Farewell to Jews on the Move

Posted on November 14th, 2013 by

Having traveled for more than a year from the city to the suburbs and back, Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945-1968 has finally ended its run.

Here we are installing the exhibit at its first venue in Hodson Hall at Johns Hopkins University. From there, it traveled to several suburban synagogues, the Owings Mills JCC, the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library and the Edward A. Myerberg Center.

Here we are installing the exhibit at its first venue in Hodson Hall at Johns Hopkins University. From there, it traveled to several suburban synagogues, the Owings Mills JCC, the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library and the Edward A. Myerberg Center.

Davidson moving truck, CP 57.2012 – while we did not need quite so large a moving truck to handle the exhibit’s travel, my trusty old minivan certainly got put to good use as we hauled the exhibit panels from site to site.

Davidson moving truck, CP 57.2012 – while we did not need quite so large a moving truck to handle the exhibit’s travel, my trusty old minivan certainly got put to good use as we hauled the exhibit panels from site to site.

We were delighted by how the exhibit was received by the many different individuals who had the opportunity to view it and I thought I’d take an opportunity to share some of the visitor feedback that we received in the exhibit comment book.

Pratt Library Installation

Pratt Library Installation

“Thank you for taking us down memory lane as we enjoyed reliving our childhoods. Our grandchildren enjoyed the exhibit as well.”

“Very interesting, would be interested to see where that trend [of suburbanization] is today and also how this shift changed government funding of urban v. suburban projects.”

Model home, Pikesville, CP58.2012.11

Model home, Pikesville, CP58.2012.11

“Those ranch homes on Old Court Road were the landscape of my childhood. How cool to see them with new trees, eight years before my parents moved to the neighborhood! Thanks for the exhibit.”

Har Sinai Groundbreaking, 1995.126.023

Har Sinai Groundbreaking, 1995.126.023

“My friend is in the front row of the groundbreaking of Har Sinai photo. We became friends in kindergarten and are still friends 57 years later.”

“As a Jew from Bmore, who grew up in Pikesville, whose grandparents grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, you have essentially depicted my history. Thanks!”

Jews on the Move was developed in collaboration with the Museums and Society Program at Johns Hopkins University through the generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We are grateful to Professor Elizabeth Rodini, Jennifer Kingsley and the JHU students who helped us organize this exhibit.

deborahA blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts by Deborah, click here.

 

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Jews on the Move is on the Move Again!

Posted on February 6th, 2013 by

A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin.

After a successful installation at Chizuk Amuno’s Hendler Learning Center, the JMM’s traveling exhibit, Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945-1968 has a new temporary home. On January 28, my colleague Rachel Cylus and I made the reverse commute from the suburbs to downtown as we installed the panels at the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Library (400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201)

The exhibit looked absolutely beautiful in its new location in the library’s main lobby beneath its soaring ceilings and in the midst of the hustle and bustle of library traffic.

Many curious visitors stopped by to check out the exhibit before we even completed the installation and we look forward to engaging many new individuals in the story of the Jewish community’s move to the suburbs. A setting like the Pratt Library is perfect for us to learn the stories of others and to place the Jewish experience within a broader context.

Jews on the Move will be on view at the Pratt Library though March 10, 2013.

To learn more about the Jews on the Move exhibit, check out our website: http:///www.jewishmuseummd.org/jewsonthemove

If you are interested in learning more about how to host this exhibit, contact Rachel Cylus at (410) 732-6400 x215 / rcylus@jewishmuseummd.org.

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Moving Out

Posted on October 18th, 2012 by

A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin.

On October 17, 2012, the JMM opened our newest original exhibition, Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945 – 1968. Exploring a seminal period in American Jewish history – the exodus of Jews from urban centers to newly established suburbs – Jews on the Move interprets the motivations and factors that led to Jewish settlement in the Northwest suburbs of Baltimore County in the post-war years.

 

Irene Siegel with children, 1959

In the years following WWII, Baltimore Jews, like so many other Americans, left behind close-knit urban neighborhoods in pursuit of the “American dream.” Within the span of a single generation, the Jewish community swiftly reconfigured itself and experienced a fascinating social, economic and cultural transformation. Jews on the Move explores the local angle of a national story of suburbanization through the eyes of developers, real estate agents, community institutions and organizations, synagogues, and of course the families who helped establish the suburbs of Northwest Baltimore.

Gilbert and Leslie Polt, c.1960

Louise’s Pizza, Liberty Road, 1963

Park Heights JCC, Jewish institutions followed the exodus out of the city. The opening of a suburban JCC on Park Heights Avenue in 1960 – in addition to the move of synagogues – helped families recreate Jewish enclaves in the suburbs.

What makes this exhibit project especially exciting is an innovative collaboration that resulted in its creation.  Jews On The Move was developed through a partnership between the JMM and The Johns Hopkins University (JHU). With generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The JHU Program in Museums and Society partners with local museums to take undergraduate students out of the classroom and give them hands-on museum experience. The JMM was delighted to be invited to participate in this program, and in the spring of 2012, staff and consultants from the JMM taught a course at JHU that involved students in the creation of “Jews on the Move.”

Because of our partnership with JHU, the exhibit opened on its Homewood Campus. In order to prepare for the opening, on Wednesday morning, several JMM staff members in addition to exhibit designer, Ken Falk, installed the panel exhibition in Hodson Hall. The exhibit consists of vinyl banners that are attached to collapsing metal poles that connect to one another making it easy to transport and install.

Exhibit designer Ken Falk unrolling the exhibit banners

JHU faculty member Elizabeth Rodini watches as Karen Falk and student Molly Martell raise the exhibit panels

At the exhibit opening on Wednesday pm, Katherine S. Newman, James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, welcomed guests. JHU students who participated in the course talked about their experience in researching and designing the exhibit. Guests mingled, enjoying refreshments and an opportunity to view the exhibit and share their own reminiscences of their family’s move to the suburbs.

Jews on the Move has been designed as a traveling exhibit and is available at no charge to hosting institutions. If you are interested in hosting this exhibit, contact Rachel Cylus at (410) 732-6400 x215 / rcylus@jewishmuseummmd.org. Also, be sure to check out the exhibit website www.jewsonthemove.org where you can send in your own suburban stories and photos.

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