Posted on December 26th, 2014 by Rachel
Last Thursday evening was Olive fun at the JMM. We hosted a DIY Olive Oil workshop led by Pearlstone Center farms. The night started off with light refreshments. We then had a rather theatrical explanation of the life of an olive tree – their resilience and strength in the face of harsh weather conditions. We also learned that Israel is home to some of the oldest olive trees in the world, dating back several hundreds of years.
We then moved into the messy and fun process of pitting the olives, which involved rolling them with highly technical equipment – a wooden stick – until the flesh separated from the pit. During this process, many participants discovered that un-cured olives are rather bitter and taste awful. After the pitting process, the flesh was collected and dumped into a large press in the middle of the room. Did you know that 5 lbs of olives only yields approximately .75 oz of oil? That means an average 51 oz bottle of oil requires 340 lbs of olives!
We also learned about a more modern method of exacting the oil via a centrifuge. We explored the physics of this method by grabbing a partner and spinning quickly in a circle together to mimic how a centrifuge spins the olive liquid swiftly until the oil separates from the pulp. We then moved into making our own herb infused olive oils using fresh sage and rosemary from Pearlstone’s farm. As museumgoers were crafting, Laura retold the story of Hanukah and reiterated the importance of oil during the season. All and all, the evening was a blast!
Showing off rosemary-infused olive oil
A blog post by Carolyn Bevans, Museum Educator and Programs Associate. To read more posts from Carolyn, click HERE.
Posted on December 12th, 2014 by Rachel
2014 has been a busy year at the museum. In total, we have seen presented four different exhibits over the course of the last twelve months (Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the American Civil War; Project Mah Jongg; Electrified Pickle and The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen). This rich menu of offerings stimulated some great ranging from serious lectures to cotillions and concerts – on topics from Abe Lincoln to zombies. I’ve asked Trillion Attwood to take a look back and give us a quick review of our ten top programs of the last year. Just in case you missed a few, here are the highlights.
Thanks, Marvin. We had so much fun with the program schedule this year that it was hard to pick out just 10 (we actually presented/will present more than 60 programs in 2014). Here are my choices. How many of these do you recall?
1. Kaddish For Lincoln with Harold Holzer
The Sadie B. Feldman Family Lecture
Sunday, February 23rd
We invited Harold Holzer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the JMM to deliver his talk Kaddish For Lincoln. The talk was a fascinating exploration of how the Jewish community mourned the passing of the 16th president and how his connection with the Jewish community passed into legend. Prof. Holzer, a nationally respected Lincoln scholar, offered new insights on why this unlikely self-educated man became the beloved “Father Abraham” to so many American Jews.
2. The Jews of Shanghai with Rabbi Marvin Tokayer
The Eighth Annual Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program on Immigration
Sunday, May 18th
The Eighth Annual Herbert H. and Irma B. Risch Memorial Program on Immigration focused on the plight of European refugees in China in WWII. Rabbi Marvin Tokayer provided incredibly vivid descriptions of what life was like for thousands of people living in limbo in a land with few shared customs and culture. He kept the large audience at Baltimore Hebrew Synagogue on the edge of its seat. We were especially excited to welcome a number of former Jewish Shanghai residents to the event.
3. The Future of American Jewry with Professor Leonard Saxe
Sunday, June 1st
The Annual Meeting, when we welcome our new board members and thank those who are leaving, is always an important event in our programs calendar. This year we also welcomed to the museum Professor Leonard Saxe of Brandeis University to present his keynote lecture The Future of American Jewry, which is based upon the recent findings by the Pew Report. This fascinating talk presented a much more optimistic view than anticipated by many based upon the initial report findings.
4. Annual Volunteer appreciation event featuring Our Volunteers
Friday, June 6th
Each year, we hold a number of events for our volunteers, and this year our volunteer appreciation lunch was held at the National Electronics Museum. We all had an opportunity to explore the museum that would be our partner institution for the then upcoming exhibit The Electrified Pickle. We were taken on a guided tour by Alice Donahue, the Assistant Director, who was able to highlight some of the most important parts of the collection. I know that some of you may be thinking I’m cheating a bit to put this on the list, because only volunteers could attend this great event – and you are not a volunteer. Well give us a call and we can fix that!
5. Mah Jongg: More than Just a Game of Chance with Dr. Robert Mintz
Sunday, June 8th
Project Mah Jongg brought a new audience to the Museum. We were surrounded by the sounds of tiles clicking for three months, and some of us even managed to learn the game ourselves. Our most popular program in connection with the exhibit was the presentation by Dr. Robert Mintz of the Walters Art Museum. Dr. Mintz discussed the art of the game and the significance and history of the images on those tiny tiles. Even the most experienced Mah Jongg aficionados found new details about the design and history of the game that they had never thought to ask.
6. Imagine This! featuring Jennifer George (Rube Goldberg’s granddaughter) and a team of robots
Sunday, August 3rd
For five weeks over the summer we featured a different tech related theme each week as part of The Electrified Pickle. I learned so much on each of these Sundays and we had such great volunteers from the Jewish tech community that it was hard to pick just one. But I believe I have a special passion for Imagine This!, in which we explored the world of tomorrow. The museum was overrun with robots of all shapes and sizes, including one that was able to play giant Jenga with our visitors!
On the same day, we were also very excited to welcome Jennifer George to speak about her grandfather, Rube Goldberg, and some of his crazy inventions. The talk had some of the funniest bits we put on all year, thanks to Mr. Goldberg’s marvelous cartoons and some of the videos that professionals and amateurs made in homage to his art.
7. Where are all the Jewish Zombies with Prof. Arnold Blumberg
Free Fall Baltimore
Sunday, October 26th
We participated again this year in Free Fall Baltimore. It has been a great success in the past, and this year proved no different. As with previous years, we saw plenty of new faces which is always a great sign. We invited Arnold T. Blumberg to speak, and he delivered a great talk titled Where are all the Jewish Zombies? The focus was on the story of the “golem” through its many twists and turns in Jewish history. We couldn’t resist the opportunity for a little horror so close to Halloween!
8. Profiles in American Jewish Courage with Dr. Gary Zola
Thursday, November 6th
It was a very significant night for us when we marked the 50th Anniversary of the re-dedication of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. This special event was attended by lay and religious leaders from our local community. We were honored to welcome Dr. Gary Zola, Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives, to present his keynote lecture, Profiles in American Jewish Courage. Dr. Zola tied his stories of three exceptionally brave activists of the 19th and 20th century to their contemporaries here in Baltimore.
9. Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
Sunday, December 7th
Our most successful family program of the year was this past Sunday, when we welcomed Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights to the museum for a Chanukah concert. Families had a wonderful time singing along and dancing. Freeze Dance proved to be one of the most popular songs of the entire concert, getting everyone up on their feet!
The performance was part of our Downtown Dollar Day program which, in total, drew 190 people to the museum in just one day!
10. Early Jewish Baltimore with Gil Sandler
Thursday, December 25th
So far we have had a great year with some wonderful programs, but we are not finished yet! We still have several great programs left, including our Jewish Book Festival on Sunday, December 14th and Mitzvah Day on Thursday, December 25th. We are especially excited to be welcoming back to the museum noted local historian Gil Sandler on December 25th.
This has been a great year to be at the museum, and I have had a wonderful time planning such a range of events. I hope you enjoyed attending them and are looking forward to another year of great programs!
Posted on December 5th, 2014 by Rachel
Wrapping Up a Great Year
If you weren’t able to make it to the opening weeks of the A-Mazing Mendes Cohen because of the busy High Holiday season or the start of school, if you couldn’t come in October because you wanted to enjoy fall foliage, if you didn’t visit us in November because of the Ravens games – stop procrastinating! There couldn’t be a better time of year to renew your acquaintance with our one-of-a-kind museum. Outstanding exhibits, specialty tours of the synagogues at 3pm on Sundays and Mondays, dollar days, family concert, messing with olive oil and best of all – last minute/belated holiday gifts hand-selected by Esther, our maven of good taste.
On these shortest days of the year, we’re still open 10 to 5 on Sunday through Thursday (except for Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 – close at 3; Dec. 25 – close at 4; and Jan 1 – closed). Still plenty of time to bring out-of-town relatives to see this Baltimore highlight. We’ll have a warm welcome waiting.
Please note that unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland (15 Lloyd Street, Baltimore, MD 21202). For more information and to RSVP for specific programs, contact Trillion Attwood: (410) 732-6400 x215 / firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on JMM events please visit www.jewishmuseummd.org.
Downtown Dollar Day
A Family Chanukah Concert with Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
Sunday, December 7, 2:30pm
Set the Chanukah mood with a rocking family Chanukah concert with Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights! Bring home a piece of the festivities with Chanukah themed crafts.
A versatile artist, Joanie Leeds is a gifted musician with a soulful voice that ranges from low and bluesy to high, light, and breezy. In addition to her secular popularity, Joanie tours the country playing synagogues, Jewish day schools and Jewish museums. Her Jewish music can be found on the PJ Library’s compilation.
Maryland Jewish Book Festival
Sunday, December 14, 11am to 4pm
Included with museum admission
Join us for a day of book talks and author signings. Meet some of the region’s best Jewish authors and maybe find the perfect Chanukah gifts to finish your shopping! Authors will be talking about a fascinating range of topics including Jewish resistance in the Shoah, Sephardic history in the Caribbean, Baltimore’s wicked history and a reflection on a life spent giving back to the city.
We also have readings for the youngest members of the family with Chanukah selections, plus plenty of arts and crafts to keep everyone entertained.
11:00am: Wicked Baltimore: Charm City Sin and Scandal with author Lauren Silberman
As home to Edgar Allan Poe’s body, the acerbic wit of H.L. Mencken and Fells Point’s nest of pirates, Baltimore revels in the deliciously dark side of its history. Local author Lauren R. Silberman leads readers through the horrors of slave pens, the chaos of the Pratt Street Riots and the backroom speakeasies of Prohibition to reveal the sinister and scintillating face of Charm City.
12:00pm: Interview on Measure of a Life with author LeRoy Hoffberger
Writing “Measure of a Life” started out as a test of the author’s long term memory. Hoffberger, through his philanthropic activities has had a significant impact not only in the Baltimore community, but worldwide. He has tremendously influenced the arts field as co-founder of American Visionary Art Museum and MICA’s LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting. His efforts, through a Johns Hopkins scientific community based study program have helped make possible huge strides in Alzheimer’s and Dementia care. He established the Hoffberger Foundation for Torah Studies, which has advanced the understanding of Hebrew scripture around the world. Hoffberger has shaped the events of his life into a resonant and inspiring narrative.
1:00pm: To Save a Life: Jewish Humanitarian Resistance in France during the Shoah with author Nancy Lefenfeld
Until recently Jewish resistance during the Shoah has received little attention. Even now, images in popular culture focus almost exclusively on armed resisters but unarmed Jewish resisters thwarted the objectives of Nazi oppressors not by striking back at them physically but by saving Jews targeted for arrest, deportation, and death. Less easily recognizable than their armed counterparts, these humanitarian resisters worked illegally, clandestinely, and at the risk of their own lives. Many lost their lives because of the work they did and had no opportunity to tell their stories after the end of the war. This brief presentation introduces the concept of Jewish humanitarian resistance and features archival black and white photos preserved in the collection of the Mémorial de la Shoah.
1:00 p.m. CJE Library Story Time
CJE librarian Rebecca Levitan will be joining us for a specially themed Chanukah story time. Plus join us before and after for some great arts and crafts suitable for any age.
2:00pm Hanukah Moon with author Deborah da Costa (children’s book)
When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa’s for Hanukkah, she is not sure what to expect. Aunt Luisa has recently arrived from Mexico. Isobel’s days at Aunt Luisa’s are filled with fun and surprises a new camera, a dreidel piñata filled with sweets, and a mysterious late night visit to welcome the luna nueva, the new moon that appears on Hanukkah. An unusual Hanukkah story with a multi-cultural focus, this title celebrates a little-known custom of the Latin-Jewish community.
3:00pm 500 Years in the Jewish Caribbean: The Spanish & Portuguese Jews in the West Indies with author Harry A. Ezratty
Long before the Jewish settlements in North America, Sephardic Jews came to the Caribbean, first as crew members on Columbus’s ships. By the 1600s, they had commercialized the sugar, rum and tobacco industries and won civil liberties that became the standards aspired to by colonial North American Jewry. This is their story, island by island, in Volume I of the author’s trilogy, The Jews in the New World.
Late Night on Lloyd Street: DIY Olive Oil? ImPRESSive!
Thursday, December 18, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
With Kayam Farm at Pearlstone Center
Venue the Jewish Museum of Maryland
The miracle of Chanukah: Oil for one day of lighting the ancient temple lasted a full 8 days!… but why did it take 8 days? Get excited for a night of pitting, pressing and processing olives into olive oil with the Pearlstone Center Farm staff. Bring “Olive” your questions… Like why is olive oil so important to the Jewish community? And is olive oil really good for you? What can I do with it besides light ancient Menorahs and fry latkes? Finally, have the chance to make your own olive oil creations such as infused oil using herbs from Pearlstone’s farm, or dyed decorative Channukiah oil to take home. They also make great gifts!
As with all late nights we will have plenty of food and drink available. Please be aware this event has a maximum number of places available so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Contact Trillion Attwood at 410-732-6402 x215 or by email at email@example.com with questions!
Thursday, December 25
10:00 a.m. to 1:00pm: Mitzvah activities
1:00 p.m: Speaker, Gilbert Sandler
Program Free with Museum Admission
Join us again this year as we participate in Mitzvah Day, where we will be helping to make life a little easier for some of the children in our community. Mitzvah activities will be suitable for all ages and is a great way to bring the family together!
Following the Mitzvah activities we welcome Gilbert Sandler who will discuss Becoming American in Jewish Baltimore. Mr. Sandler will share the story of how Jewish Baltimore got started. Exploring the institutions the earliest immigrants founded that helped bring them into mainstream of America. Then how those institutions leaders arose from the newly-formed Jewish community to wider leadership and prominence and wealth and influence—and at long last become American!
The Sephardic Atlantic: Mendes I. Cohen and the Story of Early American Jewry
Speaker Dr. Ronnie Perelis, Yeshiva University
Sunday, January 18th at 12 p.m.
Included with Museum Admission
Before there were thriving Jewish communities in cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Charleston and Savannah, most Jews in the Americas lived in the Caribbean. They were part of a dynamic Sephardic network of trade and culture which connected major metropolitan centers such as Amsterdam and London to colonial ports such as Curacao and Kingston. The first American Jews were connected through their Atlantic connections. We will explore how early American Jews such as Mendes I. Cohen were a part of this global Jewish community.
Ronnie Perelis is the Chief Rabbi Dr. Isaac Abraham and Jelena (Rachel) Alcalay Chair and Assistant Professor of Sephardic Studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies of Yeshiva University. His research explores the connections between Iberian and Jewish culture during the medieval and early modern periods.
70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz Memorial Program: A Town Known As Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community
Speaker Shiri Sandler, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Sunday, January 25th at 1:00 p.m.
The town of Oświęcim – today in Poland – has been called by different names, in different languages, at different times. Though it has a long and varied history, the town is known for one thing: Auschwitz. Yet for centuries prior to World War II, Jews and non-Jews lived side by side in Oświęcim and called it home. Join Shiri B. Sandler, U.S. Director the Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oświęcim, Poland, to gain insights into the history of the formerly Jewish town that has become known as the symbol of the Holocaust.
Shiri Sandler runs the AJC’s programming for American students, including Holocaust and ethics programming for US military students. Formerly Shiri was the Manager of International Programs at the Museum, where, in addition to being the liaison for the Auschwitz Jewish Center, she coordinated the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics, a series of ethics programs for law, medical, business, seminary, and journalism students. Shiri received a Master’s degree in Modern European History from Brown University and her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.
Ladino, a language of the Jewish Diaspora
Speaker Dr. Adriana Brodsky, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Sunday, February 8th at 1:00 p.m.
Included with museum admission
Explore Ladino, a Jewish language that developed in the wake of the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 as new Jewish communities settled in the Ottoman Empire. Professor Brodsky will introduce the history of this language, and present examples of the Ladino in early 20th Century America, as well as old and modern ladino songs. Although many argue that Ladino is ‘dead,’ especially after the extermination of entire ladino-speaking Sephardi communities during the Holocaust, this talk shows that, in fact, this Jewish language is alive and well.
Adriana M. Brodsky, Associate Professor of Latin American History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, obtained her PhD from Duke University in 2004. She has published on Sephardi schools in Argentina, and on Jewish Beauty Contests. Her new project explores the experiences of Argentine Sephardi youth in the 1960s-1970s.
Help Make a Museum: Audience Workshop for the Core Exhibition of DC’s New Jewish Museum
Sunday, February 8th, 2:00 p.m.
Zachary Paul Levine, Curator at the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
Included with Museum admission
The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington (JHSGW) needs input from as many people as possible on our new regional Jewish museum (projected opening 2020). As part of that process, we are turning to the community for thoughts on stories for the new museum’s core exhibition. This workshop will include a series of activities designed to get participants thinking, talking, and sharing their counsel for this new project. We’ll look at a handful of objects and stories, and discuss how, together, they tell the unique story of Washington’s Jewish community.
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 bnaiisraelcongregation.org. For more of this month’s events from BIYA, please visit biyabaltimore.org or check out BIYA on facebook. www.facebook.com/groups/biyabaltimore
Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland December Meeting
Ellis Island and the Immigrant Experience
Sunday, December 28, 2014, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Pikesville Library’s Meeting Room (1301 Reisterstown Road)
Program is free for JGSM members; $5 for non-members
For more information, check out www.jgsmd.org
Exhibits currently on display include The A-mazing Mendes Cohen (on display through June 14, 2015), Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!
Hours and Tour Times
The JMM is open Sunday-Thursday, 10am – 5pm.
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. We will offer tours focused on the Lloyd Street Synagogue, Sunday through Thursday at 3:00pm and on Sunday at 4:00pm. On November 9 we will introduce a new Lloyd Street “1845: Technology and the Temple” tour at 3:00pm and the tour will be available every Sunday and Monday at 3:00 until The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen closes next June.
Please note our holiday hours are as follows:
- Wednesday, December 24, Museum closes at 3:00pm
- Thursday, December 25, JMM is OPEN from 10am-4:00pm
- Friday, December 26, Museum is closed
- Wednesday, December 31, Museum closes at 3:00pm
- Thursday, January 1, Museum is closed
The JMM is looking for volunteers to help staff our front desk, work in the gift shop, and lead tours as docents. No prior knowledge or training is required. All that is needed is an interest in learning about the JMM, our historic sites, exhibits, and programs and a desire to share this knowledge with the public. All volunteers are provided with thorough training. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen at 410.732.6400 x217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revamped and revitalized, membership at the JMM is now better than ever – with new categories, benefits, and discounts to enrich every visit to the Museum for you and your friends and families.
All members receive our monthly e-newsletter, along with a 10% discount at the Museum store, free general admission to the Museum, free admission to all regular programs, attendance at exclusive member opening events and discounted weekday parking at the City-owned garage at 1001 E. Fayette Street.
Your membership provides much needed funding for the many programs that we offer and we hope we can count on you for your continued support. Memberships can be purchased online! http://jewishmuseummd.org/get-involved/museum-membership/ For more information about our membership program, please contact Sue Foard at (410) 732-6400 x220 or email@example.com.
Gift Shop: Chanukah Madness
Chanukah is around the corner! First candle is lit December 16, 2014…and we have an amazing selection of candles, all made in Israel, and a gorgeous range of colors. We have Menorahs for the young, and the young at heart; a magnificent hand-blown menorah, Israeli stone and crystal imports, fun and funky menorahs. Our dreidle collection is known for its variety of choices, from sterling to hand-painted wood, to fine china. Games and books for all ages! Our jewelry is chosen with care for the discriminating buyer; we cheerfully gift-wrap and will mail your purchases for you.
Merchandise purchased in the Museum Shop directly benefits the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Members receive a 10% discount on JMM Shop purchases.
For information, call Esther Weiner, Museum Shop Manager, 410-732-6400, ext. 211 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.