Exploring History at Home Part III

JMM Volunteers Share Stories

JMM is fortunate to have a community of dedicated volunteers who share their talents, time, and stories with us – both at the museum and virtually.                                                                                 

As powerful storytellers, JMM’s volunteers continue to welcome us into their homes and share stories of some of their most meaningful objects. A special thanks to Karen, Maxine, and Joyce for this post’s entries. I hope the stories below encourage you to explore the objects in your home and the stories that they can tell.  

In case you missed them, you can enjoy past Exploring History at Home blog posts from our volunteers in Part I and Part II.

-Paige Woodhouse, Project Manager

To read more posts from Paige, click here!


Treasured Candlesticks

I treasure these candlesticks because they were my grandmother’s. After my grandmother passed away, my aunt asked if I would like to have them. My mother died young and my grandmother (who lived to be 96) played a large part in my life. I was really touched as I was in my 40’s and unmarried. My aunt must have thought that my cousins (who were married) must already have had candlesticks. Although I have no idea of their origin, I like to think that my great-grandmother brought them with her when they arrived from Palanga, Lithuania, in 1906. They appear to be hand made . . . We light them every Friday night and I know that this would make my grandmother very happy.

~ Karen Rubin


A Shadow Box Gift

I attended a performance of Ida Rehr at my organization’s meeting. She got me thinking. I knew my father had the tailoring sheers my grandfather, Max Snyder, brought from Russia.  I knew there was only one good picture of my grandfather.  I was sure the sheers were important To my dad but I got the courage to ask for them. After all I was named for my grandfather. He passed away shortly before my parents were married so I never knew him.

Well I asked, of course dad wanted to know why I wanted the sheers so I explained I was making a shadow box for them. Agreeing Dad reached into his desk and handed me the only remaining business card of his father’s tailoring business.

I took my three items to a reliable framer and he made this box for me.

I presented it to my father as a gift. My dad sat and cried. I never saw him cry over an object.

This sat in my parents den where they could always look at it. Upon my mother’s death I took the box back. After all it was my namesake’s. I now have it on the wall of my den where I can also look at it. I’m always reminded of where we came from.

~ Maxine Gordon


Schuchman Family Photo

This is a photo of my mother’s family, Schuchman, circa 1929. I suspect that beside it having been quite fashionable to have such formal family photos taken, the main reason was to have a picture to send to family that remained in Europe (specifically Mylnov, Poland). Photos were sent back and forth until the Holocaust, many in postcard format. I am fortunate to be heir to their album.

From left to right are my mother Rose , Samuel, Bubby Jessie (for whom I am named), Zaidy Joseph, Ida, and Anna.

Joseph came to America in 1911, worked in the garment sweatshops until he could send for the family in 1921. They lived on S. Charles St., then moved to Pimlico Rd. at Loyola Northway in the mid-twenties. They operated a corner grocery/deli there until the mid-sixties. I have so many wonderful memories of my mother’s family, and just looking at this photo piques my imagination about the lives they lived when they were young and beautiful!

~ Joyce Jandorf, Volunteer


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jewish museum of maryland Volunteers

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