Become an Upstander!

Volunteer Opportunities
in partnership with
Jewish Volunteer Connection

Introducing: Laura Grant!

Posted on September 26th, 2019 by

Hello, I’m Laura, the new program assistant at the JMM.

I’ve spent my first few weeks on the job getting to know the museum and helping with public programs. It’s been great to see such a variety of programs already. From a lecture about American Jewish fashion by Jenna Joselit to a latke showdown with chefs from Eddie’s, I’m learning about new topics along with our audience. I’m looking forward to helping plan and execute programs for our upcoming exhibit, Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling and Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit.

Learning all about AV Equipment-Testing 1,2,3

Prior to joining the JMM, I was at the George Washington University getting my Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education. While in D.C., I worked at the National Building Museum and the Ford’s Theatre Society. I loved getting to study and live in such a museum rich city. I also previously worked at an art gallery, developing educational and marketing materials, in my hometown of Orlando, Florida.

Trying out some recycled craft ideas in prep for Scrap Yard.

I’m not only new to JMM but also to Baltimore. I’ve spent the past few weeks exploring the city’s museums and various neighborhoods. I can’t wait to learn more about the city and its history. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of you at programs, and I look forward to continuing to do so.


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Meet Talia Makowsky!

Posted on March 18th, 2019 by

This post was written by JMM Visitor Services Coordinator Talia Makowsky!

As I settle into greeting visitors, scheduling groups, and listening to chickens cluck from the Lombard Street exhibit, I’m learning more about the Jewish community in Baltimore and about the community involved with The Jewish Museum itself. It’s exciting to be a part of a new family of dedicated staff, volunteers, members, and visitors who all have their own connections to the stories of the Museum. I hope to encourage these moments of connection, as I learn the role of Visitor Services Coordinator. (But don’t worry! Paige Woodhouse will still be around to help. She is transitioning to the role of School Program Coordinator).

My work experience in the past has been driven by my own commitment to community and education. As I was growing up, my mother was a Jewish educator and I assisted at the religious schools she ran, eventually becoming a classroom teacher  Whenever I had the chance to create my own lesson plans, I always dived head-first into story-based activities, wanting to find creative ways to connect the students with their heritage and culture.

I love getting to know our volunteers, especially front desk volunteers like Betsy Kahn!

As I got older my interest in the complex nature of culture and identity grew stronger, and I looked for work and education in diverse places. I ended up in Baltimore because I went to school at Goucher College and I fell in love with this quirky, complicated city. I knew that my passion for community building and education could serve Baltimoreans well, and so I stayed in the area, eager to find work at an educational nonprofit.

I ended up joining as an AmeriCorps member at Reading Partners. Reading Partners is a literacy program that mobilizes volunteers to work one-on-one with Baltimore City elementary children on their reading skills. I gained a tremendous amount of patience and compassion through this position. It also solidified my love for community service and my dedication to the Baltimore community.

One thing was missing though- my personal connection to my Jewish identity. I hadn’t explored much of Baltimore’s Jewish community when I first arrived in the area, but had been wanting to find out more about this city that I call home. That’s how I ended up here, at the museum. I knew as soon as I started exploring the website, that this was a place that combined my desire for community service, my love of education, and my connections to my culture that I want to learn more about.

I’ll be at the front desk, ready to answer any of your questions!

I hope that you can all help me to learn more about the Jewish Baltimore community as well as my new role. Keep sharing your stories, questions, and especially your patience as I step into the position. I’ll be at the front desk to help you with anything!

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JMM Welcomes a DC Transplant: Meet Tracey Dorfmann!

Posted on February 15th, 2018 by

A blog post by JMM’s new Director of Development, Tracey E. Dorfmann.

I am pleased to join the JMM team. The past few weeks have been filled with excitement, hard work and fun as I have learned more about the museum and been behind the scenes while we prepare for our exciting spring and summer ‘18 line up. I hope to see you at one of our upcoming exhibits: My Family Story, 3/11-3/25; Amending America: The Bill of Rights, 4/9-5/28; and Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdiniopening on 6/24.

Already hard at work!

As transplants from the Washington, DC metro area my husband and I love our new hometown of Baltimore! We are enjoying the distinctly different neighborhoods, scenic views and great eateries. This city and JMM are the perfect fit for me!  I have always been drawn to urban living and my passions are the arts, Jewish engagement, history, and ensuring a greener more sustainable future. Fortunately, throughout my professional life my avocations and vocations have always intersected. My guiding principles are passion, ownership and excellence.

In the early 2000s, a life transition steered me to employment at the Bender JCC in Rockville, Maryland.  I was at the happy crossroads of engaging participants in Jewish culture and community life. Initially coming on board as the Coordinator of Interfaith Outreach and Inclusion I rapidly rose through the ranks growing into the positions of Director of Arts and Education, Program Director and then Chief Program Officer.  As a member of the senior team I had the opportunity to be part of a stellar organization that engages thousands of people each year in Jewish life.

Beginning in 2016 I developed a consulting practice. During that time, I produced a variety of projects for synagogues, arts agencies, and a business incubator that focuses on green/sustainable start-ups. Once again, I chose to work with organizations whose missions I believed in and felt passionate about. My deep interests for community engagement, Jewish life, the arts, and a greener future, allowed me to guide hundreds of individuals to join, contribute, sponsor, and attend events and programs at organizations and institutions that were important to them.

Becoming the Director of Development for the Jewish Museum of Maryland is the logical next step for me. I look forward to meeting you and engaging many people through philanthropy. I am so happy to become part of the fabric of Baltimore and eager to share my skills and knowledge here at JMM.


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