Become an Upstander!


Volunteer Opportunities
in partnership with
Jewish Volunteer Connection


Celebrating Earth Day!

Posted on April 21st, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday. All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


Earth Day

Did you know that this year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day? While the official celebration takes place on Wednesday, April 22nd we invite you to enjoy these hands-on activities with your family throughout the spring season!

These activities are inspired not just be Earth Day, but by our exhibit Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling. We hope you have a lot of fun trying out these projects in honor of the Earth, the season, and Jewish tradition.

Don’t forget to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome!


Download the full Celebrating Earth Day activity packet as a single pdf here.


Recycled Flowers

They say April showers bring May flowers, but why wait?

These beautiful creations are a great way to brighten up your room, the dinner table, or anywhere in your home. Make a whole bouquet and share with your family!

Supplies needed:

Magazines, newspaper or other very thin papers

Pencil

Scissors

Double-sided tape

Wooden skewers

Download Instructions for Recycled Flowers


Monstrous Hybrids

We learned about monstrous hybrids Dr. Inna Alesina at Stevenson University.

A monstrous hybrid is something that is made of multiple kinds of materials that make it difficult to recycle as-is. One way to face this kind of challenging item is to re-use or re-purpose it! In this activity you can decorate your very own monstrous hybrid tin can monster – we bet you can think of lots of ways to use your monster. (May we suggest a tin can relay race?)

Supplies needed:

Tin cans (empty and clean)

Scissors

Glue or tape

Markers or sharpies

Download Instructions for Monstrous Hybrids

Download Sample Monster Label


Tzedakah Boxes 

Tzedakah boxes from the JMM Collections.

In challenging times such as these, it’s important to think about how we can support our community, especially those in vulnerable populations. One way we can help our community is through tzedakah – collecting money to donate to help those in need. In this activity you can create your own tzedakah box out of recycled materials!

Supplies needed:

Recycled food container

Knife or sharp scissors

Glue

Paper

Markers

Craft supplies (buttons, stamps, scrap paper, etc)

Download Instructions for Tzedakah Boxes


Bottle Cap Windchimes

Plastic bottle caps, JMM 2011.28.3a-g.

This Earth Day activity combines recycling with wind power! Create a windchime using bottle caps and other materials from around the house. Then enjoy the wonderful sound of your chimes throughout the day – try out different kinds of materials to see how they sound different!

Supplies needed:

Plastic lids (bottle tops, lids from jars and milk cartons, etc)

Beads

String or yarn

Needle

Hammer and nail

Download Instructions for Windchimes


Earth Day Extravaganza

This past Sunday we were joined by many families for a special virtual program in partnership with DBJCC and CJE to help get ready for Earth Day! Don’t worry if you missed the live stream because we’ve got a great recording of the program right here for you to follow along and participate with the musical performance. The supplies listed below will help you fully enjoy the musical portion of the program. Plus, we have a pdf below with more fun activities!

Supplies needed:

Plastic buckets or small trashcans

Plastic spoons, soft mallets, or drumsticks (children 6+)

Empty, cleaned out bottles (like water bottles)

Uncooked rice

Download Additional Earth Day Activities


Keep Discovering

If you are still interested in learning more about how we can better care for our planet check out some of the resources below!

Take a look at our Scrap Yard exhibit website here, and discover the stories of individuals who have worked in the scrap industry here.

Use your green thumb to make a planter out of recycled materials. You can use soda bottles, water bottles, tin cans, milk jugs, and more. Make sure to clean out your container first, create holes in the bottom for water to drain, and fill it up with the proper amount of soil and seeds based on the type of plant you chose.

If you’re looking for more ideas about how you can care for the Earth and for others, listen to this song about the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, which involves doing acts of kindness to help make the world a better place.

Watch this short, entertaining video from the Baltimore County Department of Public Works to learn why you can’t put items like plastic bags and clothes in your recycling bin.

Now that you’ve learned how to recycle better, help protect your local garbage and recycling workers and thank them for the important work they are doing during this difficult time. Help keep these workers safe by following some simple tips like tightly tying your garbage bags shut, putting disposable masks and gloves in the trash and not the recycling bin, and cleaning and sanitizing your collection bins and containers. To thank them for their work, write chalk messages on your driveway or leave a sign outside for them to see.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Travel with the A-Mazing Mendes Cohen

Posted on April 16th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday. All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


(left) Portrait of Mendes Cohen wearing a turban and ceremonial jacket, c.1835. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society. (center) The ceremonial jacket Mendes purchased during his travels. Gift of Mary Adair Dockery (University Collection, Johns Hopkins University), 1996.169.1. (right) title page of Mendes’ travel journal, 18729. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society.Mendes Cohen had numerous fascinating phases to his life, one of which was the time he spent in travelling the world. For almost three years he travelled much of Europe, northern Africa and the Middle East. If you have a look here you can see Mendes’ travel log.

Travel at this time was much more complicated than it is today. It took Mendes nearly three weeks to make the crossing from New York to Liverpool, England! During his three years of travel, Mendes would encounter multiple shipwrecks, revolts and narrowly avoid bandits.

While the exhibit was on view here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, we celebrated this phase of Mendes’ life with various family programs. Below are a few of our favorite activities you can enjoy at home and will give you a better sense of this time of his life.

Make sure to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome and #AmazingMendes!  


Download the full Travel with the A-Mazing Mendes Cohen activity packet as a single pdf here.


Magical Shabtis

(left) Display of shabti at the Museum der Universität Tübingen. Via. (center) Shabtis collected by Mendes Cohen, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. (right) Display of shabti at the Manchester Museum. Via.

Mendes spent about four months in Egypt, during which time he began to collect antiquities, items that dated to Ancient Egypt. The items he gathered varied from tiny amulets to statues and even mummies. In total, Mendes collected almost 700 items! The collection he amassed was donated after his death, becoming one of the founding collections of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum.

From Mendes’ travel journal: Thebes, Egypt, June 26 and 27, 1832

“Remained aboard all day to purchase antiquities, which were brought down, having passed around the tombs occupied by the gatherers of these things. When my guide made proclamation that I should be in my boat 2 days for the purpose of buying antiquities, after which I should depart. At this time many of the people brought out things, of which I bought a few. Ibis were in peak abundance. Crockery, vases, figures, mummies, snakes, crocodiles, dogs, sheep heads, etc.”

“Remained on board, many little things were brought down, from which I made a small collection. Purchased two mummies and after spending the evening at Mr. Hay’s and taking leave, returned on board at midnight when the two mummies had been brought.”

Shabti dolls (also known as shawbti and ushabti) were funerary figures in ancient Egypt who accompanied the deceased to the after-life. Learn more about shabtis here.

Shabtis form a huge part of the collection that Mendes gathered. These small figurines are one of the most common items in museum Ancient Egyptian collections. This is because they were produced in huge quantities out of sturdy materials, which helped them survive intact through the ages.

In this activity you can try your hand at designing your own shabtis.

What you will need:

Print out of the shabti template or paper

Pencil and markers

Download Instructions for Designing a Shabti


Flying the Flag

(left and right) Young visitors participate in the “Raising the Flag” interactive in the Amazing Mendes Cohen exhibit. (center) The flag Mendes created during his travels. Gift of Mary Adair Dockery (University Collection, Johns Hopkins University), 1996.169.2.

One of our favorite artifacts in The Amazing Mendes Cohen exhibit was an American flag that Mendes flew as he sailed down the Nile. Mendes made this flag himself (with the help of a servant)!

From Mendes’ travel journal: Manfalut, Egypt – May 3, 1832

 “Purchased red, white and blue cotton to make a flag – returned on board and cut it out, my servant making it” … “Having … completed the flag and hoisted it under a salute, each of the sailors… on the elevation of the flag agree to defend it if necessary.”

Showing his patriotism and pride in America was important to Mendes, even while traveling. In this journal entry, Mendes’ shares how important celebrating Independence Day was to him.

From Mendes’ travel journal: Sarmastar, Egypt – July 4, 1832

“I have not forgotten that this is the anniversary of our independence and although remote from my country where I can well imagine the festivities all going on in all parts of the union, yet on this day is doubly valuable having seen so much of the despotism of Europe and Asia. At break of day, 4 o’clock a.m., I fired a salute, which at this early hour amazed the Arab sailors not a little, who were yet asleep on the deck. At sunrise hoisted the national flag and continued floating down the Nile against a very strong headwind.”

In this activity you can create your own Star-Spangled Banner – as you do, think about what the flag means to you.

Learn more about the history of the Star-Spangled Banner in this online exhibit from the National Museum of American History. You can also explore many resources online with The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, home and workshop of Mary Pickersgill, who sewed the actual flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s writing of our national anthem.

What you will need:

Paper, ideally red white and blue

Glue or tape

Paint stirrer

Scissors

Download Instructions for Making The Flag


Letters Home

(left) Mendes’ portable writing desk. Gift of Sadie B. and Rosetta Feldman, JMM 1987.149.5. (center) Letter written by Mendes Cohen. Courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society. (right) Wax seal of Mendes Cohen. JMM 1980.3.1.

Mendes relied upon letters to stay in contact with his family. They could take weeks to arrive but when they did they delivered exciting news from his adventures abroad. One item Mendes carried throughout his travels was his beautiful travel writing desk, filled with paper, ink, and his personal wax seal.

In this activity, learn about the importance of his seal and how to make your own. You can learn more about the history and importance of seals here.

Try reading one of Mendes’ letters here. To maximize space, Mendes has written very small and between the lines – it can be very challenging to decipher, especially with our modern eyes! But reading his letters yourself can give you great insight into Mendes and his travels.

Why not write a letter of your own? Share what you’ve been up to with friends or family you are missing – you can even use your new seal to add an extra special element to your letter.

What you will need:

Clay or model magic

Tools for scraping, cutting, and shaping your seal material

Download Instructions for Making Your Own Seal


 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Becoming an Upstander

Posted on April 14th, 2020 by

While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday. All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!

~The JMM Programs Team


For us, an Upstander is the opposite of a bystander.

An Upstander is someone who sees a problem and works to solve it. They can see when something is wrong, and they stand up for what’s right. These types of people practice the Jewish value of Gemilut Chasadim, or גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים in Hebrew, which means Loving Kindness. They help the sick, feed the poor, and complete other acts of service to help individuals in their community. As we approach Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, an important part of observing the day is remembering those who worked to be Upstanders during that terrible time, through protecting or helping others.

We invite you to observe Yom HaShoah, coming up April 21st, by becoming an Upstander right now. As we face this new, confusing time, being an Upstander and practicing loving kindness is especially important to keep our communities strong and vibrant. We have lots of ideas of how to do so, below, and we invite you share the results of any of them with us on social media, with #Upstanders. Who knows, you may inspire someone else to be an Upstander too!

We know that Yom Hashoah can be a sensitive topic to teach to children, so we encourage you to use your best judgement when working on these activities with young ones. Please tailor the focus of these projects and necessary, and we encourage you to use the concept of Gemilut Chasadim, or Loving Kindness, as a jumping off point for all of these activities.

Take a look at the hands-on activities below, which each include a downloadable PDF that  outlines what supplies and materials you will need for each activity and instructions on how to enjoy the activity.

Make sure to share photos of you enjoying our crafts and activities on our FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Tumblr pages and use #MuseumFromHome!


Download the full Becoming an Upstander activity packet as a single pdf here.


Yellow Star Butterflies

(left) Uncut patch to be worn by concentration camp evacuees, c. 1945. JMM 1963.51.2. (right) Armband used in Luxemburg, c. 1945. JMM 1963.51.1.

Inspired by Yom HaShoah, this activity takes a symbol with a complicated past (the yellow Star of David) and turns it into something beautiful and inspiring.

Supplies needed:

Yellow paper

Scissors

Decorating/craft supplies – we encourage you to use recycled materials like pictures from magazines, leftover art supplies, veggie stamps, greeting card cut outs or whatever else you have around the house.

Download Instructions for Yellow Star Butterflies

Consider taking a virtual tour of Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story, an exhibit created by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, that tells the story of one family’s experiences during the Holocaust from the point of view of a child named Daniel. Please note, this exhibit is recommended for children ages 8 and up.

Join our community in observing Yom HaShoah on Sunday, April 19th with Baltimore Jewish Council’s virtual experience.


Spreading Cheer: Neighborhood Art

(left) Chalk star created by Juliette and Caroline Kassman, 2020. (center) “Stained glass” window art. (right) Creating a construction paper rainbow at Chizuk Amuno Nursey School, c. 1998. JMM 2002.111.162.

In these challenging times we can all do our bit to help lift the spirits of those in our community. In this activity, create public art in your neighborhood!

Supplies needed:

Sidewalk chalk

Paint

Craft Supplies

Download Instructions for Spreading Cheer


Projects for Donation: 

These next two activities are projects created by Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) to meet the needs of organizations in the community. We encourage you to create a project to keep for yourself and one to donate later!

While we wait for travel restrictions to lift, consider making a container to hold your donations. We recommend using a recycled shoebox, which you can also decorate to show how special the items inside it are.

Bookmarks for JVC Bookworms

(left) Bookmark ad for Hochschild Kohn & Co. JMM 1987.226.12b. Bookmark ad for Edwin C. Burt & Co. from Levi Weinberger. JMM 1990.93.3. (center) Sample homemade bookmarks. (right) Embellished ribbon bookmark, c. 1900. Temple Oheb Shalom Collection, JMM 2004.97.81.

This craft is great for everyone – consider making some bookmarks to donate, some to give as gifts, and some to keep for yourself!

Supplies needed:

Paper or cardstock, any kind or color

Scissors

Recycled decorations, such as tassels, collage paper, scrap art supplies, scrap vegetables for vegetable stamping, or any other supplies you have around the house.

Download Instructions for Creating Bookmarks


Recycled Chew Toys

Making recycled chew toys at Mitzvah Day 2019.

You may remember this activity if you attended our annual Mitzvah Day on December 25th! It was a lot of fun and popular with folks of all ages, and our furry friends are always looking to replace old and worn out toys.

Supplies needed:

T-shirt or other textile fabric

Scissors

Download Instructions for Making Recycled Chew Toys


Keep Discovering

If you are still interested in learning more about how to be an upstander check out some of the resources below!

Follow along with a reading of  One Good Deed, a children’s book about how a neighborhood is transformed by one good deed:

Also, JVC could use your help with two other donation projects:

Project 1: Mailing Joy

(left) Rosh Hashanah greeting card, late 19th century. JMM K2016.3.3. (center) Embroidered birthday card from Rose Lutzky Beser’s scrapbook, April 1919. JMM 1993.173.234.79. (right) Valentine’s Day card for Ann Givner from husband Nathan, 1923. JMM 1992.192.10.

You can write greeting cards to send well wishes to seniors living at Weinberg Village. Take an existing card or make your own out of paper and craft supplies and write a thoughtful message inside. You can write or draw about yourself and your favorite things to do, tell a joke or funny story, or simply let them know you are thinking about them.

Mail your completed card to this address:

7 Slade  #808

Attn: Activity Director Gayle Newman

Pikesville, MD. 21208

Project 2: Make Some Noise

Assemble noisemaker craft kits for children who are living in shelters. Follow the instructions here or download a pdf.


Staying Safe

One of the main ways you and your family can be upstanders right now is by practicing social distancing measures.

This means staying inside and only going out to go on walks or go to places like the grocery store or pharmacy. When you do go out, it’s important to stay 6 feet away from other people and wear a mask.

The Center for Disease Control has an excellent tutorial on how to wear, clean, and make your own fabric facemasks here. You can also download a pdf.

Some other useful facemask tutorials include:

Good Housekeeping – No Sew Homemade Face Masks

Craft Passion – Face Mask Patterns

New York Times – Pleated Face Mask Pattern


 

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