Ask our Docents: A Blog Series Part VII

This year, JMM has delivered and co-hosted 92 public programs! Programs ranged from The Many Lives of Lloyd Street: A Synagogue Celebrates 175 Years with WYPR’s Sheilah Kast to Head in Stars – an evening of Stoop Storytelling to Recalling Jewish Calcutta with Jael Silliman. Great programs lead to great conversations and for this month’s Ask Our Docents blog post, we asked JMM volunteers what their favorite program highlights were for the past year.

Paige Woodhouse, Project Manager

(PS. Are you curious about other past programs? Try exploring our Recorded Events page!)


Docents Karen and Steve shared their favorite series:

Our favorite programs were the series, “Jewish Museums across the Seas,” Australia, South Africa, Baltimore, and London. We loved the series so much that we got up at something like 4 AM to watch one that we had to miss at the regular time! They were very interesting & informative and made us feel a little like we were able to travel! We also really enjoyed [Volunteer Coordinator] Wendy’s program on the “Historic Mikva’ot of the Lloyd St. Synagogue.

Archival Volunteer Judy shared her top 4 picks for the year:

1. My very favorite was the Jewish Museums Across the Seas. We saw JMs in London, Australia and South Africa in addition to our JMM. The curators who spoke were so interesting and well-prepared. It was a pleasure listening to them and learning in depth about the Jewish communities they serve and the countries they represent and the items and artifacts they chose to show us. This was a five star program.

2. The second favorite program was Astrology and Jewish Cultural History.  I have always been interested in ancient/medieval links between Jews and astrology and the great impact it has had on many of our traditions and on our early illustrated and written manuscripts and artifacts.

3. Then there were 3 programs I saw about Jews in Space: Virtual Tour, Jews in Space and How to be Jewish in Space. They were all very informative and done very well. I learned a lot I had not known before.

4. The annual meeting where we were introduced to Sol Davis was also a highlight. His presentation on Building a Participatory Museum was fascinating and it will be interesting to see how that is introduced and implemented at JMM.


We love hearing comments about what programs resonated with participants. Here is just a sample of comments we have heard this year from members of our community:

“Thank you so much for having this event. Our 3 year old Miriam LOVED it, and we learned about a few books that are not on our shelf already.” – Public Program Participant, “Drag Queen Story Hour”

Terrific event! Enjoyed the collaboration in our breakout group. It was great to “be a curator” as well as to listen about what a curator does and how the “newly opened box” is explored and assessed. – Public Program Participant, “Curating Stories”

This was a very interesting presentation and touched upon an area of Jewish immigration that really educated me. Thank you. – Public Program Participant, “Return to Jewish Cuba with Ruth Behar”

“The topics and speakers were all excellent and very informative and thought provoking. I learned a great deal of valuable information and have been inspired to look at what I need to change about myself and my community.” – Public Program Participant, “Jews of Color, Jewish Institutions, and Jewish Community in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter series”

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