Creating An Activity For Children

Posted on July 21st, 2014 by

One of my favorite things that I’ve done during my internship here has been creating and leading activities for elementary and middle school students. Most of the activities I’ve worked on are connected to The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen  exhibit opening in September, but I’ve worked on two that kids have had a chance to try out.

For the first activity I was tasked to create, my co-intern Arielle and I were given a bunch of cards with Jewish and Christian symbols on them that are usually kept in The Synagogue Speaks exhibit. Since there were multiple cards with each symbol, we decided the best way to teach kids about the symbols on the cards would be to create a matching game.

Museum Education Interns Emma Glaser and Arielle Kaden discussing which cards should be used in the matching game.

Museum Education Interns Emma Glaser and Arielle Kaden discussing which cards should be used in the matching game.

Eight pairs of cards are placed randomly in a 4×4 grid and the kids playing the game have to take turns turning over cards until they’ve found all of the matches. It’s especially fun toward the end of the game when they know where some of the cards are and give advice to their friends on which card to pick. Once they’ve found all of the matches, the staff member with them asks the kids which symbols they think are Jewish and which are Christian and discusses what the symbols are. Some of the symbols used in the game are Shabbat candles, a nativity scene, and a yarmulke. The game works best for groups of five to fifteen kids per grid, so it’s a great opportunity to for kids to have a group discussion and ask questions.

Kids from Hampstead Hill Camp playing the matching game.

Kids from Hampstead Hill Camp playing the matching game.

photo 3

Hard at work!

The other activity I created is based on The Electrified Pickle exhibit. It’s a scavenger hunt that’s aimed at getting the kids interested in the artifacts in the exhibit. The scavenger hunt highlights one interesting artifact from each section of the exhibit. When I was creating it, I picked artifacts that I thought would draw kids’ eyes, either because they were striking, like the samovar used in the exhibit, or because they were something the kids would have used themselves, such as a scooter.

Considering which artifacts to include in the scavenger hunt.

Considering which artifacts to include in the scavenger hunt.

Kids have to find each artifact pictured in the scavenger hunt and figure out what it is. Older children also have to find the answer to a question about each artifact, such as what its function was or when it was used. At the end of the activity, a staff member asks the kids what the answer to each question is.

A girl from Hampstead Hill Camp points out an artifact to her friends.

A girl from Hampstead Hill Camp points out an artifact to her friends.

Three kids from Hampstead Hill Camp check out a scooter they found in the scavenger hunt.

Three kids from Hampstead Hill Camp check out a scooter they found in the scavenger hunt.

I have really enjoyed leading activities for kids here because it is very rewarding to see them enjoying and learning from the exhibits here at the museum, and that is doubly true for the activities that I created.

Emma GlaserA blog post by Education Intern Emma Glaser. To read more posts by interns, click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland


Posted on July 20th, 2011 by

A blog post by associate director Anita Kassof.

1. It’s Colorful.

Photo by Will Kirk.

In Each Other’s Shoes, our exhibition of artwork by Loring Cornish, has been extended until September 15. There’s still plenty of time to come down and see these intricate, evocative, and inspiring works.

2. It’s open late.

We’re open until 9pm on the first Thursday of every month, with special programs, food, drink, and entertainment. Next up: “Oy Bay! Celebrating Baltimore’s Favorite Spice,” Thursday August 4 from 6 to 9pm.

3. It’s free.

Enjoying their free admission!

Okay, not all the time, but we do offer complimentary admission on First Thursdays. It’s a great time to check us out.

4. It’s accessible.

We’re right on the Circulator route. Take the orange line, get off at the “Jewish Museum of Maryland” stop (Lombard and Lloyd), and we’re only steps away.

5. It’s on sale.

Now through the end of July, all merchandise in the Museum shop (excluding consignment items) is 40% off. Yes, you read that right: 40% off. Come in now to stock up on bar and bat mitzvah gifts, wedding presents, and a little something for yourself.

6. It’s historic.

Our synagogues are star attractions on Heritage Walk, a pedestrian trail that winds through the neighborhood and includes sites such as the Star Spangled Banner Flag House, the McKim Center, and the Friends Meeting House. Free guided tours depart from the Inner Harbor Visitors Center 7 days a week: weekends at 10 and 1 and weekdays at 10.

7. It’s kid friendly.

Voices of Lombard Street and The Synagogue Speaks are family-friendly exhibitions, with plenty of things to touch and explore. Hands-on history kits add another layer of fun for young visitors.

8. It’s air conditioned.

Even our historic synagogues are nice and cool at this time of year. Thanks to generous support from the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Save America’s Treasures, The Associated, and others, we updated all the systems in the Lloyd Street Synagogue in 2009.

9. It tells a story.

Our latest publication, The Synagogue Speaks, tells the story of the Lloyd Street Synagogue and the three congregations that worshipped there. Beautifully illustrated by Jonathan Scott Fuqua, it will delight readers of all ages. Come down to buy your copy today.

10. It comes to you.

Still not convinced? Then let us come to you. The JMM Speakers Bureau brings speakers to your group or event. Check out our website for a list of topics: http:///

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

A Visit from the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington

Posted on June 13th, 2011 by

Last week, our colleagues from the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington visited the JMM to learn more about what we do and how we do it, and to talk about potential collaborations between our two institutions. Laura Cohen Apelbaum, the JHSGW’s director, brought a group of trustees, staff members, and interns to meet with Duke Zimmerman, JMM vice-president and chair of our collections committee, Deborah Cardin, and me.

After a morning spent touring the Lloyd Street and B’nai Israel Synaogogues and our “Synagogue Speaks” exhibition, the group settled down to chat with us over lunch. We talked about plans, challenges, and common interests.

The JHSGW and the JMM have a lot in common. Like the JMM, their museum chronicles the story of a Jewish community (in their case, Jews living in the greater Washington, DC area) through collections, publications, programs, and exhibitions. Like the JMM, they are stewards of an historic synagogue—though our Lloyd Street Synagogue (1845) has their Adas Israel Synagogue (1876) beat by 31 years! And like us, they were founded by volunteers in 1960. We’ve grown in similar directions since, with a shared commitment to preserving and interpreting Jewish history and culture in a meaningful way for both Jewish and general audiences.

Visit the JHSGW’s website (http:/// for a look at their many exciting programs and initiatives, and plan to pay them a visit next time you’re in Washington.

Here we are with our visitors from the JHSGW (Duke Zimmerman, never without a camera, snapped the picture). The group including several trustees and most staff members—like our staff, many JHSGW staffers wear multiple hats and produce an impressive number of high quality programs considering their size.

Here we are in the B'nai Israel Synagogue. One thing the JHSGW did with their synagogue that we didn’t: they moved it! In 1969, volunteers arranged to have Adas Israel relocated about three blocks from its original site in order to save it from demolition.


A photo from the move. You can check out more by clicking the picture!

Laura Apelbaum and I stand in front of our computer animation of the Lloyd Street Synagogue sanctuary, showing how it changed over time. This was a big hit with our visitors.


A blog post by Associate Director Anita Kassof.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

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