Once Upon a Time…03.08.2013

Posted on May 21st, 2013 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 Jobi Zink, Senior Collections Manager and Registrar at 410.732.6400 x226 or jzink@jewishmuseummd.org.

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times:  March 8, 20131993173062

PastPerfect Accession #:  1993.173.062

Status:  Unidentified! Do you know these young men at Camp Moshava, a Labor Zionist Camp?




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MS 76 Baltimore Zionist Federation Records

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by

The following collection is made up entirely of archives – no objects and no photographs.  The images that you will see in this post represent some of the organizations that fell under the Baltimore Zionist Federation, but here at the JMM the activities of the BZF can only be found in the written word.  The written word is, of course, very important, but it can only give us a partial understanding of a person or an organization, just has having a lone photograph can tell us some but not all of the story.  Having written documents, photographs and objects supporting each other can be extremely important in order to understand the past.  It’s also more visually interesting.  I’m an archivist so I love letters and diaries and meeting minutes, but I like putting faces to the names I read, or seeing the object they discuss.  Think about that as you go about your day-to-day life at home and at work – how much are you documenting and in what way?

Tzedakah box issued by Hadassah, 1993. 1993.92.2

Baltimore Zionist Federation

Records, n.d, 1972-1978

MS 76

       The Jewish Museum of Maryland


The Baltimore Zionist Federation Records were donated to the Jewish Museum of Maryland by Mrs. Sylvia Goldman in 1985 as accession 1985.73. The collection was processed in July 2001 by Alisa Rose.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Tzedekah box for the Jewish National Fund. 2000.54.4


The American Zionist Federation was established in 1970 as an “umbrella” organization to unite all American Zionist organizations.  It sponsors and promotes Zionist and Israel-related youth activities, educational programs, and public and communal affairs. The Baltimore branch of the American Zionist Federation, the Baltimore Zionist Federation, was established in 1971 to serve as the “umbrella” organization for many local organizations including Hadassah, the Baltimore District of the Zionist Organization of America, Mizrachi Men, Mizrachi Women, the American Labor Zionist Alliance Pioneer Women, and the Jewish National Fund.  The Baltimore Zionist Federation has implemented many ongoing projects such as Aliyah Conferences, Ulpanim, publications of Zionist interest, and scholar-in- residence programs.  In addition, they offer scholarships to Jewish students for travel and study in Israel.

Possible Baltimore Zionist District gathering. 1996.68.24.


The Baltimore Zionist Federation Records include correspondence with community leaders, local congregations, government officials, and scholarship applicants, newspaper clippings, articles relating toIsrael, and information relating to Baltimore Zionist Federation fundraisers and events. Folders titled “Baltimore Jewish Council” contain minutes from Baltimore Jewish Council Board Meetings which were attended by representatives from several local organizations including Baltimore Zionist Federation representatives.  Collection also includes a petition that was sent to the Maryland Congressional Delegation requesting that they support H.R. 12203, the Foreign Assistance Contingency Resolution, which was intended to provide funds toIsrael. Folders are arranged alphabetically by folder title.


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MS 37 Rabbi Benjamin Szold Papers

Posted on December 29th, 2011 by

Over the fifty years that the Jewish Museum of Maryland has been in existence we have received a large number of materials related to Benjamin Szold and his descendents, which have been organized into three manuscript collections.  Two of those collections (MS 37 and MS 38 the Henrietta Szold and Bertha Szold Levin Papers) are completely processed with finding aids and a third (MS 17 the Levin Family Papers) is having new materials added to it, and should be complete within a few weeks.  The Szold family is pretty amazing – their activities had an impact, not only onBaltimoreJewish history, but on world Jewish history.  My favorite part of these collections is the amazing number of letters.  Each collection is full of letters written between siblings, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and friends and acquaintances.

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Cantor Alois Kaiser (left) and Rabbi Benjamin Szold (right), taken at the Oheb Shalom Synagogue in 1868. 1989.79.74

Rabbi Benjamin Szold (1829-1902)

Papers, n.d., 1846-1940

 MS 37

Jewish Museum of Maryland


The Rabbi Benjamin Szold Papers were donated to the museum as accession 2004.076. The collection was reprocessed by Rebecca Levitan in the summer of 2007.

Access to the collection is partially restricted.  Photocopied materials in the collection either do not belong to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, or have uncertain title.  Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.  Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.

Parlor in the Szold house, c. 1899.


Benjamin Szold was born in Nemiskert, Hungaryon November 15, 1829.  He was the son of Chaile and Boruch Szold but was raised by his uncles after the deaths of his parents.  He moved to Pressburg, Hungary to study at the Yeshiva.  He later studied and worked in Vienna during the Revolution of 1848.  He also tutored students while living and studying in Breslau (now Poland).  On August 10, 1959 Benjamin married Sophia (Sophie) Schaar and the two moved to Baltimore, Maryland.

Sophie Szold. 1989.79.54

Szold came to the United States to take a job as Rabbi at Oheb Shalom Synagogue in Baltimore and rose to prominence in the coming years.  He unsuccessfully lobbied President Abraham Lincoln to commute the execution order of a Jewish soldier during the American Civil War.  He also served with the Baltimore Association for the Education and Moral Improvement of the Colored People at the war’s end.

Oheb Shalom on Hanover Street after the rebuilding, n.d. 1985.114.1

Rabbi Szold modernized the practices of his congregation.  He eventually delivered sermons in English rather than German, he eliminated the requirement for head coverings in the synagogue, and he introduced family pews.  Szold’s writings also brought fame to his tenure.  His interpretation of The Book of Job, published in 1886, was studied throughout the United States and Europe.

Temple Oheb Shalom on Eutaw Place, n.d. 1992.242.6.53

Benjamin and Sophie had five daughters.  Henrietta was born on December 21, 1860 (died 1945), followed by Estella and Rebecca who died in infancy, Rachel born in November of 1865 (died 1926), Sara/Sadie on February 14, 1868 (died 1893), Johanna born in 1871 (died 1875), Bertha born in 1873 (died 1958), and Adele born in 1876 (died 1940).  Henrietta Szold, his first daughter, later achieved fame as a prominent Zionist and founder of the Youth Aliyah & Hadassah movements.  Rabbi Benjamin Szold died in Berkeley Springs,WV on July 31, 1902.

Szold Family composite photograph. 1989.79.76


The Rabbi Benjamin Szold Papers consists of five series: Series I. Correspondence, Series II. Sermons & Speeches, Series III. Newspaper Clippings, Series IV. Sophie Szold Papers, and Series V. Miscellaneous Articles.  Some of the papers in the collection are photocopies of documents belonging to other institutions.  Series I. Correspondence are between Rabbi Szold and other theologians, as well as his family. The letters are in various languages. He wrote in Hungarian, German, Yiddish and English. Series II. Sermons & Speeches are from throughout Rabbi Szold’s career in Europe and the United States. Series III. Newspaper Clippings are from both the United States and Europe. The Clippings are printed in a variety of languages. Series IV. Sophie Szold Papers include letters, the majority of which were written by her daughter Bertha Szold during her time at Bryn Mawr College to Sophie and the rest of the family.  Other letters include siblings and in-laws writing to Sophie and Ben from Germany, and a few letters written by Sophie to various people. The folder titles reflect descriptions of the majority of the correspondence within although individual letters from other family and friends might be included.  The collection includes other materials related to Sophie’s life and estate.  Although the letters are separated by year they are not organized chronologically within the folders.  Some of the letters written in German have been translated or synopsized. Series V: Miscellaneous Articles consists of articles related to Zionism, etc., but mostly from after the death of Benjamin Szold.

Benjamin Szold, c.1899. 1992.242.6.54a


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