Posted on April 14th, 2017 by Rachel
Over the past 14 years, the Jewish Museum of Maryland has developed significant expertise in the creation of compelling living history characters, along with a national reputation for excellence in this medium. In consultation with a team of professional historians, script writers, directors and actors, we have created historical performances based on extensive research. These performances illuminate key themes about American Jewish history in an accessible and personal manner. These interactive performances incorporate reproductions of artifacts, photographs, and documents from the JMM collections.
Our first four living history characters
The JMM has created five living history characters, Ida Rehr, a Ukrainian immigrant who worked in the garment industry; Saul Bernstein, a Lithuanian peddler who became a professional artist; Bessie Bluefeld, a Russian immigrant who started a renowned catering business; and Mendes I. Cohen, veteran of the Battle of Baltimore, businessman, and Jewish adventurer. Our latest character is Henrietta Szold, daughter of Rabbi Benjamin Szold and born in Baltimore in 1860, who premiered in September, 2016. All five characters have performed around the region for students and adult audiences alike.
Natalie Pilcher with students from Western High School
A few weeks ago, the Henrietta Szold Living History character performed at Western High School in Baltimore City. The education staff contacted the administration at the school about the possibility of having a performance at the school. Henrietta Szold graduated from Western Female High School in 1877 and in 1901 she became the first president of the Western High Alumni. There is a plaque in the school’s library that bears Szold’s name.
At the school-wide assembly over 960 students and teachers were in attendance. Following the performance, the students asked many questions to the actress that portrays Henrietta, Natalie Pilcher. The students were especially interested in learning about how she prepared for the Henrietta Szold role, and how she teaches acting and performance to area students throughout Baltimore City.
Following the successful Henrietta Szold living performance at Western High School, we started to think about the impact that all of our living history characters and performances have had on the community over the years. We examined our attendance statistics from FY14 to the present, and were quite pleased to see the reach that our living history characters have had on the community. I am certain you will also be quite impressed!
Over the past 12 years, the actress Katherine Lyons has engaged school groups with her wonderful portrayal of Ukrainian immigrant Ida Rehr. Since July 1, 2013 she has given 42 performances –to over 1864 audience members. (1,769 students/teachers and 95 attendees from adult groups)
Katherine Lyons as Ida Rehr
Mendes I. Cohen
Over the past 3 years, actor Grant Cloyd has engaged school and adult groups with his portrayal of Colonel Mendes I. Cohen. Since July 1, 2013 he has given 20 performances as Mendes to over 890 audience members. (371 students/teachers and 519 attendees from adult groups)
Grant Cloyd as Colonel Mendes I. Cohen
Over the past 4 years, actress Terry Nicholetti has engaged adult groups with her wonderful portrayal of Bessie Bluefeld. Since July 1, 2013 she has given 10 performances. (437 adult audience members)
Terry Nicholetti as Bessie Bluefeld
Over the past 7 months, actor Natalie Pilcher has engaged school and adult groups with her portrayal of Henrietta Szold. Since her debut she has given 13 performances to 1,737 audience members. (1,447 students/teachers and 290 attendees from adult groups)
Natalie Pilcher as Henrietta Szold standing next to her namesake.
The Henrietta Szold Living History Character was made possible through the generous support of the Kolker-Saxon-Hallock Family Foundation, Inc., a supporting foundation of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Educational opportunities were made possible by the Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Fund of The Associated.
With all of the numbers combined our living history characters have performed a total number of 85 performances, seen by 4,928 audience members throughout the region since July 2013! By the end of this school year, it is highly likely that our living history program we will reach more than 5,000 audience members and beyond!
Our Living History Program performances are available for schools, public and private events and can take place at the Museum or outside venues. To schedule a Living History performance or to learn more, please contact Graham Humphrey, Visitor Services Coordinator, email@example.com or call 443.873.5167.
~Ilene Dackman-Alon, Director of Education
A blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more posts by Ilene click HERE.
Posted on November 27th, 2012 by Rachel
The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contactJobi Zink, Senior Collections Manager and Registrar at 410.732.6400 x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: March 30, 2012
PastPerfect Accession #: 1992.108.40
Status: Unidentified – do you know these Purim play performers?
Posted on August 17th, 2010 by Rachel
Once Upon a Time 4.9.10
The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. Click here to see the most recent photo on their website. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Jobi Zink, Senior Collections Manager and Registrar at 410.732.6400 x226 or email@example.com.
Date(s) run in Baltimore Jewish Times: 4/9/10
PastPerfect Accession #: 2006.013.1160
Status: Unidentified. Six young adults performing a kick-line dance enjoying Purim festivities, wearing or holding hats with a three-stripe ribbon around top circumference. On the front a circular logo is sticking up, but held in place by the ribbon. Circular logo has a Star of David make with a heart and surrounded by the words: “Israel, We Need You!” Second from left is Danny Kaye. Purim ’75.
Special thanks to: Lynn Baklor