Intern Round Up 2017

Posted on August 11th, 2017 by

Our wonderful 2017 Summer Interns

Our wonderful 2017 Summer Interns

I’m so pleased to announce another successful summer of interns! The Museum welcomed six new interns into our intense, ten-week internship program this year, and a seventh intern doing an extended internship through the summer and fall, spread across multiple Museum departments.


This year’s summer interns hailed from 3 different states (Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). All 7 interns came to us from different colleges and universities and between them they represented 9 different majors (four interns are double majoring!). Over the course of their internships they participated in a combined 2,450 hours of work and learning.

22 Blog Posts: Between their 2 individual blog posts and the weekly series “Intern Thoughts: A Weekly Response,” interns produced A LOT of words this summer! You can check out all the entries in the weekly response series HERE,  and see all entries by (and about) our interns on the blog in the “intern” tag!

The interns also created 5 podcast episodes, exploring topics ranging from collections care to Jewish identity in millennials – we’ll be sharing those over the next few weeks, so keep an eye (and an ear!) out.

 Visiting the MICA art library

Visiting the MICA art library

Once again staff donated their time and expertise to offer 6 professional workshops throughout the summer!

>Object Handling with collections manager Joanna Church

>Introduction to Exhibitions with curator Karen Falk

>Program Planning with program manager Trillion Attwood

>Museum Management with executive director Marvin Pinkert

>Archival Exploration with education director Ilene Dackman-Alon

>Visitor Services with visitor services coordinator Graham Humphrey

We gave Esther’s Place a small face lift this summer in addition to our annual inventory and the interns’ assistance was invaluable, totaling 14+ hours of assistance, inventorying over 1,550 types of items!

Working hard in Esther's Place!

Working hard in Esther’s Place!

Interns were able to participate in 2 off-site fieldtrips over the course of the summer. On Flag Day they enjoyed a 3 part visit to the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House & Museum – first observing the annual flag day ceremonies, then touring the historic Flag House and finally attending the afternoon lecture by K. A. Wisniewski on the story behind the design of the American flag. Interns also enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of MICA’s art library with library director Heather Slania, with a special look at the library’s “artist books” collection.


Saralynn and Sheldon Glass Education Interns:
Erin Penn and Sara Phillipe

Sara and Erin worked on several exciting and interesting projects over the course of this internship. From the start they hit the ground running, as they helped to put the final touches on the opening events for Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland. Also in conjunction with Just Married!, Sara and Erin created a scavenger hunt for the schools and camps which visited over the summer. They even got to lead the students through the exhibit.

They researched and planned upcoming programs for the next exhibit, Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage, contacting artisans, caterers, and even planning fun craft projects. In connection with the new exhibit Sara and Erin helped to organize and create a companion curriculum for all types of students, young and old, Jewish and non-Jewish.

The display they created in the Lloyd Street Synagogue

The display they created in the Lloyd Street Synagogue

Sara and Erin also joined in with Museum Educator Alex Malischostak and Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon on their work for the Henrietta Szold bus tour, lending their voices to the audio recording. The pair of interns also helped with documenting damage at the Lloyd Street Synagogue, assisting in the planning and execution of a city-wide Intern Trivia Night, and organized the handouts and registrations for next week’s Summer Teachers Institute. Lastly, Sara and Erin researched and compiled a mini exhibit celebrating Talmudical Academy’s 100th year which will be displayed in the basement of Lloyd Street Synagogue (where the Academy began).

Education Interns by the Numbers:

>School and camp groups facilitated: 8

>Mailchimp campaigns designed and sent: 4

>Supply and equipment cabinets cleaned and reorganized: 3

>Trips to the Hamden Giant for giftcards: 2

>Calls to Carl Bernstein’s agent: 1 (still waiting for a response…)

Saul L. Ewing, LLC in Memory of Robert L. Weinberg Collections Interns:  
Joelle Paull and Amy Swartz

This summer Joelle and Amy tackled a variety of projects as a team. They began with updating accession files, so that all of the information on our physical files appeared in our digital records. They continued a large inventory of the collections — photographing and measuring objects, and updating existing records.
The imminent opening of Just Married: Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland meant a break from condition reporting to help prepare the exhibit. Amy Swartz helped to steam all of the dresses for the exhibit and prepare them for display, including building pads and arms for mannequins to properly support and display the textiles.

Posing with one of the many wedding dresses for Just Married!

Posing with one of the many wedding dresses for Just Married!

After Just Married opened, they turned their attention to a past exhibit, which is getting ready to travel. Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America will open at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, Ohio this fall. Amy and Joelle gathered the objects from the exhibit, photographed and condition reported them, and packed them so that they would be ready to ship when the time comes.

Collections by the Numbers:

>Beyond Chicken Soup artifacts condition reported and packed: 550

>Artifacts inventoried, photographed and condition reported: 317

>Boy Scout related-items processed in recent donation: 105

>Dresses prepared: 11

>Electrified golden lions collected: 2

>Collections Committee meetings attended: 1

Saul L. Ewing, LLC in Memory of Robert L. Weinberg Exhibition and Oral History Interns: Ryan Mercado, Tirza Ochrach-Konradi, and Jillie Drutz

Ryan’s projects were all in relation to the “Belonging(s): What Connects Us” exhibit which opens in 2019. A long list of topics were given to Ryan and the other interns on subjects pertaining to “belongings” and were tasked with researching the topics and finding out how they can be used in the exhibit. Ryan focused on three topics: researching a character profile on a man named Dr. Samuel Neistadt, a Jewish socialist who immigrated to Maryland in his childhood and thrived in the Jewish institutions here; researched material in relation to the Maryland Jew Bill, particularly about a pilgrimage to the bill’s chief advocate’s grave; and finally, began extensive research and planning on converts to Judaism that may be included in the exhibit. Ryan even used his time abroad in Canada to do side work visiting the Jewish Museum in Montreal and writing for the JMM about it in a blog post. Ryan also donated the first siddur he ever bought during his own conversion to Judaism to aid in the research.

Touring the library with Karen Falk

Touring the library with Karen Falk

Tirza worked as part of the Exhibitions team this summer. She was focused on an oral history collections project that the JMM is collaborating on with Beth Am congregation. The interviews are focused on the founding of Beth Am out of the Chizuk Amuno downtown congregation in 1974 and Beth Am’s growth through the years. Tirza spent the first few weeks doing a lot of background research on the interview topic and working with Karen Falk, JMM curator, and Aaron Levin, the project head at Beth Am, to develop a set of interview questions that fit both Beth Am and the JMM’s goals. She then got in contact with potential interviewees and began conducting interviews in early July. She has also been transcribing, making archive entries, and doing all of the other tasks that go into collecting and maintaining oral histories for the JMM’s collection.

(We’ll hear from Jillie later in the year as she gets closer to the end of her internship!)

Exhibitions and Oral History by the Numbers:

>Interviews transcribed: 10 (totaling 8 hours 22 minutes and 37 seconds of recorded audio)

>Hours spent transcribing: 33

>Interviews conducted: 7 (1 international)

>Research topics: 3

>Trips to Canada: 1

Enjoying a beautiful summer day together (and some delicious gelato)

Enjoying a beautiful summer day together (and some delicious gelato)

Many thanks to all our interns.  We hope they learned as much from us as we learned from them.
– Marvin


JMM in the News!

Our newest acquisition!

Our newest acquisition!

Suburban Orthodox Donates Golden Torah Lions to Jewish Museum in the Baltimore Jewish Times

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We the People (of JMM)

Posted on July 14th, 2017 by

Performance Counts: July 2017

Journalist and author Steven Roberts speaks at the JMM 2017 Annual Meeting.

Journalist and author Steven Roberts speaks at the JMM 2017 Annual Meeting. Photo by Will Kirk.

Every month in our “Performance Counts” newsletter we feature the facts and numbers behind what we do.   But, of course, its not facts and numbers that underlie our success – it’s people: the board, staff and volunteers who give their passion, talents and energy to make JMM a vital part of this community.  In the next ten days we will honor and welcome participants in all three groups!

On July 16 we will honor our volunteers for more than 7500 total hours of service by 69 individuals.  This year our volunteers were docents on over 350 synagogue tours, spent countless hours greeting visitors at the front desk and judged 93 projects for the My Family Story competition.  In Collections, volunteers scanned and uploaded more than 7,000 photos from the Baltimore Jewish Times, made folder lists for more than 4,000 folders in JMM’s institutional archives, and processed two major new archival accessions, cataloguing them and creating finding aids.

The 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

The 2016 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

Volunteers were also crucial in our success in working with survivor families on the 91 collages created for the Remembering Auschwitz exhibit.  Well beyond the numbers, volunteers opened their hearts to the painful recollections of these family members.

We are honoring the volunteers with a reprise of the Henrietta Szold living history performance we created last fall.

Hard at work at the 2017 Board Retreat.

Hard at work at the 2017 Board Retreat.

At the July 18 Board Meeting we will welcome six new Board members (also volunteers):  Alan Dorenfeld, Shelley Goldseker, Lola Hahn, Bonnie Heneson, Skip Klein and Abe Kronsberg.

Robert Keehn is being promoted to Senior Vice President and Len Weinberg is now a one of our three Vice Presidents.All of our other officers – Duke Zimmerman, Toby Gordon, Saralynn Glass, Bruce Hoffberger and Arnold Fruman will continue to serve this fiscal year.

Jeff Katz, Lee Rosenberg, Jeffrey Scherr, Rikki Spector and Claire Tesh will begin fresh three year terms.

The Nominating Committee, led by Dr. Ira Papel, has once more done an outstanding job of strengthening our Board by recruiting candidates  who bring a diversity of skills and experience to the JMM including marketing, real estate development, fundraising and community relations.

We can't thank our board members enough! Photo by Will Kirk.

We can’t thank our board members enough! Photo by Will Kirk.

We also thank our two retiring Board members: Wendy Jachman who played a pivotal role in growing our fundraising capacity as co-chair of our development committee and who helped us forge partnerships with organizations such as Baltimore Center Stage.  Crystal Watkins Johannson served six years on our board.  She was a member of our marketing committee and helped JMM reach out to both young adults and members of the medical community.
On July 24 the newest member of the JMM staff will officially become part of our team.  Lorie Rombro will take on the job of Archivist, working with Collections Manager, Joanna Church, to serve the needs of researchers, authors and exhibit developers.  She will be a critical member of our team in “mining” the hundreds of boxes of documents in our holdings for insights that our useful to our core exhibit on Jewish Maryland and The Associated’s upcoming centennial.Lorie has worked with collections and archives at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and two of its affiliate historic sites – Woodlawn Plantation in Virginia and Villa Finale in Texas.  She has a BA from Dickinson College and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from George Washington University.  She has deep family roots in Baltimore.  Her great-grandfather was Rabbi Avraham Schwartz of Shomrei Mishmeres (Lloyd Street Synagogue).


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Reflections on Remembering Auschwitz

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by

This month’s Performance Counts comes from Deputy Director Deborah Cardin!

The exhibit is really wonderful!  As upsetting a subject as it is, you did a beautiful job of showing not just the history, but the memories and the humanity that followed.  The collages [in the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project] are amazing!  (Visitor Comment)

School of the Cathedral

School of the Cathedral

During its three-month installation, Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity had a tremendous impact on our visitors, volunteers and staff. By focusing on Jewish life in Oswiecim (the town that became known as Auschwitz after German occupation in 1939), the construction of the camps on the town’s outskirts, what it means to commemorate sites like Auschwitz today and the diverse experiences of our local community of Holocaust survivors, we succeeded in shedding new light onto a familiar topic.

The Opening of Remembering Auschwitz

The Opening of Remembering Auschwitz, photo by Will Kirk.

With more than 3,400 visitors, including 800 school children and teachers, Remembering Auschwitz proved popular with visitors of diverse backgrounds. School groups from the Talmudical Academy, St. Mary Catholic School (Hagerstown), the Green Street Academy (Baltimore City) and partner schools, John Ruhrah and City Springs, among others, participated in exhibit tours and a follow up activity in which students worked together in groups to create collages based on what they saw in the exhibit. The positive feedback we received from teachers indicates that the exhibit served as a powerful educational tool.

Together We Remember

Together We Remember

Exhibit-related programs expounded on additional themes and attracted large audiences. We offered visitors opportunities to hear first-hand testimony from survivors of Auschwitz (Bluma Shapiro and Golda Kalib) as well as from scholars, artists, educators, filmmakers and even a former tour guide of the camp who reflected on how the interpretation of the Memorial at Auschwitz has evolved in the 70 years since its liberation. One particularly moving program, Together We Remember, invited audience members to recite the names of victims of worldwide atrocities – not just the Holocaust – in an effort to remind ourselves that the horrors of the Holocaust are still ongoing in other parts of the world. Surveys collected after each program reflected high visitor satisfaction with program content and format and included comments such as “This entire series [of programs] on the Holocaust was amazing – so important, especially for someone like me, a Holocaust survivor and child of survivors.”

IMPACT night at the JMM

IMPACT night at the JMM

We were delighted to host several groups during the exhibit’s run. An educator’s night, sponsored in partnership with the Baltimore Jewish Council (BJC) and the Baltimore Hebrew Institute at Towson University, attracted more than 40 teachers and administrators from local public, independent and parochial schools. More than 80 young adults gathered for an exhibit tour and reception sponsored by Impact and the BJC’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission. The event featured the grandchildren of Holocaust survivors who shared their grandparents’ stories with their peers. More recently we hosted a reunion of men who have participated in the Associated’s Chairman’s Mission to Israel and a board meeting of the Jewish National Fund. Each of these groups took the opportunity to participate in exhibit tours as part of their visit.

When What's Past is Prologue

When What’s Past is Prologue

The exhibit’s success was due, in part, to the publicity we received in the Baltimore Jewish Times and JMORE. Thanks to sponsorship from Maryland Humanities we were invited to record a promotional spot as part of its Humanities Connection on WYPR. In addition staff appeared on On The Record with Sheilah Kast to discuss the exhibit which provided tremendous exposure. Programs were also highlighted in the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post which helped attract visitors beyond our usual demographic.

Holocaust Memory Reconstruvtion participants.

Holocaust Memory Reconstruvtion participants.

Remembering Auschwitz marks an important milestone in the JMM’s ongoing commitment to serving as a center for Holocaust commemoration and education. Our reputation as a leader in the field of education has been enhanced through our annual Summer Teachers Institute as well as one-day workshops offered throughout the year, in partnership with the BJC. The Memory Reconstruction Project provided us with the opportunity to develop closer relationships with our local community of Holocaust survivors and their families as well as to forge partnerships with other organizations. As we continually heard from visitors, Remembering Auschwitz offered new information and perspectives while allowing opportunities for reflection and conversation on important topics. We look forward to continuing the dialog begun with visitors through future programs and exhibits.

We are grateful to our sponsors: The Herbert Bearman Foundation, The Charles Crane Family Foundation, Richard and Rosalee C. Davison Foundation, Larry Boltansky, Maryland Humanities, Klein Sandler Family Fund, Alvin and Louise Myerberg Family Foundation, Mirowski Family Foundation, Henry and Barbara Rosenbaum and John and Gloria Segall for making the success of Remembering Auschwitz possible.

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