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A Dive Into Our Collections for Father’s Day

Posted on June 17th, 2020 by

What a perfect object to start our dive into the collections for Father’s Day! Museum purchase, JMM 1996.64.2.

Once again, Director of Collections and Exhibits Joanna Church went searching through the collections for the perfect Father’s Day photos (with additionally commentary by me, Rachel) to help us celebrate all the dads in our lives (this Sunday, June 21st!). To read more posts from Joanna, click here.

Dr. Harry Friedenwald with his children Jonas and Julia on the beach at Atlantic City, c. 1910. Gift of Julia Friedenwald Strauss Potts, JMM 1984.23.783.

The above is one of Joanna’s two favorites from the collection and I can see why. How many of us have fond vacation memories of our fathers, particularly at the beach? Plus, this year, Father’s Day falls on the first official weekend of summer!

Though they may be a little more bundled up, the father-and-son duo in the photo below seem equally joyful in each other’s presence.

Rabbi Abraham Shusterman with his son David, ca. 1945. Gift of Har Sinai Congregation, JMM 2012.108.331.

And how can you not love this father-daughter duo, taken 26 years apart?

Morris Rosenfeld with his daughter Edith, 1919 and 1945! Gift of Edith R. Shapiro, JMM 2003.17.20, .38. (You can also see Edith and her mother Minnie in 1945 in the center image here.)

Below you’ll find a fine selection of dads from our collections!

Har Sinai Brotherhood’s Father & Son Dinner, 1942. Gift of Har Sinai Congregation, JMM 2012.108.56.

Whether formally posed or casually mugging for the camera, these turn-of-the-century fathers show off their children with pride!

(left) Sam Blacher with his children Robert, Louis, and Rose, ca. 1903. Gift of Steven Blacher, JMM 2008.118.25.

(center) Henry Weinberg with his children Ruth and Martin, 1905. Gift of Isaac Kinek, JMM 1990.50.27.

(right) Samuel de la Viez, a widower, with his children Esther, Rose, Hirsh, Lee, and Oscar, 1906. Gift of Margit Weisgal, JMM 2019.12.1.

Who doesn’t love dads and babies?

(left) Ferdinand Lobe with his daughter Klare, 1907. Gift of Marjorie Scott, JMM 2002.45.14.

(center) Jacob Simon with his daughter Rita, Braddock Heights, 1929. Gift of Rita Simon Gordon, JMM 2007.53.14.

(right) Leonard Weinberg with his son James Henry, 1915. Gift of Jan L. Weinberg, JMM 1996.127.23.69.

3 different generations of fathers, from the 1910s to the 1970s! I bet their dad jokes weren’t that different though.

(left) Rabbi David Goldstein with his son Ari, 1974. Gift of Mannes F. Greenberg, JMM 1994.112.6.4.

(center) David N. Bacharach with his daughter Ruth, circa 1910. Gift of Calla Bacharach, JMM 2019.10.3.

(right) Avrum Rifman with his son Mel, 1946. Gift of Ruth Rifman, JMM 1996.108.16. (You can also see Avrum with his mother Bessie in 1926 in the right-hand image here.)

I was just also tickled by this photo of Nathan London with his son Isaac, c. 1905 – there’s just something about their parallel poses in those long overcoats that I find delightful! Gift of George London, JMM 2001.109.2.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

What We’re Reading: Rachel Kassman

Posted on May 27th, 2020 by

Blog post by Development and Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman. To read more posts from Rachel, click here.

Y’all – it’s time to come clean: I’m a reader. I read a lot.

From daily blogs (like Ask a Manager, Captain Awkward, Wardrobe Oxygen, and The Financial Diet) to various museum blogs (like Leadership Matters and Collen Dilenschneider) to many random articles posted by friends, family, and colleagues on social media. Frankly, I have a problem when it comes to reading – but especially when it comes to books.

Once I pick up a book or turn on my e-reader, I find it almost impossible to stop until I’ve reached the end (or I’ve quit – sometimes you and a book are just not a match made in library heaven!). This means I have to be very careful about when I pick up a book (case in point: this week’s multiple 2-and-a-half hours-past-my-bedtime bedtimes because I just had to finish Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! and Sarah Gailley’s Magic for Liars before turning off the light). I also have a tendency to stick to buying new books from favorite authors (Seanan Mcguire! Neil Gaiman! Lois McMaster Bujold! Tanya Huff!), often re-read the books on my home shelves, and sometimes steal the books my housemates are currently reading (like Tom Rademacher’s It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching. Sorry Brent. At least I didn’t lose your bookmark?) The common factor is ease – tried & true authors who I know I will love, and books that are already at hand. But I’ve been trying to break out of this lazy book selection method and support new authors by acquiring new books.

Which is where the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club comes in.

Remember those blogs I mentioned? One big one is The Bloggess, written by Jenny Lawson (also one of my favorite authors – and be careful with that link, the language isn’t always safe for work!). This spring she was slated to open her very own bookstore in San Antonio, TX. In preparation, she decided to reach out to her online community and start an internet book club. Which was remarkably prescient, as once this pandemic hit, it was clear that the shop’s physical opening would be delayed. Thankfully, enough of us internet weirdos signed up to receive a book (selected by Jenny herself) each month to keep the bills paid – in fact, because so many people joined, a book that was about to have its publication date pushed back got printed in time instead, because it had been chosen for the book club (I think that’s pretty cool, and helps remind me how much of a difference one person can make, when they reach out to other people)!

I’ve honestly been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve gotten so far!

It started with the darkly fantastic Follow Me To Ground by Sue Rainsford, followed by the non-fiction biography of Edward Oscar Heinrich, American Sherlock: Murder Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI (and after reading Paige’s bit about the Nutshell Studies, I’m popping this one in the mail to her!). March’s book was We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry, a fictional sports story unlike any I’ve read before (seriously – if you had asked me last year if I would ever read a fictional book about a Massachusetts’s high school girls’ lacrosse team? Seemed unlikely. Then again, once you add a deal with the devil, turns out I’m 100% on board with the story). The tone lightened up in April with Samantha Irby’s autobiographical essays in Wow, No Thank You and this month we were back to the dark and weird with Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas. The club has also started recommending additional books each month, which is how I bought a copy of the creepy, yellow-wallpaper-esque horror book The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (which was quickly followed by borrowing an e-book copy of his newest book Horrorstör- a knock-off Ikea turned haunted house? Yep, I’m in).

What I’m trying to say, is if you like weird, quirky, unexpected books – and the idea of being in a giant, virtual book club where you don’t actually have to talk to anybody unless you want to? You might want to check out the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. Also, find me on Goodreads! Let’s be book-friends.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

A Dive Into Our Collections for Mother’s Day

Posted on May 6th, 2020 by

This seems like the perfect object from the collections to kick-off this Mother’s Day dive into our holdings! Gift of Irene and Bernard Siegel, JMM 2007.2.5.

Our Director of Collections and Exhibits, Joanna, kindly offered to pull together a selection of photos from our collections to help us celebrate Mother’s Day (which is this coming Sunday, May 10th!). To read more posts from Joanna, click here.

Roseline Blacher with her son Fred, 1918. Gift of Steven Blacher, JMM 2008.118.19.

Joanna selected this photo as one of her “top 3” and I can see why – between the composition, the fabulous hat, and the feeling of love radiating between the two of them, how can you not get the warm and fuzzies from this vintage photo?

Anna Kornblatt with her daughter Rose, ca. 1907. Gift of Susan Grosser, JMM 1995.13.18.

This photobooth-style pair of images also made the top of Joanna’s list. Again, what’s not to love – delightful hats and a sense of playfulness between mother and daughter!

Below we’ve got a few more moms by the decade for you to enjoy!

Moms in the 1800s

(left) Betsy Levy with her son William, 1857. Gift of Janet Fishbein (daughter of Susan Levy Bodenheimer), Ellen Patz, Ruth Gottesman & Vera Mendelsohn Mittnick, JMM 2002.79.845.

(center) Bertha Friedenwald with Julia and Jonas, 1897. Gift of Julia Friedenwald Strauss Potts. JMM 1984.232.216.

(right) Herbert Millhauser, Gertrude Millhauser, David Millhauser and Flora Adler Millhauser, c.1 899. Gift of Richard Millhauser, JMM 1995.88.11.

Moms in the 1900s

(left) Blanche Wiesenfeld holding one of her daughters, ca. 1900. Gift of Joseph Wiesenfeld, JMM 1990.20.31.

(center) Minnie Aderer with Ralph and Gladys, ca. 1902. Gift of Charles M. Schwab, JMM 1992.130.9.

(right) Blanche Bran Abrams and her mother, 1909. Museum purchase, JMM 1988.101.9a.

Moms in the 1910s

(left) Ethel Katz with her son Kaufman, ca. 1911. Gift of Margaret Nomentana, JMM 2004.78.134.

(center) Ruth Frank with her daughter Carol, 1918. Gift of Susan Merrill, JMM 2010.60.12.

(right) Selma Katzenberg with her son Berney Jr., 1918. Gift of Herbert M. Katzenberg, JMM 1995.188.38.

Moms in the 1920s

(left) Jacob Beser as infant, held by Rose Beser, winter 1921-22. Gift of Rose Beser, JMM 1993.173.50.

(center) Samuel Harris and his sisters Jennie and Fannie with their mother, Yetta Harris, outside the Simon Harris Sporting Goods store at 211 N. Gay Street, c. 1924. Gift of Delma Harris and Julia H. Shalowitz, JMM 1986.83.3.

(right) Bessie Rifman with her son Avrum, 1926. Gift of Ruth Rifman, JMM 1996.108.7. (and in case you were wondering, this was Joanna’s final “top 3” pick!)

Moms in the 1930s

(left) Stella Greif with her daughter Helene, ca. 1930. Gift of Suzanne W. Applefeld, JMM 1999.71.11.

(center) Edith Klawan with her daughter Carol, 1934. Gift of Pete Lesher, JMM 2005.9.830.

(right) Sophie Bach with her three-month-old daughter Doris, 1937. Gift of Steven Blacher, JMM 2013.70.21.

Moms in the 1940s

(left) Stanford Z. Rothschild, Jr. and his mother Marie L. Rothschild (his mother) in in their respective uniforms, c. 1940-45. Gift of Amalie Rothschild, JMM 1991.126.20.

(center) Minnie Rosenfeld with her daughter Edith, 1945. Gift of Edith R. Shapiro, JMM 2003.17.22.

(right) Ruth Rifman with her son Mel, 1946. Gift of Ruth Rifman, JMM 1996.108.13.

Moms in the 1950s

(left) Gilda Brodsky (Resnick), her mother, Bessie Brodsky and grandmother, Dora Blum, c.1950. Gift of Gilda Resnick, JMM 2001.73.1.

(center) Dr. Joseph Schwartz (l) and Anna Schwartz Rombro (r) with their mother, Golda Schwartz, 1952. Gift of Rabbi Manuel Poliakoff, JMM 1982.12.171.

(right) Penina Kinek with her daughter Yael, 1956. Gift of Louis G. Hecht, JMM 1990.90.9.

Moms in the 1960s

(left) Sidney Lansburgh, Jr. escorting his mother, Marian Epstein Lansburgh, c. 1960a. Gift of Margaret Nomentana, JMM 2004.78.9.

(center) Ida and Nancy Patz Blaustein present their mother-daughter show at an Associated Women’s Division meeting, 1966. Gift of the Associated, JMM 1995.142.20.7.

(right) Sisters Mrs. Shirley Heiserman (l) and Mrs. John Dubick (r) stand with Mrs. Jack Pearlstone (c), who is president of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service. The two sisters have been foster mothers for 31 and 7 years respectively at the time of this photo at the 1964 Annual Foster Mothers Tea. Gift of the Associated, JMM 1997.134.256.

And I couldn’t end this post without some of MY (Rachel) favorite bits I found in the collection!

Like this picture postcard of Carrie Katz Weinberg, which includes a hand-drawn addition on the back, labeled “Mother as Venus.” Who doesn’t love a budding artist’s work? Gift of the Estate of Carolyn Weinberg, JMM 1991.65.3.1.

I’m also genuinely tickled by this photo from our JCC Collection, showing an “adult mother daughter belly dance class” from 1977! JMM 2006.13.2148.

This photo of Murray Lehman and his mom Saidie Adler Lehman really tugs at the heart strings. I wonder if this is a final bedtime story before Saidie heads off to a party in her fancy dress? JMM 1989.167.9d.

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