Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Rachel
When recalling this past summer and reflecting on all of my experiences interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, I cannot believe where all the time has gone – it has certainly gone by quick. As I begin my last few weeks as an Education and Programming intern at the JMM, I certainly have a lot to reflect on.
If I could make a numbered list of the top three things about working at the JMM it would probably go like this:
Arielle’s Top Three Things About Working at the Jewish Museum of Maryland
Number 3: Getting to know Jewish Baltimore
For me, one of the best parts of working at the JMM has been learning about Baltimore’s Jewish history. Before I began this internship, I literally knew nothing about Baltimore Jewish history, except that the city had one. I tell my co-interns all the time how it’s funny that although I’ve lived in Baltimore for two years studying at Johns Hopkins, there was so much I didn’t know about the city that I lived in or the Jewish people that called it home. From the immigration story beginning at Locust point, to the once booming Corned Beef Row on Lombard Street, to the amazing stories of the museum’s two historic synagogues, there’s certainly a lot to learn about Baltimore and its fascinating Jewish history. I’ve had the pleasure to learn a lot! Getting to know Baltimore has certainly been a highlight of this summer for me and I can’t wait to keep learning more.
It was awesome getting to know one of Baltimore’s most amazing Jewish residents, the AH-Mazing Mendes Cohen! What an interesting Baltimorean with an amazing story. Be sure to check out the JMM’s new exhibit about him this fall.
Number 2: Getting to know the Staff, Volunteers, and Interns
In my past seven weeks at the JMM, I have loved getting to know all of the members of the hard working staff, volunteers, and interns. The staff at this museum is truly incredible. When you look at all the work they do, and the cheerful attitude they maintain while doing it, you are reminded that you are in an atmosphere of not only professionals, but people passionate about telling the Baltimore Jewish story. I absolutely loved working in the Education Department’s “West Wing” and I know that I am walking away not just with fond memories, but also with important skills and many lessons learned. The staff at the JMM has been so welcoming and kind and I have learned a great deal just by working with them all.
Although sadly we didn’t have Abby to join us in this picture, I am especially thankful to Ilene and Trillion and the rest of the Education Department for welcoming us to the JMM and giving Emma and me such a great summer.
Moreover, to the volunteers, I am inspired by your commitment to the museum and time put in, and I have loved getting to know you all. To Lois and Wendy, thanks for being amazing teachers when it came to giving tours and thank you for all of your kindness. Also, to my co-interns, you girls all rock. You guys are seriously the best group of interns a girl could ask to work with and I’ve loved getting to know each of you and wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Intern Emma and I playing dress up one morning. We dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln using costumes from last year’s exhibit on the civil war. Even interns can be silly sometimes.
Lastly, Number 1: Getting to know the JMM visitors
For me the best part of working at the Jewish Museum of Maryland has been working with museum visitors. The experiences of the visitors are the reason that all of the staff and volunteers at the museum work as hard as they do. They are the reason that museums exist! Highlights for me have been getting to know the student camp groups that came in all throughout June and July. The students were lovely, curious, and always excited to learn. I particularly loved showing them the Electrified Pickle exhibit – an exhibit that both I and my co-intern Emma helped put together. Another highlight was helping coordinate the logistics and attending the JMM’s Summer Teachers Institute for Holocaust Educators. I must thank Deborah for including me in this amazing program and I loved meeting so many educators of the Holocaust and learning about this history alongside them. I hope that while spreading the important meaning of the Holocaust to their own students, these teachers will bring their students to the JMM where they can learn even further about the history of the Jewish people.
Folders given to all teachers attending the STI program
An example I made for students during an activity connected to the Electrified Pickle exhibit. The students loved playing with the play dough and LED lights – plus they learned about conductive and insulating electricity!
Anyways, thanks so much for reading. Thank you Jewish Museum of Maryland for giving me such a wonderful summer and I know that these last three weeks of my internship are going to speed by quick.
All the best,
I took this photo on my first day on the job when I excitedly arrived at the JMM. I can’t believe it’s already been nine weeks since that point – time flies when you’re having a good time.
A blog post by Education Intern Arielle Kaden. To read more posts from interns click HERE.
Posted on July 1st, 2014 by Rachel
It’s that time of year again – Intern Season! You’ve already heard from a few of these bright, eager interns, as they’ve taken to blogging like ducks to water. But we still thought it would be nice to give you a little more in-depth information on the 2014 summer intern class. This year we asked the interns to interview and write profiles on each other. Enjoy getting to know them – we certainly have been!
Emma Glaser is a new Education and Programming Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. I had the opportunity to sit down with my fellow intern and discuss what brought her to the JMM, what she plans to in Baltimore, and, most importantly, how I could obtain her mother’s challah recipe. ~Intern Mandy
Emma is originally from Tacoma Park, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C. that offers both small town charm alongside big city attractions. Emma jokes, “The best thing is our July 4th parade, which is very small-town America, but with a lot of liberal twist!” Yet, though she grew up just a short car ride from the Smithsonian, she cites the New York Historical Society and the Natural History Museum in New York as her favorite museums as a child. Emma explains that her grandmother would often drag her to those museums all the time growing up, stressing the importance of history on Emma at an early age.
Well, Emma must have been listening to her grandmother, because she majored in History and Classics at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Smith is known to have a unique housing system, where traditional undergraduates are expected to live in a housing community for four years. Naturally, I ask Emma to sell me on her house, Washburn. Emma gleefully states, “Washburn has a reputation for being a little weird, not in a bad way, and the house community is very strong. We also have the best mascot on Smith’s campus—Safety Man.” Apparently, Safety Man is a relic from an old commuter student whose father did not want her driving alone at night. So, she drove with half a mannequin. Now, the students as Washburn continue to take great pride in Safety Man, hiding him in showers and closets. Needless to say, Emma received an amazing college education both inside and out of the classroom.
In fact, it was during her undergraduate career that she realized her passion for museum work. Growing up, museums surrounded her. Trips to the Smithsonian or to the historical society grew old fast to a young and curious mind. Though she loved history, she viewed museums as rather passive institutions. Her feelings completely changed when she studied abroad at King’s College in London. Suddenly, Emma was surrounded by new objects and narratives, just begging to be explored. Emma declares, “I probably saw about 96% of the British Museum while I was there—I had make about six trips, and spend a couple hours each time!” Her feat was so impressive, that one of her classmates claimed she never met someone so into museums before. That’s when Emma realized she might want to look into museum careers and see where she fits best in the field.
Since her English epiphany, Emma has sought out countless opportunities in Public History and Jewish History. She interned in the curatorial department at the National Museum of American Jewish History, and has also for her synagogue, helping to archive materials related to her congregation’s cemetery. At the JMM, Emma wants to build on those experiences while also exploring different areas in the field. As an Education and Programming Intern, Emma is busy working on lesson plans for the A-mazing Mendes Cohen exhibit and gearing up for the upcoming Electric Pickle exhibit.
Mandy Benter is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Arielle
Mandy is the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s fresh, new, and awesome Exhibition Research Intern for this upcoming summer. Mandy went through most of her life without nicknames, but by some she is called Mandy B (even though there’s no other Mandys in her circle of friends), Mahatma Mandy (because of her relaxed and friendly disposition), and Patches (which was earned while she was in AmeriCorps, where nicknames run wild). She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She describes it as a quintessential blue collar city, known for its breweries and motorcycles; but also experiences a renaissance of sorts and developing quite a reputation for its quirky art venues and festivals – similarities she has noticed between Milwaukee and Baltimore!
Mandy studied history and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Wisoconsin-Madison. When she was a junior she realized that she wanted to work as a museum curator so she began to look for internships. Since then she has works with the Institute of Southern Jewish Life and the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience. Though she is neither Southern nor Jewish, she felt overly welcomed in her new community and learned a lot about the museum field. She has worked extensively in educational programming, particularly for Mississippi Public School students. After she graduated from UW, Mandy took a year off from her schooling and joined AmeriCorps, working for City Year Little Rock/North Little Rock as a supplemental third grade literacy tutor. She describes this experience as the hardest and most rewarding of her life.
This past fall, Mandy moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to get her MA in Public History from North Carolina State University. Since then she has developed a strong allegiance to Eastern Carolina’s vinegar-based barbecue and has a tendency to call a group of people “y’all”. You can guess that she loves the South!!
Now Mandy has one more year of school before she will earn her MA and is thrilled to be spending her summer as an intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. She will be working with Curator Karen Falk on the upcoming Jews, Health, and Healing exhibit. She hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the project and is excited to learn more about what it takes to put an exhibit together and the fundamentals behind the research process. She is thrilled to work on this exhibit while it’s still at the early stages and is honored that the JMM is entrusting her with this opportunity. She can’t wait to spend the summer in Baltimore and embrace her time working at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!
Barbara Israel is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Emma
Barbara Israel is a sophomore at UMBC, majoring in Ancient Studies and Archaeology. She grew up in Youngstown, OH, but has lived in Baltimore for forty years. After she graduates, Barbara would like to work in a museum, so she is excited about the experience she will gain during her internship. She will primarily be working on the Jewish Health and Healing exhibit. So far, she has really enjoyed learning how to transcribe documents which are in poor condition. Her favorite document that she has worked on is a manuscript from 1896.
Barbara’s favorite historical figure is Thomas Jefferson because she took a class focusing largely on him. She also had a wonderful time taking an archaeology course in Greece this year. The traditional Jewish food that she most enjoys is brisket. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking, travel, and reading.
Sarah Moore is a new Exhibition Research Intern at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. ~Intern Barbara
Sarah Moore is an intern who came to the Jewish Museum of Maryland from Morgantown, West Virginia, and she graduated from the University of West Virginia at Morgantown. She came back to the museum after a week’s absence with a bout of illness and took on her tasks here with earnestness.
Her favorite food is burritos and she loves Mexican food.
I asked Sarah what her goals were for the immediate future. She plans to take a year off from school to find a job in a museum. In five years she plans to be finished with graduate school in Museology or Art History and find a museum job. In ten years she would like to have a curatorial position in a museum.
Her favorite book is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin and her hobbies are reading and swimming.
It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of the Jewish Museum of Maryland’s summer 2014 Education and Programming interns: Arielle Kaden. ~Intern Sarah
Arielle is a rising junior at Johns Hopkins University. She is majoring in Writing Seminars, which she describes as creative writing combined with liberal arts, and minoring in Jewish Studies. Her favorite place in Baltimore is the Johns Hopkins University Campus. She’s studied there for two years and it is her home outside of New Jersey. Arielle grew up in Randolph, New Jersey, with two younger siblings, a brother who is 18 and a sister who is 12. She considers her best friends.
Arielle recently returned from a two week research trip in Poland. She her new favorite museum is in Poland, The Museum of the History of Polish Jews. “I saw it before its official opening, which is later this summer, and I thought it was fabulous,” says Arielle. “It covers 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland and pays a beautiful tribute to the rich Jewish life that once thrived in Eastern Europe and is resurrecting itself today.”
Arielle hopes to find a career in a field pertaining to Jewish education. She says, “I love finding creative ways to help educate people about Jewish themes whether it is through creative writing, putting together a museum exhibition, or making a film.” She plans to pursue a master’s degree or PhD, and hopes spread the Jewish message around the world. Arielle decided to intern at JMM because she thought it would be a unique, fun, and fulfilling experience. She had visited the museum before and loved its exhibitions. As and Education and Programming intern Arielle looks forward to helping to plan and facilitate educational and programming activities for all of the guests.
Posted on February 21st, 2014 by Rachel
When life leaves you in a pickle… make a battery???
Last fall, Marvin asked the staff to think about different scenarios for the Feldman Gallery once Project Mah Jongg leaves the JMM at the end of June 2014. The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen would not be finished until September and it did not seem like a good idea to leave an empty gallery for nearly three months. We’ve been enjoying a steady increase in the Museum’s attendance and we did not want to lose momentum. What could the JMM do in that space that would be fun, inexpensive and engage visitors during the summer months? During our brainstorming session, we discussed the increasing emphasis on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and we came up with the idea of hosting a Technology Fair. Our staff liked the idea that innovation and creativity would once again be highlighted in historic Jonestown, where many immigrants got their start as innovators on Lombard Street and the surrounding neighborhood.
I have to be honest. Initially, I was a bit skeptical about the idea. I am not a “science person” and I remember struggling through my physical and natural science classes at university. I am not a MAVEN about anything technological and Marvin asked me to spearhead this project! I am pleased to say that what has happened over the past few months has been magical, informative and lots of fun. We have been meeting people from throughout our community who are passionate about technology and science, and are excited about involving many people in project planning.
What has evolved from our initial brainstorming sessions has become a unique visitor experience. The Electrified Pickle is designed to appeal to budding scientists, DIY-ers and anyone curious to learn about how things work and Jewish innovations in the fields of arts and science. With the help from our partner, The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum, MD, our Feldman Gallery will be transformed into a participatory lab-style environment. Visitors can discover the mystery behind scientific principles such as magnetism, electricity, solar power, and other fun and engaging interactive activities. The gallery will serve as a community gathering space where people can come to experiment, create, and learn from one another.
For five Sundays (beginning July 13), we will invite community members to come to the Museum and share their expertise and passion for specific fields such as engineering, crafts, robotics, electronics, and architecture with our visitors. Each Sunday will have a specific theme. Our kick-off on Sunday, July 13th is Power This! with a wide range of activities and demonstrations related to batteries and electricity. Other Sunday themes are: Fly This!, Imagine This! Decode This! and Print This! We will offer exciting hands-on demonstrations and workshops for people to try their hand at activities like robot building, 3D print imagery, barcoding with POS (point of sale) software and, of course, electrifying pickles (visitors can test which kinds of pickles – sour, dill, sweet work best!)
The Feldman Gallery will also include objects from our own JMM collections, examples of technologies from the past that were vital to Jewish trades and home life but are no longer in use such as old sewing machines, kitchen implements, typewriters, and phonographs. These items will be displayed in a way that visitors can make comparisons with newer technologies and gain insight into the process involved in scientific innovation. The gallery experience will also include a community art project, in collaboration with a local artist that will evolve throughout the summer with the help of visitor engagement.
Be on the look- out for the cutest, little green gherkin complete with electrical adaptors letting you know that The Electrified Pickle is coming soon!
This month’s JMM Insights was written by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.