Once Upon a Time…05.29.2015

Posted on February 16th, 2016 by

The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Joanna Church at 410.732.6400 x236 or email jchurch@jewishmuseummd.org

 

2011029100Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  May 29th and June 12th, 2015

 

PastPerfect Accession #:  2011.029.100

 

Status:  Unidentified – do you recognize any of these 1972 Levindale junior volunteers? We think the young man in the center might be named Cory.

 

Special Thanks To: Barbara Scher

 

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Volunteer Spotlight on Barbara Ezratty!

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by

Barbara Ezratty has been volunteering at the JMM for over 11 years. She works in the Museum Shop.  She always enjoyed attending programs at the Museum and agreed to volunteer in the Shop when she was recruited by former Shop Manager, Esther Weiner.

Barbara in "Esther's Place."

Barbara in “Esther’s Place.”

Barbara grew up in Baltimore but moved to New York with her family following her junior year at Western High School.  She then moved to Puerto Rico when she married Harry Ezratty, and they lived there for 25 years.  Harry occasionally volunteers at the JMM too, as a speaker. He is currently teaching courses at CCBC in Owings Mills, one on Jewish Art and one on the Spanish Inquisition. The Ezrattys returned to Baltimore because they missed their family, who were all living in the United States. They made a list of all the places they’d like to live on the East Coast and Baltimore prevailed, with its long list of cultural events and activities; similar to New York City but on a much smaller and more affordable scale.

While in Puerto Rico, Barbara was a newspaper reporter. She concentrated on the Features section first, and then transferred to the Food section, which became a weekly.  After working at the newspaper for 12 years, she started a magazine, Tables Magazine: Puerto Rico’s Guide to Great Dining.  It began as a bi-annual publication, and then tapered to annually.  She wrote it for 15 years and a version of it is still found online.  Then Barbara became a book publisher. She got her start when publishing a synagogue cookbook, next she published a cookbook for a hotel, and then for a chef.  She has also published children’s books and books that Harry has written.  She penned an oral history of Puerto Rico and published it as a book, Puerto Rico, an Oral History 1898 – 2008.

Puerto Rico: An Oral History

Puerto Rico: An Oral History

When not busy working, Barbara likes to travel. She especially likes to visit her children and grandchildren; between she and Harry they have 6 children altogether.  She is also very fond of cruising. Her very favorite journey was a re-positioning voyage, from Barcelona to Puerto Rico, for 14 days. Her calendar stays very busy with family events – from B’nai mitzvot to family reunions, all over the country.

Barbara enjoys spending time at the Museum. Being in the Shop provides her the opportunity to meet people from over the world.  She particularly likes making connections with others and playing Jewish geography. It seems to her that many New Yorkers she meets grew up near Harry and went to his same schools.  She’s met people who live near her family in California and others who have mutual friends in Puerto Rico.  She still thinks it’s funny that when Baltimore natives ask what “school” she went to – that they are referring to high school, while when others ask that, they refer to college. She appreciates the social aspects of volunteering in the Museum Shop at the JMM. While Harry may think she comes mainly to do her own shopping, she is glad to assist others with theirs too. Just the other day, she received a lovely thank you note from a friend, who she sent a museum purchased gift to. Whether buying or selling, attending lectures, or special programs and events, Barbara enjoys spending her time at the JMM.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. 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: Ira Askin

Posted on January 11th, 2016 by

Ira in a rare moment of relaxation.

Ira in a rare moment of relaxation.

Ira Askin has been a volunteer at the Jewish Museum of Maryland since 1992.  He works in the library and is also a member of the Board of Directors, having served as President from 1996 – 1999.  He actually began working in the basement of the Museum, before the Goodwin Library and Robert L. Weinberg Family History Center was completed inn 1996.  He remembers the space having no windows. He began working on a large accumulation of printed materials that had never been processed, found in boxes marked “UP” for un-processed. Previously, they had been housed next to the furnace, in what was then Baltimore Hebrew College. He started with miscellaneous papers, identified the contents, and put them into folders. Once this was completed, Finding Aides would be prepared and the marking on the outside of the box would be changed to “PB” for processed box. Shortly after he began, he joined the Board of Directors and then became the President.  The construction of the Library had begun prior to his term but he had the fortunate timing of presiding over the dedication.  He still sits on the Board and attends meetings and voices his opinions.  He says, “With age comes privilege” and enjoys remaining involved with many aspects of the JMM.  Ira’s current volunteer job is maintaining the Vertical Files. These files contain papers of material interest to Jews in Maryland that are not quite important enough to become accessioned into the Museum Collections. It includes mostly newspaper articles that are divided among Subject, Biographical, and Synagogue files.  He clips the materials from newspapers and individuals in the community send in items also.

Ira volunteers in the community because he feels like he is a lucky person, that his life was blessed by being born into a comfortable family.  He grew up a member of a strong family unit, his brother was 8 years his senior and his sister was 5 years his junior. He felt that his parents were able to do their best for each child since their ages were spread so far apart. Ira had an excellent education in Baltimore public schools and attended Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.  After graduation, he was drafted and spent 3 years in the U.S. Army, 2 years stateside and 1 year overseas. He worked in the Finance Department during that time.  Upon his return to Baltimore he says he “fell into” his father’s wholesale business that sold hosiery and underwear.  The business closed in 1986.  Ira was married to his wife Myra for 68 years and one of their favorite activities was traveling, they especially loved cruises.

A very young Ira.

A very young Ira.

As a young adult, Ira participated in the Associated’s Young Leadership program and he has remained an active participant in the Jewish Community ever since.  He was an observer at the Board of Jewish Education, on the board of Jewish Family Services, a member of the Board of Directors and President at Beth El Congregation (his father-in-law was a founding member), and more.  He also volunteered as an unpaid staff member for the International Visitors Center in Baltimore for 2 years. It was an organization based out of Washington, DC.  He was responsible for arranging the international visitors agendas and accommodations while they visited Baltimore.

Ira likes to volunteer at the JMM because it keeps him busy and fulfills his need to give back to the community.  We appreciate all that he has contributed to the Museum for many, many years, to and what he will continue to accomplish in the future.

ilene cohenA blog post by Volunteer Coordinator Ilene Cohen. 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




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