Young Adult Night at the JMM with IMPACT and BJC

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by

On March 23, the JMM was thrilled to host a group of 85 young adults who participated in a program sponsored by IMPACT, the young adult division of the Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission.

Starting the evening with casual schmoozing

Starting the evening with casual schmoozing

The evening included opportunities for networking and schmoozing with food and drink. I was invited to give remarks about our new exhibit Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity as well as to lead tours. When asked how many people had previously visited the JMM, it was clear that the majority had not and I enjoyed having the opportunity to welcome the group and to hopefully pique their interest in staying connected with us.

After a few brief remarks about how the exhibit came together and our institutional goals for having it on view, I led a small group through the gallery while many others opted to view the exhibit on their own.

Viewing "Architecture of Murder"

Viewing “Architecture of Murder”

Viewing "A Town Known as Auschwitz"

Viewing “A Town Known as Auschwitz”

It was rewarding to hear such positive feedback from visitors who expressed their surprise at learning new insights into Holocaust history such as the fact that Oswiecim (the town that became known as Auschwitz) once served as home to a vibrant Jewish community. As always, I enjoy hearing from people about their personal connections to the stories on display. One woman in the group told me that her grandmother actually grew up in the town and she was incredibly moved to see photographs featuring the diversity of Jewish life from the 20th century.

Local high schooler Andrew Altman created this model of Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of his grandfather.

Local high schooler Andrew Altman created this model of Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of his grandfather.

Several program attendees had previously visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and when we stopped at the model by high school student Andrew Altman, they shared their experiences of what it was like to visit.

Viewing the "Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project"

Viewing the “Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project”

The final stop at the plaques that are part of the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project, served as another place for reflection as participants spent time reading the stories, commenting on the collages and sharing their connections to individuals whose stories are on display.

Small group conversations

Small group conversations

Following the tour, the group gathered in small groups in our lobby to hear from the grandchildren of survivors who shared their stories of survival. This format fostered conversation among participants and helped to continue the discussions that were begun in the gallery.

What a pleasure it was to work with our partners at the Associated and Baltimore Jewish Council to organize such a thoughtful program. We continue to be delighted by just how much Remembering Auschwitz resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to hosting many more groups and programs. The exhibit remains on display through May 29.

deborahA blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

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Greetings Graham: Passover & Beyond Edition

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by

Greetings Graham,

I’ll be visiting from out of town and was looking for things to do during Passover. What kind of special programs will you offer and what are your holiday hours?

I’m also looking for a special gift for the people inviting me to their seder, any recommendations?

~Elijah

 

Dear Elijah,

We hope that you will be able to visit us when you are in town! While we will be closed starting at 3:30 pm on Monday, April 10th through April 12th as well as April 17th and 18th. Still, I would encourage you to visit at other times to take a docent-led tour of our two historic synagogues and explore our exhibits Voices of Lombard Street and Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. We are open Sunday through Thursday, 10am – 5 pm.

On Wednesday, April 5th at 7pm, the Global Theatre Project in partnership with the Immigration Outreach Service Center of Baltimore and the Jewish Museum of Maryland presents An Explorer’s Desire – theater, self-reflection and dialogue about the immigration and refugee crisis which will be followed by a “Walk of Remembrance and Refuge.” In addition, we have a special Family Story Telling program on April 16th where you and your whole family can create a beautiful piece of art that reflects your family’s history.

Esther’s Place

While you are at the JMM, visit Esther’s Place and speak with Devan Southerland, our Shop Assistant, who would be more than happy to show you all of our unique merchandise. We have everything you need for your seder including cooking books, beautiful wooden seder plates, matzah trays, salt water and horseradish bowls. We even have color changing Passover mugs and matzah-themed aprons. I am confident we can fulfill most of your shopping needs!


Greetings Graham,

I am getting ready for Passover by cleaning out my closet and found pictures from my wedding (which I have to say was the wedding of the century), and from my friend’s wedding. I have more pictures than I know what to do with! I heard that you will be putting on an exhibition about Jewish weddings and thought it would be a nice surprise for my friend if her wedding was included. How do I go about doing this?

~Busy Cleaning

Dear BC,

Yes! In conjunction with our upcoming exhibition Just Married! Wedding Stories from the Jewish Museum of Maryland, we are in the process of creating an online exhibition, Marrying Maryland which will feature photos and invitations from as many different weddings as we can find. We are looking for material from all weddings that occurred in Maryland and had some connection to the Jewish community.

You can find out more on our website about how to send us your pictures. Don’t delay though, because the virtual exhibit as well as the physical exhibit opens on June 18th!


Greetings Graham,

I’ll be bringing some of our former players back to Baltimore in late May and want to show them a bit of culture. What do you recommend?

~Mike Cuellar

Dear Mike,

There is a lot going on at the JMM in late May to keep your players occupied!  The highlight is  our Annual Meeting, which will feature Steven V. Roberts, a professor, columnist and best-selling author who has been a journalist for more than 50 years.

Roberts will deliver the Samuel Boltansky Memorial Keynote address. His talk will focus on how immigrants have provided a continuous source of vitality and ingenuity to this country since its founding (not news for Cuellar and Aparicio).  He will also explore  the special responsibility of Jews to welcome strangers – a responsibility that has its roots in Exodus and the story of Moses’ exile.

As you plan your visit, keep in mind that while we are open on Memorial Day, the JMM will be closed May 31st and June 1st for the holiday of Shavuot.


Greetings Graham,

I’ve been going to Camp Airy for years and now am a camp counselor. I’m looking for ideas about field trips for our summer camp. Will you be offering anything special this summer?

~Young Idealist

Dear Young Idealist,
We would love to have your camp visit! One of our trained educators will take your group on a highly interactive tour of our two historic synagogues, Lloyd Street and B’nai Israel. While on the synagogue tour, your campers will step back in time and learn what it was like for Jewish immigrants to come to Baltimore in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  In fact, our Lloyd Street Synagogue, the third oldest still standing in the country and the oldest in Maryland, was the home of three different congregations – two synagogues and a Lithuanian Catholic Church. In addition, you will see a matzah oven and stand atop the oldest existing mikvah complex in the country.

Your campers will also explore our immersive exhibits Voices of Lombard Street and the Synagogue Speaks. Depending on the age of your campers, we an also offer a hands-on archaeology activity where campers piece together and date reproduced fragments of objects found around Lloyd Street Synagogue during its archaeological excavation. If you would like more information about our experiential educational programs, I encourage you to visit our website.

In addition to touring our historic synagogues and exhibits, we have just developed a self-guided walking tour of the Historic Jonestown Neighborhood made up of the oral histories of the people who lived and worked in this area. If you wanted to make it a full day outing, add on a visit to the Flag House which tells the story of the sewing of our flag that inspired our National Anthem.  I, (ghumphrey@jewishmuseummd.org) or our Education Director, Ilene Dackman-Alon, idackmanalon@jewishmuseummd.org, would be more than happy to help plan your visit!

~Visitor Services Coordinator Graham Humphrey

Have your own “Greetings Graham” question? Send him an email at ghumphrey@jewishmuseummd.org!

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My Family Story Sneak Peek!

Posted on March 9th, 2017 by

Last Sunday, over 200 people attended the JMM’s latest exhibition opening for Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust and Humanity.  We are so grateful to the Holocaust survivors and their families that joined us that morning and took part in the art installation, Holocaust Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt.  This installation commissioned by Lori Shocket and the Human Element Project, featured collages that were created by the survivors and their families documenting their lives from the past to the present.  What touched me most about the morning was watching these families (many inter-generational) looking at the collages and watching having younger family members call out, “Wow, I did not know that,” or “You never told me that before.”  These younger family members were learning about their family narratives and creating a “strong inter-generational self”, as described by psychologist, Marshall Duke from Emory University.

Photo by Will Kirk.

Photo by Will Kirk.

Watching this interaction between family members got me thinking about next week’s My Family Story Exhibition in partnership with Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People in Israel.  Area students from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and Bolton Street Synagogue have been on a journey, interviewing family members and researching their own family stories and learning about their family narratives.  These students have created art installations to reflect the research, interviews and stories that they have learned from their own families.   The journey connects students to their personal stories, to their family stories, and to the greater story of the Jewish People joining many from Israel and around the Jewish world who are also participating in Beit Hatfutsot’s My Family Story program

The student’s projects will be judged at the exhibition based on a rubric that includes four points, Jewish peoplehood, depth of research, aesthetics and creativity.  The projects will be scored and two winners from each school will be chosen and those projects will be sent on to Beit Hatfutsot and their museum staff has the responsibility of picking 40 international winners who will win a free trip to Israel.  The projects will be displayed at  the My Family Story exhibition later in June.  Over the past two years, area students and their projects have been selected to participate in the international exhibition.  Our staff at the JMM is hopeful to make it three in a row!

The My Family Story Exhibition will be on display at the Jewish Museum of Maryland from Tuesday, March 14th – Sunday, March 19th. Here is a sneak peak of some of the works in progress from the students at Bolton Street Synagogue…..

Can't wait to see the context for this figure!

Can’t wait to see the context for this figure!

Love this use of the stove for a thematic background!

Love this use of the stove for a thematic background!

Looking forward to the story that goes with this.

Looking forward to the story that goes with this.

Intriguing use of colors and photos!

Intriguing use of colors and photos!

 

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