Volunteer Spotlight on: Joyce Jandorf

Posted on August 3rd, 2015 by

Volunteer Docent Joyce Jandorf feels a community connection to the JMM. Her husband was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, his aunt was a founding member of the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland, and his first cousin is a fellow Docent.  As a lifelong member of the Orthodox community, Joyce had heard about Shomrei Mishmeres Ha-Kodesh from her parents. She recognizes many aspects of the Lloyd Street Synagogue from her own upbringing.  Plus, her father was a shochet who donated many personal items to the Museum – shochet knives, machinery parts from his beit-schita, his mohel kit, and a sukkah.

joyce jandorf headshot

Joyce Jandorf

Joyce’s mother’s family has been in Baltimore since 1911, when her grandfather arrived.  The rest of the family joined him in 1922. They first lived on South Charles Street then moved to Pimlico Road where they had a popular grocery/deli called Schuchman’s. Her father’s great-grandmother came to Baltimore before the rest her family and she is buried in the B’nai Israel cemetery. While doing genealogical research at the Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center at the JMM, Joyce was able to identify additional family members. By training, Joyce is an artist. She earned a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and worked freelanced as a graphic artist. Today she is primarily a painter.

Plein Air session at Hampton National Historical Site, July 29, 2015.

Plein Air session at Hampton National Historical Site, July 29, 2015.

During the 2 years that Joyce has been volunteering at the Museum, she has contributed by sharing her knowledge of Jewish laws and customs, especially to those who have no background in Judaism.   She wishes that the JMM’s appeal would extend to the entire community. She knows the Museum has a lot to offer and believes that all Maryland Jews have some connection whether they realize it or not and that there is a lot for everyone to discover.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday(ish) of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at icohen@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Volunteer Spotlight On: Aileen Bormel, Museum Shop!

Posted on July 8th, 2015 by

Aileen Bormel has been volunteering in the JMM Museum Shop for three years.  She enjoys educating the customers about the beautiful merchandise and many unique items. She occasionally ends up buying for herself too.   She began volunteering in the shop as a way to support the JMM and she appreciates the opportunity she gets to meet people from not only the Baltimore community, but all over the world.

photo Aileen Bormel

Aileen in the Museum Shop

Aileen formerly taught deaf students at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Columbia, and also in Baltimore City.  She did sign language interpreting too, mostly for children.  She is an active Hadassah member. She was recently President of the Greater Baltimore Chapter and currently sits on the National Board where she is co-chair of the Society of Major Donors.  She was previously co-chair of the National Mission to Israel and has enjoyed visiting there many times. Her husband, David works for Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. Her daughter, Allison lives and works in DC as the communications director for a US Congressman from the East Bay of San Francisco.  Her son, Eric lives and works in New York City as an investment banker.

Recently a visitor from Indonesia asked Aileen why our shop was selling a handcrafted box in the shape of a pyramid. The customer had no idea that Jews had any connection with Egypt.  Aileen was delighted to share information regarding Judaism, the tie with Egypt, and teach this particular visitor about something that most visitors to the Museum take for granted.

The box in question.

The box in question.

Aileen likes that her volunteer position is easy and not stressful, like many other facets of life can be. She does however wish that there were more customers in the shop and reminds us that one of the benefits of JMM membership is a 10% discount on all merchandise.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. The first Monday(ish) of every month she will be highlighting one of our fantastic JMM volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with the JMM, drop her an email at icohen@jewishmuseummd.org or call 410-732-6402 x217! You can also get more information about volunteering at the Museum here.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




A Volunteer Abroad

Posted on June 10th, 2015 by

My husband Bob just checked off one of the items on his bucket list – a trip to Morocco, a country in the northwest corner of Africa.  Lucky me went with him.  We had a fantastic time in Morocco seeing the various terrains from the fertile coastal plains, to the snow-capped mountains to the dunes of the Sahara.  And the people we met were just as varied from college educated professionals to those with no formal education; western dressed to totally covered by jallaba and scarf; living in spacious multi-floor homes to a tent in the desert.  And almost everywhere we went, we heard about the Jews who used to live there.

Wendy and Bob in Rabat, looking over at Sale.

Wendy and Bob in Rabat, looking over at Sale.

In every corner of Morocco, we heard about the Jews that moved there with the Muslims after expulsion from Spain in1492.  But, we also learned that the majority of Jews left the country between the 1950s and 1970s.   The various local guides we had all commented that the Jews wanted to move to Israel and that the Jews have always been welcome in Morocco.  But, the ultimate truth is that the non–African Arab states were putting considerable pressure on the African countries to ostracize their Jews. In spite of the pressure, we were told that there has always been a Jewish advisor to the king, even today; and, it is very common for those that have moved away to return with their children for visits and to check on their property that is rented to others.  We saw remnants of their lives sold in shops – yads, menorahs, mezuzahs, carved doors, traditional wedding rings, tefillin, jewelry, books, sections of Torah…. I found the sale of these objects and the fact that the Jews felt a need to leave an area that had been their home for hundreds of years very disturbing.

Wendy introduces herself to her ride.

Wendy introduces herself to her ride.

As we walked through the old Jewish quarters in the medinas (the walled cities) called mellahs we noticed streets with Jewish names.  We noticed telltale scars of long gone mezuzahs on doorposts and the occasional plaque marking the location of a closed synagogue.  Most of the remaining Moroccan Jews, just like the Baltimorean Jews, have moved out of the old cities into the newer sections of town.  In the old mellah in Marrakesh, we did find an active synagogue that was established in 1492 according to the plaque on the wall.  Unlike Baltimore’s B’nai Israel, there isn’t a renewal of younger congregants to replace those that are mostly elderly and are dying off.

Lazama Synagogue Mellah Marrakech

Lazama Synagogue Mellah Marrakech

Contrary to what I heard before our trip, my husband and I felt comfortable traveling openly as Jews.  It was obvious by the new Judaica (mezuzahs, hanukiahs, kiddish cups) for sale in shops and the way we were treated by the local retail salesmen and others with whom we engaged in conversation, that Jewish tourists are welcome.

Wendy DavisA blog post by volunteer Wendy Davis, JMM Docent. To read more posts by and about JMM volunteers click HERE.

 

 

 

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Next Page »