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JMM Education Goes Virtual!

Posted on July 9th, 2020 by

A blog post by Museum Educator Marisa Shultz! To read more posts from Marisa, click here.

With the public health crisis closing schools, cancelling many in-person summer camps, and moving most educational activities to digital platforms, the JMM education team has been hard at work finding ways to still support students’ learning and teachers’ classroom needs via brand-new digital content.

Over the past few months, I have been working to bring three of our educational programs to the digital classroom. The process of taking an exciting and interactive in-person field trip and converting it into an immersive, engaging, and accessible virtual visit has been at times challenging, but also extraordinarily rewarding. Not only have I learned a ton of new, inestimable skills but the current educational landscape has encouraged me to think “outside of the box,” and look at our programs in a whole new light.

Take these slides from our new Voices of Lombard Street virtual visit.

These slides begin with facts about the medical examinations but then transition to the image of a primary source artifact.

In these slides, I first share some information about the medical examinations new immigrants went through when arriving in America. Then, the students have the opportunity to look at Celia Buchman’s inspection card. Inspection cards were used on the steamships for a lot of different functions, but they were also used after arrival to record that someone had gone through and passed the medical inspection. I walk the students through interpreting this artifact, paying particularly close attention to the three purple stamps from the U.S. Public Health Service, showing that after a delousing, she had passed her medical exams and could enter the country.

On-site, students would be looking at this artifact through an acrylic or glass cover, and while that is an absolutely essential part of preserving our artifacts for perpetuity, it would be harder to see the little details, like the fact that she was ‘deloused’ (see the stamp on the left hand side), and that she came to this country through Ellis Island (see the stamp on the right hand side). While students may not be seeing artifacts in person during their virtual visit, they are getting an up-close and personal look at them, which will help them practice interpreting primary sources.

What’s so encouraging about this process too is that we’re still able to engage with students, asking them questions and helping them forget not only deeper understandings of history, but also a profound connection with the past.

This slide first asks the students to consider their personal experiences and then shares primary source photos to help students make connections to the past.

Also in our Voices of Lombard virtual visit, we discuss the ways new Jewish immigrants to Baltimore began building communities in Jonestown and what institutions aided in this process (like synagogues, and the Jewish Educational Alliance). Before talking about communities in the past, we start by asking students to consider what places are important to their communities, like houses of worship, parks, or community centers. This helps to both contextualize the historical information but also to help students draw a personal connection between their lives and the past.

We’re really excited to share with you some information about the three virtual visits we are currently offering below. If you are interested in scheduling a virtual visit (for a youth group, scouting troop, summer camp, or even a class for next school year), please see our Virtual Visit Request Form. If you have any questions about our current offerings, you can reach me at And be sure to check back here later in the summer, as we’re also developing several more exciting programs that we’re hoping to offer in the Fall!

Voices of Lombard Street: Experience the historic Jonestown neighborhood of Baltimore. Explore tenement houses, sweatshops, and Lombard Street to learn about the immigrant families that called this neighborhood home.

We’re really excited to bring the stories of historic Jonestown to life through this virtual visit presentation!

Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling: Experience one of America’s largest industries, its innovative technology and the stories of the immigrant families that built it. Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling integrates STEM and humanities through topics like immigration, technology, and environmental sustainability.

Students can continue to explore the history of the Scrap and Recycling Industries through this virtual visit presentation!

Holocaust Memory Project: Hear the personal stories of Holocaust survivors through recorded testimonies and the Holocaust Memory Project, a series of primary source collages designed by Holocaust survivors living in MD. Different themes include rescue, hidden children, concentration camps, survival, and legacy.

Students will hear the experiences of Holocaust survivors and learn about the variety of  ways Holocaust survivors have helped preserve and tell their stories.


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Take a (Virtual) Tour: Scrap Yard!

Posted on June 23rd, 2020 by

A JMM Original Exhibit

Even when we’re closed we’re still sharing our stories! We’re pleased to offer a digital tour of our original exhibit Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling for your adult group. This hour long tour is an opportunity to see the exhibit, hear the stories of US scrap families, and learn more about where the stuff you throw away ends up. This experience is led by a JMM staff member, who will lead guests through meaningful discussion and even give behind-the-scenes info about how the exhibit came together. All of this is done over Zoom, for an interactive and accessible tour that you can take in your own home!

In support JMM and staff, the suggested donation for this experience is $50. If this number is not manageable, please contact Talia Makowsky, Visitor Services Coordinator, so that we can find a price that works for your group.

To book this experience, fill out this online form, and a JMM staff member will reach out to you to complete the booking process. Please book at least a week in advance to guarantee your preferred time slot. Up to 25 devices may participate in the tour at one time.

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JMM Insights: Father’s Day

Posted on June 19th, 2020 by

This week, in honor of Father’s Day I will be indulging in two of my passions (and they both involve “ties”!).

Tonight’s indulgence is my passion for museums. I’ll be a part of a panel discussion with colleagues at the other JMM (the Jewish Museum Milwaukee) for a behind-the-scenes look at how (and why) temporary exhibits and traveling shows happen. I will, of course, be wearing my Harry Houdini tie.

On Sunday my kids (my adult kids) are indulging me in another passion, board games.  It won’t be on a table top (the kids are located in Ann Arbor and Boston), but we’ll use a website dedicated to board games. My kids are pretty good players, so the best I can hope for is a tie…cue rimshot.

Whether or not you can be with your dad on Sunday, I’m wishing you an inspiring Father’s Day.

JMM Board Voting Goes Virtual!

We invite our membership to vote on the FY2021 Board of Trustees Officers and Nominees. This year’s voting will take place through an online ballot. Voting will close at 11:59pm on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Questions? Contact Tracey Dorfmann at


Dad, Father, 亲, Pops, Viejo, Abba, Foter, אב

Dads, Grandpas, Uncles, Brothers, Cousins, Family Friends – this weekend is a time to celebrate, honor, and remember the father figures who play important roles in our lives. Just like there are lots of ways to be a mom, there are just as many ways to be a dad. In today’s JMM Insights, we’re sharing our personal dad-stories, diving into the collections for dad-related fun, and even suggesting some ways to celebrate that go behind the…ahem…traditional tie.

We hope you, too, will take this opportunity to share your Father’s Day thoughts and memories. Post as a comment on the blog, on our Facebook page or on Twitter – use the hashtag #JMMDads so we’ll be sure to see it.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the stories shared by JMM Development and Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman:

My dad has many names. You can tell when in his life someone met him – childhood friends and family call him Butch (because of the haircut) or Eddie from is early adulthood days, to Ed for more recent acquaintances (though I don’t think I’ve EVER heard anyone call him Edward). But mostly, to me, he’s just my dad. And I like him just the way he is.

You can enjoy the rest of our JMM Dad stories here.

Pictured, left to right: Ferdinand Lobe with his daughter Klare, 1907. Gift of Marjorie Scott, JMM 2002.45.14. Jacob Simon with his daughter Rita, Braddock Heights, 1929. Gift of Rita Simon Gordon, JMM 2007.53.14. Leonard Weinberg with his son James Henry, 1915. Gift of Jan L. Weinberg, JMM 1996.127.23.69.

Ready for a look at some of the dads in our collections? Joanna went searching through the archives to select just a few of our finest father photos to share with you here!

Looking for a less stereotypical way to let your father-figure know how much they mean to you? We’ve got a couple of suggestions:

Certificate for the Jewish National Fund – Tree Fund, “In Honor of Aaron Gesben by Sura, Sherman and Abbe Gesben” on the occasion of Father’s Day, n.d. Gift of Mary Gesben, JMM 1997.143.60.

Make a donation in their honor! Whether it’s a local museum (hint, hint), an important charity, or even a favorite small business, this is a great way to let Dads know you’re thinking of them without adding any clutter to their lives.

If they are a lover of stuff, why not purchase a gift from Esther’s Place, like an exclusive mug, reusable water bottle, or even a new history book?

We won’t be able to ship your purchase in time for Father’s Day, but if you leave us a note with your order and include your dad’s email, we’ll send him a message to let him know a special gift is on its way!

Although, there ARE some pretty cute tie options out there if you’re a gift traditionalist!

Kewpie neckties, handpainted for L. Manuel Hendler. Museum purchase. JMM 1996.148.1, 2.

(left) Envelope for valentine’s day card to Albert D. Hustzler, Sr. from his daughter. JMM 1991.26.21. (right) Family portrait by Weller- Lewis, Baltimore, MD, c.1921; left to right- Albert D. Hutzler, Jr., Richard H. Hutzler, Gretchen H. Hutzler, Caroline Hutzler (Bernstein), Albert D. Hutzler, Betty Hamburger, Florence Austrian (standing), Max Hochschild, Janet Austrian, Dr. Charles Austrian (standing), Lina Hochschild, Robert Austrian, JMM 1991.226.3.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020
at 7:00pm EST

Join us for a special Covid 19 inspired writing workshop where we will come together to record our experiences for future generations.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

Thursday, June 25, 2020
at 7:30pm EST

Harry Houdini wasn’t born. He was invented. Join us for this magical performance with magician David London as he takes us back in time to truly discover the world’s first superstar.

Register for this Live Stream Event here

WONDERNAUTS: What Would You Eat in Space?

Have you ever wondered what astronauts eat when they are in space? It’s probably a lot better than you think!

Explore what astronauts eat and design your own space menu in this new Wondernauts activity.


Dad won’t mind a belated Father’s Day gift if it’s as nifty as a JMM ballcap!

Remember – Members of the Museum get their membership discount by using promo code “member” at checkout.

Don’t see something you’re interested in at the online shop? Contact Shop Manager Chris Sniezek at and let us know.


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