Exploring History at Home Part IV
JMM Volunteers Share Stories
From sculptures to Seder plates to sewing boxes, every object has a story to tell. This month, JMM Volunteers shared objects that are tangible reminders of loved ones. I hope that these stories encourage you to reflect on the special people in your life and the memories that you share with them.
-Paige Woodhouse, Project Manager
To read more posts from Paige, click here!
Here is a photo of a sculpture carved by Louis Rosenthal. It is named, “Devil on Ice Skates.” The sculpture was presented to my grandfather, Isaac Potts, honoring his presidency of The Baltimore Board of Jewish Education from 1947 to 1951.
Rosenthal was known for creating miniature sculptures. Towson University has an extensive collection of his works. JMM also has a page documenting his history here.
– David Scher
This seder plate belonged to a smart, funny, kind friend of the family who died in upsetting circumstances. He joined the bustle of my family decades ago, participating in our mitzvahs and holidays. We feel his absence. Thankfully, his seder plate was available to me for this year’s video-conferenced seder. Because I spent every pre-pandemic Passover at my parents’, sister’s, or friend’s home, I never needed a seder plate of my own. This year, I was on my own. I appreciated having a tangible reminder of our friend, and the friends and family members who joined our online seder enjoyed seeing it be used.
My paternal grandmother, Anne Salganik, always seemed to be working on a knitting or crocheting project. Along with the sweaters and scarves that she made me, I inherited her many knitting needles and crochet hooks. What I don’t remember seeing her use were threaded needles, but yet, one of my cherished possessions from my grandmother, is her wooden sewing box. I display it on a table in my hallway. The wood is scratched, all but one door hinge broken. It looks heavily used, but yet the objects in it, don’t support that statement. In it are a few cardboard spools of white thread, a pin cushion with just a few straight pins buried in it, an almost complete pack of sewing needles in a “Food Fair” grocery store pack, a few skeins of embroidery floss, a used dress zipper, a partially used packet of purple hem tape, a cuff taken from a dress… All evidence that the items were used to mend, not to create fashions as her father, David Adler, a tailor of fine women’s clothing did. I wonder if the box was always hers, or did she inherit it? Or did it just age with her – she lived into her mid-nineties. I wish I had thought to ask her.