An Update from Esther’s Place

A blog post by Chris Sniezek, Manager (Esther’s Place).  To read more posts from Chris, click here.

Hello everyone, Shop Manager Chris here again for today’s blogpost. As you have heard, the Jews in Space exhibit has opened and we are happy to announce that those who have visited it are reporting a visually stunning and crisp new exhibit backed by plenty of insightful and provocative information.

The exhibit features many different Jewish individuals who traveled to space, memorials of those who sadly perished, and explores the cultural iconography of Jewish themes in film and sci-fi. Thank you to everyone for the patience when the exhibit was opening and we hope you check this out! I had the chance to explore some of the information (I always take a second to read a little bit more as we clean all the touchpoints) and I am learning a lot.

From the shop standpoint, we have the introduction of some new space-themed gifts for yourself or others including a 1000 piece puzzle, a couple books of space, glow in the dark galaxy toys, hand painted spaceship menorahs, etc. which you can find online in the new “Jews in Space Exhibit” category or pick up when you visit.

The main shop is still closed due to the inability to maintain safe distance between other visitors, but the pop-up shop in the lobby is open for business. The shop is also taking short visits for those looking for a specific item. For this, just email me ( or give the museum a call and let me know which items you would like to peruse. We can set up a meeting time and I will pull out all the items you want to explore. The shop is also still fulfilling curbside pickup for those who feel uncomfortable with entering the physical museum.

Now that I’ve talked a little bit about the shop and all we offer, I’m going to switch gears and talk about something that is probably a little more relatable. Outside the museum, my life has been pretty much how I expect most of yours have been going. I’m still staying inside as much as possible though with Maryland and the surrounding states relaxing some of the physical distancing guidelines, I’ve emerged from the long slumber to poke my head outside and get some fresh air. Fall and winter are easily my favorite seasons, the crisp chill of the wind as it blows through the trees, the light smell of decaying leaves mixing with the smells of apple cider and pumpkin stew, always warms my soul. I look forward to pumpkin picking and apple harvesting as those activities are outside and take place away from people physically. I often find myself daydreaming about walks in the forest behind my parent’s house in Frederick looking up at the colorful leafs and trying not to trip on any roots. While the fall colors have not started coming out yet, I expect they will within the next week or two.

My favorite fall meal is probably pumpkin beef stew. Image via.

I carve out the inside if the pumpkin and prepare carrots, onion, beef tidbits, garlic, clove, leek, potatoes, and corn. I then lightly sear the filler ingredients in the pan and fill up with pumpkin with broth. Add a light coating of flour to the mixture of veggies and meat before adding these into the pumpkin. Then, I plop the pumpkin into the oven and cook until the pumpkin is a dark orange color, almost rust colored, instead of bright orange. My preferred method of cooking is placing the pumpkin among some coals, but if a fire is unavailable the oven is the way to go.

What is your favorite fall meal?


Esther's Place jewish museum of maryland

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