Why Resist a Good Story?

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by

I am such a sucker for a good story – and with Valentine’s Day looming ever so close, I wanted to share a little story that I heard yesterday while speaking to Lillian Reyes, a teacher who brought her 7th graders from Har Sinai Congregation to the JMM to learn about the life in Baltimore during the Civil War and the connection between Rabbi David Einhorn, Har Sinai Congregation and slavery.

I asked Lillian how the morning was going and she mentioned that she loved the Jewish Museum of Maryland and was very excited about bringing her class to the Museum- as the JMM was where she met her future husband.

Lillian, a recent transplant to Baltimore was single and was looking for fun things to do and places to meet other Jews.  She had previously been to “Late Night on Lloyd Street” events at the JMM and a friend suggested attending a B’nai Israel young adult program “Pizza in the Hut” during Sukkot (September) 2013. Lillian met Marc Soloweszyk in the crowded room, hit it off right away and spent the entire night talking!

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

After a beautiful courtship during which they both realized how perfect they were for each other, Marc wanted to propose, but hadn’t figured out just the right place to do it. On December 27, Marc took Lillian for a surprise evening in downtown Baltimore and while walking down Lloyd Street, reminisced about the night they had met.  Suddenly, he was on one knee with a ring in his hand, asking Lillian to marry him. After briefly hyperventilating and a random “Congratulations!” shouted from a passing car, Lillian said “Yes!”. Marc put the ring on her finger and they stood in front of the entrance to the Jewish Museum/Bnai Israel and all of the sudden fireworks over the Inner Harbor, lit up the sky.

Lillian says, “It was a magical night and we both feel so blessed to have met each other. We already loved the exhibits and events at the JMM and now the museum has a whole new meaning for us! The wedding will be April 30, 2014, G-d willing, in Pikesville, MD.”

ilene A blog posy by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon.


Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Happy Pre-Valentine’s Day from the JMM!

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by


Lucky Mendes

Mendes Defender

Mendes stamp 1

Nile Flag


You can download a sheet of these awesome Mendes Cohen themed valentines HERE: Mendes Valentines.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland

Ten Ways to Become More Deeply Engaged with the Jewish Museum

Posted on February 8th, 2013 by


Once a month we send out our “Performance Counts” newsletter to Museum insiders. In honor of Valentine’s Day, this month’s “Performance Counts” was all about the romance behind the numbers. I decided it was too cute not to share with all of you!

1. Come visit and bring a friend.  Our on-site attendance in January moved from 356 in 2012 to 697 in 2013.  Almost all of this gain came from families and individuals rather than groups.  The word is out that Zap! Pow! Bam! is fun for the whole family.  Call a neighbor and suggest a visit.

2. Pass along the message that membership counts.  In January we sent out 581 membership renewal notices.  These were the first notices for our new membership program – featuring new discounted memberships for students, teachers and seniors and premium memberships for those seeking an even closer connection to the Museum and its programs.  When you talk with your friends and neighbors about your excitement about changes at the Museum, you may find yourself talking to a candidate for membership renewal – be our matchmaker and help us close the deal.

3. Like us.  Well, I know you like us.  But it would count even more if you “liked” us on Facebook.  We have 987 “likes” on our Facebook page and your click would help raise our profile.  And while you’re liking us, we will like you back with great content and information about upcoming programs and our collections.

4. Tweet us sweet nothings.  We have 569 followers on Twitter.  This quick, short communication gives us instant feedback on our postings and programs.  It doesn’t have to be profound, it can just be engaged.

5. Find your loved ones through us.  We may not run a dating service, but we did have 80 research requests in January and most of these concerned questions of genealogy.  We are a premier resource for building family history within the Jewish community of Maryland, and we are a cheap date, you can find your connections for free.

6. Become an apple polisher – send us your teacher.  We have developed not one, but two curriculum guides for the Zap! Pow! Bam! exhibit.  One geared towards public schools and the other towards the special needs of Jewish day schools.  While bookings for field trips are running strong (two are scheduled this Sunday!), we could still use your help in spreading the news about this exceptional learning opportunity.

7. Love among the stacks.  In February “Jews on the Move” has packed its bags for the Enoch Pratt Public Library.  Located in a prominent location near the front of the central library, we are expecting that more than 2,000 visitors will view the exhibit at this site.  Expect more data in an upcoming issue of this newsletter.

8. Take a snapshot of your loved one (or beloved place).  Someday that photo might qualify to become a part of our collection.  In 2012 we added 3,059 new photo records and we scanned 6,257 photo images into our online database – a 8.8% growth with no increase in staff.  Making the evidence of our past available through our online database is our Valentine’s gift to you.

9. Chocolates are always nice.  I’ve just started browsing through the book On the Chocolate Trail by Rabbi Deborah Prinz now available in the JMM bookshop.  The book is subtitled “A delicious adventure connecting Jews, religions, history, travel, rituals and recipes to the magic of cacao”.  From the Inquisition to a box of Bartons, the author traces the love affair between Jews and Chocolate.  What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day (and the number?, it’s in paperback for $18.99). Email Esther to reserve your copy! eweiner@jewishmuseummd.org

10. Our closest friends stay in touch.  In January, we not only generated three newsletters but sixteen blog posts on our website drafted by nine different members of the staff.  We’d like to increase our two-way communication.  Write us, or tweet us, or comment on the blog posts so that we know how we can better serve you.  When it comes right down to it, we want you to be our Valentine.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland