue Rosh Hashanah display, which we can’t wait for you to come see!
Rachel got to put her graphic designs skills to work and created a new interpretive brochure for the Lloyd Street Synagogue as well as fliers and even a program postcard for the Museum’s public events.
David, in addition to his education-related tasks, worked with executive director Marvin Pinkert on research for our upcoming exhibit American Alchemy, an exploration of the scrap and recycling industries.
Exploring Voices of Lombard Street
Saul L. Ewing, LLC in Memory of Robert L. Weinberg Collections and Exhibitions Interns:
Gina Crosby, Emilia Halvorsen, Becky Miller, Tamara Schlossenberg, Alice Wynd
Curator Karen Falk oversaw three interns this year: Alice, Becky, and Emilia. These three young women worked on a variety of tasks related to Belonging, the new core exhibit JMM is developing. They surveyed the collections for objects, images and ephemera that will illustrate a range of stories about being Jewish in Maryland.
In preparation for a grant proposal to be completed this winter, they reviewed the academic literature on Jewish identity and Jewish community, and contributed to the exhibit team’s thinking on themes and narratives for the exhibition. Since the exhibit is expected to include an interactive game as a major element, Becky reviewed the literature on the use of games in museum exhibitions. Emilia researched core exhibitions in other identity museums, in both America and abroad. All three interns worked on evaluating visitor response to the Beyond Chicken Soup exhibition, and all three also did some very valuable oral history transcription. When the summer began, Karen didn’t think they would even be able to complete a review of the collection, much less contribute to the museum in so many other ways – she is truly impressed!
Collections manager Joanna Chuch supervised two interns this year: Gina and Tamara. Together these interns assisted with turning the pages of the National Library of Israel manuscripts in Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America. They also worked together on processing a large collection of blueprints.
Tamara has continued the semi-annual collections inventory begun last summer, including a thorough inventory and cataloging effort of 32 large flat file drawers, and inventories of both Voices of Lombard Street and Synagogue Speaks. She also created a finding aid for our large archaeological collections, both the material culture and the related paperwork, with details on the dates, locations, and work done – making this material much easier to use. She has also assisted with a few research requests and donation offers.
Gina has done intensive research into our oral history and memoir collections looking for information and stories relevant to next year’s Just Married! exhibition; many of these oral histories had not been transcribed or digitized previously. She has also worked with Joanna on formulating the overall narrative of the exhibit, and has attended meetings of the exhibit team as the planning process begins.
Visiting the Library of Congress
Jewish Museum of Maryland Digital Projects Intern: O. Cade Simon
This was an experimental internship I introduced this summer and Cade was a great candidate. He was flexible and game for whatever I wanted to try. Cade’s projects ranged from researching various geo-cached data applications to creating a stop-motion video to promote our upcoming Great Chicken Soup Cook-Off! Cade also photographed all the collages created during our Holocaust Remembrance workshops, so they can be turned into their final forms as “Holocaust Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt,” which will be displayed as part of our Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity exhibition opening in March 2017.
This post is by Rachel Kassman, Development & Marketing Coordinator and JMM Intern Wrangler.
Posted on July 15th, 2016 by Rachel
While we often devote the content of Performance Counts to analyzing numbers, this week’s edition instead highlights the personal stories that are at the heart of one of the most sobering statistic that we often discuss, the six million Jews (not to mention millions of others) who were murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices during the Holocaust.
In March 2017, JMM will open a new exhibition, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity that brings together diverse projects that highlight different aspects of Holocaust history. The exhibition will be displayed in our Feldman Gallery where the visitor experience begins several centuries prior to the Holocaust when Ozwiecim, the town that eventually became known as Auschwitz, served as a site for a thriving Jewish community (A Town Known As Auschwitz from the Museum of Jewish Heritage). The community’s fortunes, however, changed significantly with the occupation of Poland by the Nazis in 1939 and visitors next examine the impact of the Nazi occupation through a display of blueprints and other documents that focus on the construction of the death camp that is now firmly associated with the town (The Architecture of Murder from the American Society for Yad Vashem). Dispersed throughout the gallery will be contemporary photographs of the camp by photographer, Keron Psillas, as well as related artifacts from the JMM collection and on loan from community members.
As plans for Remembering Auschwitz began to crystallize, it became clear that we were missing one key component, the individual stories that are central to understanding the Holocaust’s impact. We, therefore, decided to include an art installation that serves as the exhibition’s conclusion and provides an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the experiences of the people whose lives were upended by Nazi atrocities. The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project is composed of individual plaques honoring the experiences of our local community of Holocaust survivors. This project was brought to JMM by artist, Lori Shocket and the Human Element Project. In the middle of June, Lori and her husband Neal spent two weeks in Baltimore helping facilitate workshops for Holocaust survivors, their descendants and family members. Participants were invited to bring photographs and documents that highlighted their experiences from before, during and after the Holocaust along with a personal statement. The materials that they brought were photocopied and integrated into collages on 10” x 10” canvasses. Working from photographs of the collages, Lori will then create plaques honoring each individual story that will be hung in our gallery.
Five workshops took place both at JMM and at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC. We were honored to meet nearly 20 Holocaust survivors who took part in the workshop themselves, sometimes with spouses, children, grandchildren and friends as their willing assistants. Many other children and grandchildren made collages in memory of family members who are no longer alive, some of whom perished during the Holocaust, others who survived but who have died in more recent years. Thanks to the assistance of more than a dozen volunteers, several of whom were new to JMM volunteer corps, we collected 47 beautiful collages that will be integrated into our art installation.
It was truly a privilege sorting through stacks (and sometimes bags, boxes and suitcases) of family treasures including photographs and documents and listening as participants shared stories of their beloved family members – some of whom did not survive. One thing that is clear from the collages we collected is that the experiences of our local community of Holocaust survivors are diverse. We counted more 10 countries of birth including Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Greece, Lithuania, Russia and Romania. Some collages honor the experiences of refugees whose families left Europe in the 1930s. Others experienced the horrors of confinement in camps and ghettos, while still others were hidden either alone as children or with other members of their families by generous and courageous non-Jews. We heard incredible and daring stories of escape, of survival in forests and close calls that almost resulted in arrests. By the end of each workshop, close relationships were often forged between JMM staff and volunteers and participants many of whom shared their appreciation for being given the opportunity to participate.
Although Lori and Neal returned to California, we are still holding additional workshops in an effort to collect more stories and collages. This Sunday, July 17, we will be at the JCC of Greater Washington at 12:00pm. We have timed the workshop to coincide with a monthly meeting of Montgomery County Holocaust survivors. We are also holding another workshop at JMM on Sunday, July 17 at 10:00am. JMM staff is also happy to make individual appointments so that people can come and make a collage at a time that is more convenient. For more information or to sign up for a workshop, please contact me at (443) 873-5165 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful to the many individuals and institutions that have partnered with us on this special project including: Lori and Neal Shocket and the Human Element Project, the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Weinberg Park Heights JCC, the JCC of Greater Washington, the Center for Jewish Education and Jewish Community Services. And a huge thank you to the many wonderful volunteers, staff, board members and interns who assisted with the collages. We look forward to celebrating with everyone at the exhibit’s opening on March 5, 2017.
Posted on June 17th, 2016 by Rachel
At the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening, we reflected on this past year’s successes (and there were so many good things to celebrate), gave our members a taste of some of the exciting events taking place in the year ahead and conducted one of the most important items of business of the year, the election of trustees and officers to the JMM Board of Trustees for FY 17.
Each year, our nominating committee convenes several times to discuss board recruitment and we are most grateful to the members of this committee, under the leadership of JMM past president, Ira Papel, for the many hours they put into their thoughtful deliberations.
Ira Papel takes the stage. Photo by Jim Berger.
We are delighted to announce the results of Tuesday’s board election which included the re-election of all of our officers:
Duke Zimmerman – President
Robert Keehn – Vice President
Toby Gordon – Vice President
Saralynn Glass – Vice President
Bruce Hoffberger – Treasurer
Arnold Fruman – Secretary
Trustees elected to a three-year term include:
Dr. Neri Cohen
We are especially thrilled to invite five new members to our board including Dr. Neri Cohen, Nancy Kutler, Suzanne Levin-Lapides and Presidential appointees, Claire Tesh and Jeffrey Katz. Lee Rosenberg returns to our board as a presidential appointee.
A selection of our wonderful trustees! Photo by Jim Berger.
Our elected board members bring a diversity of skills and experience to the JMM including marketing, real estate development, program development, fundraising and community relations. They also help us extend our reach into important constituencies and geographic areas such as Howard County and young families living downtown. We enthusiastically welcome our new board members and look forward to working with them, as well as all our returning board members, in the year ahead.
Of course, the Annual Meeting also presents us with the opportunity to thank and extend our deepest appreciation to those whose terms are ending. This year Robert Keehn, speaking on behalf of the Board, paid tribute to departing members, each of whom has contributed so much to our institution.
Robert Keehn sings the praises of our departing trustees. Photo by Jim Berger.
Jennie Gates Beckman – Jennie served as a member of our board for three years and provided much valuable guidance as a member of our marketing committee. We were so sorry to say goodbye to Jennie and her family who have recently moved to Nebraska.
Beth Blauer – Beth chaired our marketing committee for several years and also played an important role advocating on behalf of the JMM with our state legislators in Annapolis.
Irene Russel – As a member of the JMM board for six years, Irene has provided valuable input on our collections committee. An avid mah jongg player, Irene was a terrific resource when we hosted the mah jongg exhibit.
Aimee Adashek – Thanks to her day job at the Baltimore Office of Promotions, Aimee has been a strong advocate on behalf of the JMM in Baltimore’s arts community. We are grateful to Aimee for her two years of service.
Jay Goldscher – As chair of the JMM’s Marketing Committee, Jay took a leading role in helping the JMM raise our visibility through a variety of new initiatives. Jay also served as a Museum ambassador helping spread the word about our exhibits and programs to fellow Howard County residents.
Patti Neumann – As a board member this past year, Patti, too, provided much needed support on our marketing committee, and helped us increase our social media presence.
Barbara Katz – It is truly not possible to acknowledge all of Barbara’s many contributions to the JMM these many years. A past board president, Barbara has filled just about every important role. We were so delighted when Barbara rejoined our board in an active capacity several years ago and we have greatly benefited from her renewed engagement and support. While we take comfort in knowing that her legacy lives on with the election of her son Jeffrey to our board, there is no replacing Barbara.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest gratitude to our board members, past and present, who work tirelessly on our behalf for all their work developing policies, overseeing our finances, raising much needed funds, providing counsel and promoting JMM events, exhibitions and membership within our community.