Museum Matters: May Flowers Edition

Posted on May 6th, 2016 by

“Stoke” detail, from JMM 1993.73.1

“Stoke” detail, from JMM 1993.73.1

It seems like the cool rainy days will never end, but here at JMM everything’s in bloom.  We have a spectacular month of movies, lectures and even a “welcome to the neighborhood” party.

The seed of the month ahead was Sunday’s launch of the “Book, Bell and Candle Mystery,” a new experience of Maryland’s oldest synagogue, where visitors are invited to help us track down questions about who designed and manufactured key components of this historic site – from the nails to the Torah scrolls.  Our “whodunit” (i.e. who built it) is open to sleuths of all ages, every Sunday at 3 through July 4th weekend.

And if your taste runs to wildflowers, you won’t want to miss the true story of Solomon Carvalho’s journey to the Wild West.  Hear the tale of Baltimore’s most improbable pioneer photographer and painter – a real life version of the Frisco Kid.

Speaking of movies, we’re offering a classic comedy double feature about Jewish doctors on May 22.  Hosted by our most-beloved media maven and zombie analyst Dr. Arnold Blumberg (see, even our doctors are blooming this May).

By May 29th there will be blossoms everywhere as we join the cultural institutions of Jonestown in welcoming our newest neighbors – the National Aquarium, Ronald McDonald House and Living Classrooms.

Don’t be a wallflower, join in the fun at JMM this May!

Upcoming programs
All programs take place at the Jewish Museum of Maryland unless otherwise noted. Please contact Trillion Attwood at / 410-732-6400 x215 with any questions or for more information.

CARVALHO_sunrise Carvalho’s Journey: A documentary film by Steve Rivo
Sunday, May 15, 1:00pm
Movie Screening and Talk with Director Steve Rivo
Included with Admission

A real-life 19th century American western adventure story, Carvalho’s Journey tells the extraordinary story of Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897) … Read More
Get your tickets

Copies available at signing.

Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin
Book Talk & Signing with Author Marlene Trestman
Thursday, May 19th from 6:30 pm
Included with Museum Admission

Come hear Marlene Trestman discuss her mentor and friend, Bessie Margolin. Margolin, who grew up in New Orleans Jewish orphanage, championed the wage and hour rights of millions of Americans. Margolin also helped to found the National Organization for Women and opened courtroom doors for countless women lawyers…. Read More
Get your tickets

may-PC-1A Day at the Races, A Night at Frankenstein’s Castle
Sunday, May 22, 11am
Speaker Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg
Included with Admission
A Day at the Races and Young Frankenstein: Two films released 37 years apart but united by remarkably similar senses of humor fueled by a uniquely Jewish perspective on mad doctors and mad love. Join Arnold T. Blumberg in his exploration of these two classics. Read More.

Schedule for the Day:
11:00am – Screening of Day at the Races
1:00pm – Lecture with Dr. Blumberg
2:00pm – Screening of Young Frankenstein

Get your tickets
Jonestown horizontal 4CWelcome to Jonestown
Sunday, May 29, 1:00pm to 4:00pm

You’re invited to JMM’s block party welcoming our new neighbors, The National Aquarium, Living Classrooms and Ronald McDonald House! Yes, there will be cake! Read More


DrPerman_HiRes2016 Annual Meeting
The Greatest Gap: Health Inequity in Baltimore
Samuel Boltansky Memorial Keynote Speaker Dr. Jay Perman, University of Maryland, Baltimore
Tuesday, June 14, 6:30pm

Join us for the JMM’s Annual Meeting as we elect members to our Board of Trustees and express appreciation to our retiring members. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Perman, will address the social determinants of health—education, economic stability, personal and public safety, housing and transportation, social supports and cohesion—and how anchor institutions can help remediate the disparities we see in the health of populations. Read More

Couple collage smallHolocaust Memory Reconstruction Project: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt

With Artist: Lori Shocket
Sunday, June 19 – Tuesday, June 28

Holocaust survivors and their families are invited to participate in a series of workshops led by California-based artist, Lori Shocket, that will culminate in an art installation that will be on display at the JMM beginning in March 2017 in conjunction with our Remembering Auschwitz exhibits.
Please note that space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, please contact Deborah Cardin at (410) 732-6400 x236
Read More and see all dates


sofer imageA Glimpse into the World of a Sofer (Torah scribe)
Sunday, June 26th, 1:00pm
Speaker Rabbi Englander

Join us for this exciting program in connection with The All American Synagogue. Part lecture, part workshop:  Learn the basic steps of creating a Torah scroll, including how the letters are written and the rules governing the making of a Torah. Read More.

Esther’s Place: the JMM Store

new in shop JAdlerAt Esther’s Place we’re excited to show off some new merchandise, including from renowned designer, Jonathan Adler. If you haven’t been in lately, we have lots to show you!

We’re also still looking for a new manager for Esther’s Place. Learn more about the position and apply here.

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.
Jewish American Heritage Lecture: We Called Him Rabbi Abraham: Lincoln and American Jewry, A Documentary History
Tuesday, May 31, 7:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Gary P. Zola
At the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater
Constitution Avenue & 7th Street, NW, Special Events Entrance
Washington, D.C. — Directions

Free general admission — register online via the National Archives Foundation
Premium reserved seats for $10/person. Limited availability.  Online | | 202-789-0900
Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland March Meeting
Sunday, May 22, 1:30pm, Hadassah meeting room (3723 Old Court Road, Dumbarton Offices Entrance)
Speaker: Jim Bartlett, “Steps to Success with atDNA and Triangulation
The program is free for paid members and $5 for non-members. Refreshments will be available. Go to for more information.

Ongoing at the JMM


Exhibits currently on display include Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America (through January 16, 2017), Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore, and The Synagogue Speaks!

The Sanctity of Others will be on display in the JMM lobby through May 19.

Hours and Tour Times
magnifying-glass-detective-9875_0dc4603c0e0b7dfe4515c58822eb8ccaCombination 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.  Our new specialty tour, “Book, Bell and Candle Mystery” is offered on Sundays 3:00pm.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Shoebox Synagogues

Posted on May 4th, 2016 by

As an educator at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, my job has different facets. I give tours about the Lloyd Street Synagogue and the Jonestown neighborhood to school groups, I help create content for new exhibitions, make flyers and promotional material, and one of my favorite things, crafting. Gluing, cutting, stenciling, folding, coloring, and designing are some of the things that went into our All American Synagogue craft.

On May 1, 2016 the All American Synagogue was the first program of many to denote how different parts of the third oldest synagogue in the United States had aspects of it made in America. The All American Synagogue is in association with MADE: In America and Carroll Mansion, this years’ All American Home. The Education team brainstormed collectively as to what we could create to celebrate our All American Synagogue, the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Out of a shoebox, a jewelry box, paper, felt, stencils, and photographs printed on labels, became a diorama of a synagogue.

Examples of synagogues the Education team created

Examples of synagogues the Education team created

A lot of effort was put into creating this craft and I could not have done it without the entire Education team. Pinterest did not offer a pre-made solution so we needed to create our own. Thank you to our Programs Manager, Trillion Attwood who created the triangle pediment that went on top of our ark. Our Education Director, Ilene Dackman-Alon who found a photograph of what the murals on the ceiling of the Lloyd Street Synagogue used to look like. The photographs that I took of the stained glass windows, the Hebrew writing on the pediment, and the bricks needed to be printed and cut. Thank you to our interns, Shoshana and Leah who helped me with this task.

The Education Staff cutting out the different aspects of the synagogue

The Education Staff cutting out the different aspects of the synagogue

All of our hard work and effort was worth it this past Sunday. It was great to see families at the museum creating their own synagogues. Everybody has a different way of viewing and creating art and I believe these synagogues that our visitors created will be a long lasting memory of their time spent at the Jewish Museum of Maryland! We hope more visitors will come see our other programs associated with the All American Synagogue. On Sunday, May 29, 2016 we are having a block party called Welcome to Jonestown and on Sunday, June 26, 2016 we are having a part lecture/workshop called A Glimpse into the World of Sofer. Bell, Book, and Candle is our specialty tour that will occur every Sunday at 3 pm. Come be a history detective and we hope to see you there!

Some examples of some of the synagogues our visitors created

Some examples of some of the synagogues our visitors created

A blog post by Museum Educator Kelly Suredam. To read more posts by Kelly click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

JMM Joins City’s Celebration of American Design and Manufacture

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by

Last year, the organization MADE: In America designated the Carroll Mansion as its “All American House” for 2016.  From April 23 to July 7, 2016 the Carroll Mansion will be transformed into a showcase for some of the most innovative manufacturers and craftsmen in Baltimore and across the nation.  The city expanded the celebration by inviting partner organizations in what it’s calling the “Baltimore’s American Treasures” event.

The Carroll Mansion, 2016's "All-American House"

The Carroll Mansion, 2016’s “All-American House”

Located just a few blocks away from the Carroll Mansion in Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood, Historic Jonestown, is the Jewish Museum of Maryland (JMM).  To play our part in the celebration we’re hosting special events in recognition of the Lloyd Street Synagogue as a truly All American Synagogue.  Built in 1845, the Lloyd Street Synagogue is the third oldest Jewish house of worship still standing in the United States.  The building was designed by Robert Cary Long, Jr., a prominent church architect of the era.  Nearly every component of the original building and its 1860 renovation were the result of American craft and manufacture from the stenciling to the wooden pews to the stained glass Star of David.

The Lloyd Street Synagogue

The Lloyd Street Synagogue

The museum has spent the winter researching the material history of the building – which switched hands multiple times, serving first as a traditional German synagogue, then as a reformed temple, later it became a Lithuanian Catholic Church and finally a Russian Orthodox shul.  Each iteration brought new design elements into the building, holy arks and altars, mezuzot and an organ.  We’ve sifted through the records to identify some of the most interesting stories of how this site was designed and built to serve the needs of successive waves of immigrants.

The oldest extant photo of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Courtesy of the Ross J. Kelbaugh Collection, JMM 1997.71.1

The oldest extant photo of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. Courtesy of the Ross J. Kelbaugh Collection, JMM 1997.71.1

Not every story has been easy to trace.  Where did the synagogues first Torah scroll come from?  What was the origin of the church’s bells and where did they go when the church was sold?  How did church chandeliers end up hanging from the ceiling of an Orthodox synagogue?  Questions like these led to the idea of our “Book, Bell and Candle Mystery Experience” (offered each Sunday from May 1 through July 7 at 3pm).  Our expert history sleuth will transport you into the shoes of a researcher on the trail of holy artifacts.  Made in America? Or lovingly imported?  Only one thing is certain – “it belongs in a museum” – the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

Chandalier inside the Lloyd Street Synagogue

Chandelier inside the Lloyd Street Synagogue

We’ve set three Sundays aside for activities related to design work for the whole family.  On May 1 our focus is on crafts related to the building itself.  It includes a closer look at the stained glass windows and the art behind them.  On May 29, our “Welcome to Jonestown” free family day will feature crafts related to music in the synagogue.  Finally, on June 26, we will offer demonstrations of specialized skills required to manufacture the artifacts of the synagogue – from a sofer  (scribe) illustrating Hebrew calligraphy to a blacksmith making fencework.

Leaded glass window. East wall. Over ark. Lloyd Street Synagogue- Baltimore. restored 1964. IA 1024.

Leaded glass window. East wall. Over ark. Lloyd Street Synagogue- Baltimore. restored 1964. IA 1024.

Come see how the Lloyd Street Synagogue and its congregations fit into the fabric of America’s material culture.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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