Posted on January 29th, 2016 by Rachel
This cute, spring-like little chiffon dress seems like an unlikely avenue for talking about a snowstorm, but a search of our collections for the word “blizzard” offered it up nonetheless.
Flower girl dress, donated by Bernice Weinstein. JMM 2003.63.1
The dress was made by Etta Cohen Adelberg for her young daughter, Eva, to wear in Etta’s brother Ben Cohen ’s wedding to Zelda Greenberg. The ceremony was held at Shaarei Zion on Park Heights Avenue on January 29, 1928 … in the aftermath of a city-crippling blizzard that had hit the day before.
Though it does not appear in “Worst Storms” lists today, the January 28, 1928 blizzard was a major one for Baltimore. The summary article in the Sun, published on the 29th, was dramatically headlined:
SNOW BLOCKS ALL ROADS BUT 2 OUT OF CITY
Only Annapolis and Frederick Arteries Open After Blizzard.
STORM HEAVIEST HERE IN SIX YEARS
15-Inch Fall Recorded, Autos Stranded, Cars Delayed, Ships Halted.
It was the first big storm of the season for the east coast, with the Washington-Baltimore area being the worst hit; the infamous Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, in which 98 Washingtonians died when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater collapsed, was fresh in the minds of Maryland residents. Thankfully, though the 1928 storm was “rather unexpected,” the Sun reported only one death in the area, an elderly woman in Frederick.
“A hundred snow plows sent out by the State Roads Commission were unable to cope with the drifts which in some paces rose to a height of ten feet,” the Sun reported on the 29th, and automobile traffic was essentially halted – but streetcars and buses were able to operate by the next day, and the city directed some post-storm efforts toward “[blocking off] some roads through Baltimore’s parks … to allow children to sled in safety.”
And in the meantime, some events went on as planned – like a wedding in Park Heights.
Though Ben and Zelda Cohen were well-known in Baltimore society in the 20th century, in part because of their involvement with Pimlico Raceway (Ben was a co-owner of the track, and they both owned and raced thoroughbreds), I’ve not found any info about the wedding itself, other than the story about the blizzard that came with little Eva’s flower girl dress. I’m dying to know more – were most guests able to get in, thanks to cleared sidewalks and the still-running Park Heights streetcar? How did Zelda and Ben feel on the 28th, watching the progress of nature’s wedding present? And was Eva warm enough??
A blog post by Collections Manager Joanna Church. To read more posts by Joanna click HERE.
Posted on January 27th, 2016 by Rachel
Snow – it’s all everyone is talking about this week. You can’t turn on the radio without nonstop coverage of school closings (never mind that a flake has yet to fall) and updated forecasts.
So instead of joining the fray and creating yet more pandemonium, I thought it might be fun to take a more lighthearted look at how Marylanders have historically coped with snow by taking a look through our photograph collection.
One of our earliest collection of snow filled photos is actually not a local scene but was taken by members of the Friedenwald Family (yes, the same family who is a subject of our upcoming Beyond Chicken Soup exhibit) while they were visiting Switzerland for the VII Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland.
1984.023.016 – Snow covered mountain in Switzerland
1984.023.049 – I especially love this photo of men with their simple gear. Amazing to think they were able to mountain climb without stocking up on an array of fancy gear from REI or LL Bean!
Apparently playing in the snow is something that Marylanders – young and old – have always enjoyed as seen in these photos going back to the early 1900s. It is especially delightful to see a snow storm through the eyes of children.
1996.050.027i.004 – Ruth Weinberg, 1908
1991.065.001.028c – boy in snow
CP.42.2012.001 – Charlotte and Michael Weiner, 1954/55
Finding creative ways to enjoy the snow is also a timeless pursuit.
1996.163.064 – Fred and Walter Groebel playing in the snow
2009.026.199 – This could be my favorite photo of all
2010.020.283 – Sinai Nurses enjoying the snow, March 1942
2009.014.005 – John Marsiglia with his dog, Mickey in Pikesville, 1992/1993 – Of course, not everything about the snow is fun but I’m sure the work goes much quicker when you have a pet by your side.
So good luck braving out our first epic storm of 2016. Be sure to take some photos to remember it by!
A blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.
Posted on December 19th, 2014 by Rachel
Our “Dear Abby” feature gives us a chance to answer commonly asked questions about how to get the most satisfaction out of your JMM visit. These questions are often asked of our Visitor Services Manager, Abby Krolik, thus, the name! (Any resemblance to a syndicated feature with a similar name is purely coincidental.)
1) Dear Abby,
Time flies so fast, and I’ve just realized that winter break is right around the corner! I love my kids, but the thought of having all three of them home at once, with nothing to do, for a week and a half, fills me with dread. What can I do with them to keep them from each other’s throats and to keep me from tearing my hair out? Oy vey! There’s only so many times in a row that I can watch Frozen before “Let It Go” becomes permanently stuck in my head.
Please, please, please tell me that the JMM is open during the holidays!
Avoiding Cabin Fever
Dear Cabin Fever,
We will be open for much of the holiday season, but with a few exceptions to allow our staff to enjoy some time with their families. We will be open at our regular hours except for New Year’s Day, when we will be closed completely, and we will have early closings December 24th (closing at 3pm), December 25th (closing at 4pm), and December 31st (closing at 3pm).
As always, there is something to do here at the JMM for all ages! Kids and the young at heart have delighted in the maze in The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit (while the adults at heart enjoy the content), and the Voices of Lombard Street and The Synagogue Speaks exhibits have several hands-on portions. In addition to our interactive exhibits, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on our programs calendar, which you can find on our website, on Facebook, and on many local online calendars (such as The Baltimore Sun and The Jewish Times). We strive to have programming for all ages, from lectures for adults, to the rocking Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights concert we had for kids just a couple of weeks ago!
We’ve got you covered this winter break (and every school break) when it comes to entertaining your family!
2) Dear Abby,
I’m the kind of man who thrives on staying busy—especially if it’s a task that will bring a smile to a kid’s face. I’m a real sucker for a kid’s big, toothy grin. Right now, I’ve got a great job in a factory up north that’s going through its annual crunch time this season. I love it! The only problem is that our only day off from work is Dec. 25, when everything is closed. And I know what you’re going to say—why don’t you go see a movie and have some Chinese food? Those are always open on Christmas Day. But like I said, I enjoy being busy, and watching a movie or devouring chicken lo mein doesn’t count as busy in my book.
I happen to be pretty close to my boss, so I was telling him about my problem, and he told me that he and the missus often come to your museum on Dec. 25 because you’re one of the few places open, and that you guys always have a great program. It sounds like a good idea to me, but I thought I’d check in and see what exactly you guys are doing that day.
Your Friend from the Great North
Dear Great North,
It’s always nice to hear that someone had such a good time at our museum that they recommended us to a friend. Please tell your boss that we would really appreciate it if he and his wife could leave us a review on our TripAdvisor page. You should do write one too, once you’ve come to visit us!
We do have a fantastic program planned for December 25th, a.k.a “Mitzvah Day.” We are collaborating with Jewish Volunteer Connection to participate in the city-wide Mitzvah Day program. From 10:00am to 1:00pm, we will be decorating puzzles and putting together fun gift packages for children who have to stay in Sinai Hospital over the holidays. Sounds like a perfect fit for you!
If you’re wondering why puzzles, it’s because of our current special exhibition, The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen. Mendes Cohen spent much of his life trying to piece together his complex identity, much like putting together a puzzle. And who doesn’t love puzzles, anyway?
Then, at 1:00pm, our renowned local historian, Gil Sandler, will further explore the topic of identity building in his talk, Becoming American in Jewish Baltimore. He will share the story of how many early Jewish Baltimoreans got their start.
It should be a great day, and we would love for you to join us!
See you on the 25th!
3) Dear Abby,
I’m from out of town, but my son lives in Baltimore, and I’ll be visiting him during Chanukah. Since you work at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, you must know everything there is to know about Jewish Baltimore! The first and most important thing I must know is …where is the best place to go for Chanukah shopping? I still have several people left on my holiday gift list—which brings me to my next question. My husband is a dreidel enthusiast. He collects dreidels of all kinds. I’d like to buy one for him to add to his collection, but every time I see some in the stores, I realize he has at least one of each kind there. I need to find him a unique dreidel. Is there some kind of dreidel emporium in Baltimore?
The next important thing I need to know is…which is the best deli in Baltimore? Is it Attman’s, Lenny’s, or Weiss’s?
Dear Mrs. Dreideleh,
I see you have your priorities straight! I’m more than happy to answer your questions—and the first one in particular. It just so happens that the best place in Baltimore to go to for all of your Chanukah shopping needs is…the JMM! We are currently having a Chanukah Madness sale, which means that everything in the shop that is Chanukah related is 25% off until the end of December.
Joseph’s Coat Menorah
Do you need a menorah in the shape of a trolley car? We’ve got it! Do you need Chanukah candles? We’ve got it! Do you need more gelt than you can possibly eat in a life time? We’ve got it! We also, of course, have our usual array of Jewish books, art, games, and jewelry that are perfect for that special someone on your holiday gift list.
Safed Candles from Israel
Which brings me to your second question: do we have a supply of not-your-everyday dreidels? Of course we do! We have metallic dreidels, wooden dreidels, and we have plastic dreidels that you can fill with candy. We also have a whole case full of decorative dreidels that come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. I couldn’t possibly describe them all, so you’ll just have to come down here yourself to take a look.
And while you’re down here, you can sample the three delis of Corned Beef Row and decide for yourself which one is best.
4) Dear Abby,
I hate winter. I hate the snow and the slush and the cold winds. I especially hate driving in this weather—people are just crazy when the weather turns bad! The whole season makes me wish I were a bear with lots of fur and nice warm cave to hibernate in. But if I can’t sleep the season away, I might as well keep myself entertained, and I do enjoy the exhibits and programs that you have at the JMM.
However, the last thing I want to do is battle the elements and idiotic drivers to get to the museum only to discover that it has closed because of the weather. How do I find out ahead of time whether the museum has decided to close or open late (or close early)?
Waiting for Spring
Dear Waiting for Spring,
I’m glad you asked that question because it’s a very important one. There are times when the weather outside is frightful and we do have to close the museum. The first place you can always check for this kind of information is our website: www.jewishmuseummd.org . If we have plans to close the building, it will be posted on the middle of the front page. We try to make sure we’ve posted our decision by 9am so that you can make plans accordingly. If it’s a weekday, our policy for the first day of any weather event is to go along with whatever the Baltimore City Schools are doing. After the first day, however, we make the decision ourselves based on the conditions of the roads and on the ability of the folks who clear the sidewalk and secure the building to make it to Lloyd Street.
We’re a hardy group, so we try not to close unless it is really necessary!