Discover the Lloyd Street Synagogue
While the museum is closed the JMM team is coming together to bring some of our favorite activities from our recent family programs direct to your homes. Each collection of materials will be inspired by either one of our exhibits, Jewish History, or a Jewish holiday.
All of the activities we share will be designed for families to complete together and only require supplies you are likely to already have in your home. The activities we offer will be varied from crafts, activities, games, scavenger hunts, and online story times. You can check out previous activity packs here!
~The JMM Programs Team
Did you know that May is Jewish American Heritage month?
This month we’re using our weekly family activity packets to highlight different aspects of Jewish American history, inspired by our collections. This week’s activity packets focus on our historic Lloyd Street Synagogue.
It was originally built for Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, serving new Jewish immigrants from central Europe as they tried to establish themselves in the US. A little later it served a brief time as St. John the Baptist Lithuanian Catholic Church, again welcoming new immigrants but as a Catholic church.
With the activities below you will learn more about the history of the Lloyd Street Synagogue, and synagogues in general. You might want to start with this glossary, which will help you understand some of the terms and vocabulary used throughout these activities.
Take a Virtual Tour
You definitely want to start with this tour before heading on to the other activities, as it will help connect each activity to the history of the Synagogue.
Stained Glass Windows
One of the most iconic parts of the Synagogue is the beautiful stained-glass window showing a Star of David. You can use just a few simple supplies to create your own stained-glass windows!
6 Popsicle sticks, you could also use strips of cardboard
Colorful tissue paper
Needle and thread
Optional – A hot glue gun, for adult use only
Building Your Own Synagogue
Building your own synagogue model is a great chance to think about the key elements we see on most synagogues while also using your imagination to make some unique architecture. We had a lot of fun with this activity a few years ago, and think you will too.
Recycled materials such as boxes, containers and magazines
Craft supplies such as paper, scissors, glue and markers
Optional printed decor
Blocks, Legos, or other building materials
Digging Up History
A great way to learn about the history of old buildings is through archaeology. Archaeology is the process of carefully digging into the earth to gather evidence that helps us to better understand a place or building. When the Lloyd Street Synagogue was being renovated and repaired, we found many items in the ground that helped tell us the story of the Synagogue and the people who lived in the neighborhood.
In this activity you will create your own archaeological dig! While the instructions here are based on how we share this activity on-site at the Museum, you can also go bigger and expand your dig into a sandbox or even your whole backyard (be sure to check where it is safe to dig and that you are destroying anything planted in your yard).
Foil pan, at least 10” x 12”
Soil or sand, if you have both even better
Small objects you are willing to bury
Paint brush or small excavating tools
You might also like this short video tour of both our historic synagogue buildings, the Lloyd Street Synagogue and B’nai Israel.
Or check out this blog post from Lauren Mitchell, who wrote about the Lloyd Street Synagogue and historic preservation as a high school senior: Preservation in My Community.