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?



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, ( or our Education Director, Ilene Dackman-Alon,, 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!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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!


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Never Groundhog Day

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by

Museum Matters: February 2017

For many of us today is indelibly marked by the curmudgeonly newscaster portrayed in the movie by Bill Murray.  The protagonist is condemned to relive the same day – a truly awful day – over and over again.

I am happy to report that at JMM there is no Groundhog Day.  Even on a grey morning in February there is the bright promise of new exhibits ahead. This week we’ll be working behind the scenes on five different exhibit projects!  First on our list is Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity, opening on March 5 (public opening begins at noon). Look for a complete list of related programs in our March 2 Museum Matters newsletter.

But even as we prepared to install Remembering Auschwitz we are also measuring the walls for our next project, Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland, scheduled to open June 18.  We have something very special planned for our exhibit opening (details next month) but now is the time to renew your membership to make sure you can join us.

We are also making final arrangements to host Discovery and Recovery: The Iraqi Jewish Archives Project – our opening events for this exhibit are on October 15.  But our team isn’t just working on 2017.  In this week’s Baltimore Jewish Times look for an article about the Scrap Yard national traveling exhibit we’re creating for next fall.  Last but not least, we just completed the conceptual phase for our new core exhibit Belonging(s): What Connects Us.

So no matter what you hear today from Punxsutawny Phil, our winter break will be short – and we won’t be sleeping through it!


Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at / 443-8735177with any questions or for more information.

Movie Screening – Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia
Sunday, February 12th at 1pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Tickets Now!

Join us for the Maryland premiere of Bal Ej: The Hidden Jews of Ethiopia. Following a one-hundred-year-old account of the prominent Jewish Polish scholar Jacque Faitlovich, the film-maker travels to discover and explore a sect of secret Jews in Ethiopia. Named Bal Ej, “craftsmen”, for their artisan skills, they have been persecuted by their Orthodox Christian neighbors who slandered them as “evil-eyed” and “hyena-people.” They have been deprived of basic rights, including ownership of land.

Following the screening we will be talking with the director Irene Orleansky live from Israel via Face Time.

The Balkan Sephardim: Their Stories, Our Heritage
Sunday, February 19th at 6:30pm
Speakers: Edward Serotta and Dr. Joseph Benatov
FREE – Reserve Your Seats Here

In 1492, when the Jews of Spain—the Sephardim–were expelled from their home of a thousand years, they sought refuge in many lands. In what became modern-day Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia, Jews lived alongside their Muslim and Christian neighbors. For 400 years, the lived peacefully suffering neither ghettos nor pogroms. But as the Ottomans withdrew and the ugly 20th century took shape, they were marked for destruction.

Join us for a screening of multimedia films and conversation with Dr Joseph Benatov of the University of Pennsylvania, and Edward Serotta, director of Centropa. We will discuss the tragedy and the resilience of the Balkan Sephardim, their role in the broader story of Sarajevo, and how Centropa uses the story in schools throughout the world.
More info here.

Got Shabbat in Federal Hill!

Friday, February 24, 5:45pm
Location: 1530 Battery Avenue Baltimore, 21230

Join Beth El Federal Hill and B’nai Israel with the Jewish Museum of Maryland and DBJCC for a fun-filled family Shabbat. Questions? Contact Lara Nicolson | 410.559.3532 |


Auschwitz through the Lens of the SS
Wednesday, March 1st at 7:00pm
Speaker: Rebecca Erbelding, Museum Archivist
Location: Chizuk Amuno Congregation
FREE – Registration is Required

Shortly after World War II, an American intelligence officer living in Germany made a surprising discovery—a personal album of photographs chronicling SS officers’ activities at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Learn how this unique collection made its way to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the detective work undertaken to identify those pictured. More info here.

Artist Insights: Lori Shocket and Keron Psillas
Sunday, March 5th at 2:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

We are very pleased to welcome two wonderful artists  whose works are featured in Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity: Lori Shocket (The Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project) and Keron Psillas (Loss and Beauty: Photographs by Keron Psillas) to discuss their art, their inspiration and what they have learnt through their work exploring the Holocaust. More info here.

Stories of Survival: Bluma Shapiro
Featuring a live Crankie performance by Maura Roth-Gormley
Sunday, March 12, 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Bluma Shapiro is a Polish Holocaust survivor whose Holocaust experiences included confinement with her family in a ghetto, slave labor and deportation to several concentration and death camps including Auschwitz.  Ms. Shapiro’s testimony will be illuminated by Crankie artist Maura Roth-Gormley. More info here.

A Cabaret Evening
Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture
Presented by The Jüdische Kulturbund Project
Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:00pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

An evening of learning and music with the team behind The Jüdische Kulturbund Project.  Gail Prensky, executive producer, will enlighten us about the history of the Nazi-era group. Vocalist Sarah Baumgarten and pianist Patrick O’Donnell will present a number of pieces previously performed by the Jüdische Kulturbund. More info here.

The Auschwitz Birkenau Blueprints: Facts and FAQs
Speaker: Marlene Yahalom
Sunday , March 26th at 1:00 pm
Included with Museum Admission – Buy Your Tickets Now
Museum Members – Reserve Your Seats Here

Marlene Yahalom Director of Education of the American Society of Yad Vashem will speak about the Auschwitz Birkenau blueprints which are on display in “The Architecture of Murder” section of Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity. More info here.

Movie Screening: Bogdan’s Journey  
Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm
Special Guest: Anna Sommer Schneider, Georgetown University
Location: The Gordon Center
Ticket Information Here

Maryland premiere of Bogdan’s Journey: Bogdan Bialek, a Catholic Pole, launches a crusade to persuade the people of Kielce, Poland, to confront the truth about the darkest moment in their past: Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom. More info here.

Esther’s Place: the Shop at the Jewish Museum of Maryland

Esther’s Place is heading to New York City this month for the annual NY NOW show – the premier market for all that’s new and on trend in specialty retail.  We expect to bring back lots of unique merchandise for the shop, so to make room on the shelves, we’re offering a special discount of 10% off the medically-themed Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit merchandise.

The first night of Passover is Monday, April 10, so you have just enough time to stop by and pick up a new Seder plate (or two!).  We’re also adding more pieces to our collection to coincide with our upcoming exhibit Remembering Auschwitz (opening March 5). You can look forward to seeing products that help us remember, including memorial candles, beautifully crafted picture frames and new book additions to our Holocaust-related reading section.

Also of Interest

The JMM is pleased to share our campus with B’nai Israel Congregation. For additional information about B’nai Israel events and services for Shabbat, please visit  For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit or check out BIYA on Facebook.

Ongoing at the JMM


Exhibits currently on display include Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!

Hours and Tour Times

Combination tours of the 1845 Lloyd Street Synagogue and the 1876 Synagogue Building now home to B’nai Israel are offered: Sunday through Thursday at 11:00am, 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Click Here for complete hours and tour times

Please note that the JMM is open on Sunday, December 25 from 10am-5pm and on Sunday, January 1, from 10am-5pm.


Make it official! Become a Member of the JMM.
Learn More about membership.
Already ready? Join Here.

Get Involved

The JMM is always looking for volunteers! Click Here to learn more.
Click Here for complete hours and tour times


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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