Posted on March 24th, 2017 by Rachel
On March 23, the JMM was thrilled to host a group of 85 young adults who participated in a program sponsored by IMPACT, the young adult division of the Associated and the Baltimore Jewish Council’s Holocaust Remembrance Commission.
Starting the evening with casual schmoozing
The evening included opportunities for networking and schmoozing with food and drink. I was invited to give remarks about our new exhibit Remembering Auschwitz: History, Holocaust, Humanity as well as to lead tours. When asked how many people had previously visited the JMM, it was clear that the majority had not and I enjoyed having the opportunity to welcome the group and to hopefully pique their interest in staying connected with us.
After a few brief remarks about how the exhibit came together and our institutional goals for having it on view, I led a small group through the gallery while many others opted to view the exhibit on their own.
Viewing “Architecture of Murder”
Viewing “A Town Known as Auschwitz”
It was rewarding to hear such positive feedback from visitors who expressed their surprise at learning new insights into Holocaust history such as the fact that Oswiecim (the town that became known as Auschwitz) once served as home to a vibrant Jewish community. As always, I enjoy hearing from people about their personal connections to the stories on display. One woman in the group told me that her grandmother actually grew up in the town and she was incredibly moved to see photographs featuring the diversity of Jewish life from the 20th century.
Local high schooler Andrew Altman created this model of Auschwitz-Birkenau in honor of his grandfather.
Several program attendees had previously visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and when we stopped at the model by high school student Andrew Altman, they shared their experiences of what it was like to visit.
Viewing the “Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project”
The final stop at the plaques that are part of the Holocaust Memory Reconstruction Project, served as another place for reflection as participants spent time reading the stories, commenting on the collages and sharing their connections to individuals whose stories are on display.
Small group conversations
Following the tour, the group gathered in small groups in our lobby to hear from the grandchildren of survivors who shared their stories of survival. This format fostered conversation among participants and helped to continue the discussions that were begun in the gallery.
What a pleasure it was to work with our partners at the Associated and Baltimore Jewish Council to organize such a thoughtful program. We continue to be delighted by just how much Remembering Auschwitz resonates with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and look forward to hosting many more groups and programs. The exhibit remains on display through May 29.
A blog post by Deputy Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.
Posted on December 7th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Program Manager Rachel Cylus. Photos by Will Kirk.
“If you’ve got latkes, sour cream and applesauce, of course it’s gonna be great!” – Esther Weiner
These are the words I overheard Esther use to describe the success of last night’s Esther Fest program. But, of course all of us present know what made Esther Fest the place to be last night… our very own Esther Weiner, gift shop manager, latke chef extraordinaire and all around amazing person. Billed as “the most hilarious human on earth,” Esther, whose repertoire of jokes included classics about the Catskills and Borscht Belt as well as anecdotes from her own life, never disappoints. Even her husband, Morty, told a joke! It was certainly a family affair – Esther had the whole room smiling and laughing as she and her granddaughters fried up delicious latkes in honor of Chanukah.
This year as part of a fun twist, Esther invited audience participation, giving prizes to the Brews & Schmooze young adult audience members who shared Chanukah memories or could recount the facts of the epic battle commemorated during the holiday. Prizes included dreidels, chocolate gelt, and a car mezuzah. Car mezuzahs (available for purchase in the JMM gift shop) are just like the traditional mezuzahs affixed to doorposts, except they contain the traveler’s prayer and can be anchored to the inside of a car. And, as Esther informed us, they have saved her from many a close call. The grand prize winner was Jennie Gates Beckman for her rendition of the song, “I am a Latke.”
If you missed the program, you can catch a recording of Esther making latkes with WYPR’s Aaron Hankin tonight at 7:40pm and tomorrow, December 8th at 1:40pm. As promised last night, below you will find the recipe for Esther’s famous latkes:
4 medium potatoes, peeled, slice 1 potato in quarters lengthwise, cut 3 in cubes for your processor, keep in cold water
1 medium sweet onion – cut up
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sugar (if potatoes taste slightly bitter)
3 tblsp flour
Vegetable oil for frying
Grate one potato with the grater blade in food processor, put in bowl, put the cubed potatoes in processor and whirl with cutting blade until just chopped, not too fine. Repeat until all the potatoes are grated. If watery, place potatoes in strainer and then in your mixing bowl.
Put eggs and onion in blender; whirl to combine, do not leave pieces of onion intact. Add to that potatoes in the bowl.
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, baking soda and flour to thicken the batter slightly.
Heat oil in large skillet (or two smaller ones) until a drop of water tells you that oil is hot enough, it will bounce around the oil. Drop and drag one tblsp potato mixture for each pancake. The “dragging” with your spoon will leave little “strings” of potato to crisp and make the latkes a little thinner.
Fry crisp and golden brown on all sides.
Wishing you a happy Chanukah from everyone here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!
Posted on October 15th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik.
Sukkot may have been over for the rest of the world last Thursday night, but at the JMM, it was still in full swing! As part of our Brooze & Schmooze event series for young adults, we held the second of what I hope will be many more Iron Chef competitions. The first Iron Chef competition here was held during Passover and featured horseradish as the secret ingredient; this time around, our secret ingredient was whatever seasonal produce Kayam Farms had on hand, which I thought fit nicely with the Sukkot, the harvest festival, theme.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the food channel competition show “Iron Chef,” a little explanation is in order. The original series involves two teams, each headed by a celebrity chef, who compete for the ultimate title of “Iron Chef” by cooking a three course meal in one hour that utilizes, in each course, a surprise ingredient that is only revealed at the last minute.
In our version, we had four teams: Team “BIYA” (B’nai Israel Young Adult); Team “Kayam” (they swear they didn’t know the secret ingredient beforehand!); Team “Honey Jew Jew”; and, the defending champions from Iron Chef: Passover, Team “The Still Very Last Minute Goyim.” We provided all of them with all the equipment and food materials they were allowed to use (which included a very heavy pumpkin), and we required that they cook only two dishes–one savory, one sweet–with the secret ingredient.
One minute before their time began, Elena announced the secret ingredient of the night: Winter Greens! (Collard green, kale, mustard greens, etc.) And the race was on!
All four teams came up with some very creative dishes–though a couple of them were more creative than tasty. These dishes ran the gamut of mustard greens falafel (one of my personal favorites from the night); a mixed vegetables salad served on large kale leaves; and sweet “dolma” made with nuts, date syrup, and wrapped in collard leaves.
By the time our three judges were ready to make their rounds to all the teams’ tables, there was a lot of built up suspense, anticipation, and hunger! The teams were judged according to creativity, aesthetics, and, of course, taste. Once the judges had each had their tastes, all of the spectators were allowed to try the dishes as well.
In the end, though it was a close call, Team “Kayam” won first place, with Team “The Still Very Last Minute Goyim” in second; Team “Honey Jew Jew” in third, and Team “BIYA” in fourth.
We all had a great time putting on this event, and it looked like our participants had as much fun as we did!