Volunteer Spotlight On: Gloria Savadow, Front Desk!

Posted on December 8th, 2014 by

Gloria Savadow has been volunteering at the JMM for over 6 years.  She volunteers as a Front Desk Receptionist.  Visitors to the JMM might assume that all of our volunteers are Baltimore natives and while in the strictest sense of the word, Gloria is, she hasn’t always lived in town.

Gloria, hard at work!

Gloria, hard at work!

Although Gloria grew up in Baltimore she went to high school in Massachusetts.  She then attended college at the University of Denver and fell in love with the southwest and northwest portions of the United States.  She did however return to the Baltimore area after college since her family was here, and taught English to middle school students.  That only lasted for a short period of time as she then moved to Israel to teach English there too.  Upon the conclusion of that program, she returned to Baltimore for the duration.  First she worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the blind, and assisted her clients in finding jobs.  Upon completing her Master’s degrees in Counseling and Social Work, Gloria worked at Mergenthaler Vocational – Technical High School (Mervo) for 20 years.  She enjoyed tremendous freedom in her job there.  One favorite example is when she raised money to take the students to NYC to see a Broadway show; another was taking students to Virginia to tour colleges.

In her position as a Front Desk Receptionist, Gloria appreciates that she’s been able to add to her Jewish education.  She enjoys learning from the exhibits and many programs that the JMM offers.  Her favorite aspect of being at the Front Desk is talking with visitors and finding out what in particular they like about their visit to the JMM.  She likes hearing about their tours and visits in the exhibits.  She also appreciates being able to talk and learn with members of the JMM staff.

Besides the JMM, Gloria also volunteers at Center Stage and Everyman Theaters.  She has been an usher at both places for many years and enjoys doing so.  And her very favorite activity is hiking outdoors.  While she was working in schools, she had the opportunity to spend three to four weeks each summer in the US National Parks out west.  She still enjoys doing that when she gets the chance.
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.

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Volunteer Spotlight on: Wendy Davis!

Posted on November 10th, 2014 by

Our volunteer Wendy Davis feels that she’s had a connection to the Jewish Museum of Maryland since her father’s early involvement in the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland.  She often thought about becoming involved herself, and as she tapered off her hours as a Speech Language Pathologist with Baltimore schools, she finally found the chance.  Her love of history was influential in her decision and she became a Docent at the JMM in the summer of 2012.

Plaque in the JMM Board Room

Plaque in the JMM Board Room, naming Wendy’s father.

Wendy’s favorite part of being a JMM docent is engaging with the visitors and learning from them.  She especially likes talking with people who have personal memories of the area and incorporating those stories into her tours.  She fondly recalls one woman who said that as a young girl she attended services in B’nai Israel and vividly remembered that the ceiling was painted blue.  While leading a gentleman from India through the Voice of Lombard Street exhibit, he was excited to share his childhood memory of watching his mother sew on the same model Singer sewing machine that is displayed in the exhibit.

Wendy gives a tour of our "Synagogue Speaks" exhibit, located in the basement of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.

Wendy gives a tour of our “Synagogue Speaks” exhibit, located in the basement of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.

While away from the JMM Wendy loves to travel.  She is leaving on a trip to Thailand and Vietnam next week.  She likes going places that teach about different cultures and/or places with family connections.  She is a volunteer at Chizuk Amuno Congregation as a member of the gabbai team who coordinates aliyot during Shabbat and holiday services.  And, she has discovered that another benefit of retirement is that she has the time to cook new recipes and really enjoys it.  She finds new recipes online and on TV.  She’s willing to try new things but generally follows the recipe.  Her favorite cooking show is America’s Test Kitchen.

Thanks Wendy!

Thanks Wendy!

As Wendy continues as a docent at the JMM she looks forward to meeting more people from all over the world – China, India and Duluth, MN are just three places she remembers that visitors traveled from.  She says the stories she heard from each are just as exotic as the next.

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.

 

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JMM Volunteers Record 10,000th Birth!

Posted on October 22nd, 2014 by

The JMM library is always humming with activity. Each month researchers schedule appointments to meet with JMM staff and volunteers to explore our manuscript and photograph collections or to learn more about their family’s history. Sometimes, our education staff uses the library for archival exploration activities in which kids gather around tables to view authentic primary sources –newspaper articles, letters, photographs, scrapbooks and more – relating to such topics as synagogues in Maryland, immigration history, and African-American and Jewish relations. In addition to those who come to use our library for research purposes, on any given day of the week the library also plays host to JMM volunteers who perform invaluable tasks that help ensure our collections are accessible to researchers.

If you visit the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays you will see two dedicated JMM volunteers, Vera Kestenberg and Marty Buckman, typing away at one of our computers.

Marty & Vera

Marty & Vera

Each week they comb through volumes of The Jewish Times (the JMM owns copies of every edition, including the early ones that can be accessed through microfilm) searching for birth announcements.

Birth announcement in the pages of the JT - lucky number 10,000!

Birth announcement in the pages of the JT – lucky number 10,000!

They then careful transcribe each announcement into an excel spreadsheet creating a comprehensive database of birth records that has become a valuable genealogical resource.

Information included in the database includes the child’s first and last name, date of birth, names of both parents, place of birth (including hospital and city/state) as well as which edition of the JT contains the announcement. The database can be accessed from the JMM website along with many other resources such as burial listings at many local Jewish cemeteries.

I was thrilled to learn that after several years of work on this project, Vera and Marty recently crossed a major milestone as they added the 10,000th name to the database! Mazel Tov to both on this incredible accomplishment!

To learn more about Vera and Marty as well as many other talented and dedicated JMM volunteers, be sure to check our volunteer coordinator, Ilene Cohen’s monthly volunteer profile. 

deborahA blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

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