Volunteer Spotlight On: Nancy Kutler!

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by

Nancy Kutler has been a Volunteer Docent at the JMM for 9 months. She recently retired from working 32 years at the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. She has been married to her husband Ed for 40 years and has 2 kids.

Nancy

Nancy

Nancy is already a board member and member of the Development Committee at the JMM. She decided to volunteer because she feels it’s important to give back to the community. It also provides her an opportunity to build on her existing experience and knowledge. She loves our mission and is excited at the opportunity to educate the community through JMM’s historic sites, dynamic exhibits, and high quality educational programs. She feels honored to be involved with the institution and enjoys working with our staff.

Nancy has loved her experience so far giving synagogue tours to visitors from around the world. She hopes that traffic to the JMM continues to increase so she can provide tours to larger groups of people.

Her best experience so far was volunteering for the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction project, part of our Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity exhibit. As the child of survivors, the project was near and dear to her heart. Working with Holocaust survivors and their families to create historical collages was a very emotional, yet rewarding experience. She also found the process of developing collages for her own parents to be a very impactful experience. We at the JMM feel fortunate to have Nancy as a volunteer and hope to continue to call on her for special projects as well as for our regularly scheduled synagogue tours.

Nancy with the collages she made for the "Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project."

Nancy with the collages she made for the “Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project.”

If you know of anyone else who would like to join Nancy in volunteering as a docent (or any other area of the Museum), please contact Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org.

GrahamPost by Visitor Services Coordinator Graham Humphrey. Every month we highlight one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, send an email to Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org or call 443-973-5162! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Volunteer Spotlight on Erika Rief!

Posted on March 6th, 2017 by

Erika Rief has been a volunteer docent at the JMM for two months. She is currently in graduate school at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and MICS pursing an MBA/MA in design Leadership. Erika was an education and programming intern for two months during college. She recently moved back to Baltimore and lives close by so she decided to become a docent again. Prior to that, she attended Beth Tfiloh for 18 years.

Erika

Erika

She has deep connections to Jewish Baltimore, and specifically B’nai Israel Synagogue. Her great great uncle Simon Reif was the president of B’nai Israel in the congregation’s early days for 25 years. In addition, B’nai Israel was the shul that her great grandfather attended when he first came to America. She now attends Bnai Israel regularly, and is active in building the young adult community. She believes it is really special to be able to be a docent who has a connection to both the past and present of a part of the tour. Apart from going to school and being involved in B’nai Israel, she has also recently started boxing.

Erika has had a couple of memorial experiences while at the JMM. When she was an intern, she searched in the archives for mention of her family. She fould some of the founding documents of B’nai Israel in the original Yiddish with the names of her family families. She was also excited to learn about Zelda, who visited the museum with her assisted living facility. It turned out that Zelda’s father opened a pharmacy on Lombard Street. However, he died when Zelda was very young so she didn’t know a lot of information about him. Erika later dug into some family history records and then went to the assisted living to share what she found with her.  Erika will never forget Zelda’s bubbly personality and the happiness on her face during their conversations about her father.

Making friends on tour

Making friends on tour

Erika has quickly re-learned the tour script and has already taken a few groups out on her own. We are very grateful that she has been able to carve out time for us in her busy schedule.

If you know of anyone else who would like to volunteer with Erika as a docent (or in any other area of the Museum), please contact Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org.

GrahamPost by Visitor Services Coordinator Graham Humphrey. Every month we highlight one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, send an email to Sue Foard at sfoard@jewishmuseummd.org or call 443-973-5162! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Volunteering at the JMM

Posted on January 30th, 2017 by

Ilene Cohen established the role of Volunteer Coordinator 12 years ago and was in charge of volunteer recruitment, volunteer retention, scheduling and interviews. During that time, she did an amazing job growing our volunteer corps, making sure that our volunteer’s skills were well utilized and planning exciting field trips. This past summer, Ilene decided it was time to leave the JMM to pursue other activities. As it turned out that Ilene’s job was too big for any one person to take on, so Sue Foard, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, and I decided it was best to split her duties amongst ourselves.

A helpful resource

A helpful resource

As I have not had much experience managing volunteers, I decided it was important to learn as much I can about Volunteer Management. I have read books such as Transforming Museum Volunteering by Ellen Hirzy and Recruiting and Managing Volunteers in Museums by Kristy Van Hoven and Loni Wellman. I have also joined the American Association for Museum Volunteers and attended volunteer-related sessions at the American Alliance of Museum’s Annual Conference last year.

Former volunteer Sydney at the front desk

Former volunteer Sydney at the front desk

Part of my duties now includes sending out monthly calendars and scheduling our docents, front desk volunteers and shop volunteers. I am also continuing Ilene’s tradition of writing monthly Volunteer Spotlights where I highlight our dedicated volunteer corps. So far I have profiled individuals such as Ernie Silversmith who volunteers as a docent, Carol Buckman who assists us  in Esther’s Place, and Vera Kastenberg who volunteers in the Library.

Volunteer Ernie begins a synagogue tour.

Volunteer Ernie begins a synagogue tour.

Lately, we’re been working on making our volunteer program even better. Several of my colleagues recently sat down to try to brainstorm new projects that our volunteers could tackle as well as think of other organizations we could contact to recruit more volunteers. We are in the early stages of planning for a spring fieldtrip to other area museums. I have also started working on a marketing project with two of our docents, Bev Rosen and Wendy Davis, to try to encourage adult groups that have visited the JMM in the past five years, to plan a return trip to see one of our upcoming exhibits. Bev and Wendy have been instrumental in contacting local synagogues, churches and senior homes and recommending other organizations we should reach out to.

Volunteer Judy hard at work reorganizing and sprucing up our library.

Volunteer Judy hard at work reorganizing and sprucing up our library.

Devan Southerland, our Office Manager and Shop Assistant, has also graciously agreed to help us with recruitment and outreach. In an effort to enrich our guests with a variety of experiences during their visit, our goal is to reach out to a myriad of outlets for volunteers from local community centers to senior groups.  We are in the beginning stages of working with other downtown cultural attractions such as the Maryland Science Center to create a core group of volunteers that work not only with us but with capabilities to work at other museum sites around the city.  While we have a lot of work of ahead of us, we’re very excited to expand our volunteer base at the JMM.

GrahamA blog post by Graham Humphrey, Visitor Services Coordinator. To read more posts by Graham click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




« Previous PageNext Page »