JMM Insights: An Invitation Backstage

On Monday I entered the Museum for the first time since March 17th. The experience reminded me of Prince Phillip entering Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Everything, including the mess on my desk, seemed frozen in time.

Although every room was silent, I remembered the echoes of the hundreds of students and their families who attended the opening reception of the My Family Story project, the rapturous applause at a public program, the laughter of volunteers gathered in the lunchroom . . . I am confident that all these sounds and more will be heard again here. But now is a time for patience.

While we wait, I’m inviting you behind the scenes of JMM.

Usually, our job is to make each exhibit seem effortless, appearing in the gallery as if by magic. Like Harry Houdini we try to make the impossible seem simple. Unlike Houdini, however, who never revealed his secrets, JMM is willing to show you the tricks of the trade.



We invite our membership to vote on the FY2021 Board of Trustees Officers and Nominees. This year’s voting will take place through an online ballot. Voting will close at 11:59pm on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Questions? Contact Tracey Dorfmann at



In this edition of JMM Insights, we invite you to take a peek behind the curtain in a few different ways:

What does it take to create an exhibit? In this special live stream event we’re partnering with the Jewish Museum Milwaukee to give you a behind-the-scenes, expert look at all the parts of creating a museum exhibit that happen before the doors open.

Join us for Backstage: The Making of Exhibits on June 18th!

Hungry for more insider info on exhibits at JMM? Here’s a few of our favorite blog posts:

Creating an Exhibit Logo

Working with Fragile Objects

Getting Ready for Travel

Installing the Exhibits:

Passages Through the Fire

Cinema Judaica (plus some last minute Finishing Touches)

The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen

America’s first superstar, Harry Houdini, is a figure shrouded in myth and legend. As we like to say, Houdini wasn’t born – he was invented.

On June 25th, we invite you to join David London, magician, performer, and curator of Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini, for a special live stream performance of our Harry Houdini Living History Character. From humble beginnings to a global sensation, follow along as Jewish immigrant Erik Weisz creates the man known as Houdini.

And for the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience: become part of an exhibit!

As our JMM family already knows, we’re committed to collecting, preserving, and sharing stories from our communities in all our exhibits, programs, and digital endeavors. From your COVID-19 experiences to your wedding stories to your opinions, we’re always hoping you’ll share with us.

Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit is no different! Inspired by the Personal Preference Kits packed by astronauts traveling to the International Space Station, we are inviting all kids (and their favorite adults) to ponder traveling to space. 

Using this downloadable template, work with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, and friends to create a unique artwork by drawing, painting, taking photos, or creating a collage to creatively respond to the question: “What would you bring with you to space?”  Send us their contribution to be featured in the Jews and Space exhibit!

For inspiration, here’s a few fantastic entries we’ve already received!

Left: Tucker, Age 7 – Tucker wanted to bring things from his bedroom that would make him feel comfortable. He chose his blanket and pillow, stuffed dog, Spiderman alarm clock, and slippers. With the help of his mom, Tucker took a photo with his items. He cut and glued shapes to make the sky for his rocket ship.

Center: Aliceanna, Age 4 – Aliceanna chose to bring her favorite noodles, swirly noodles; a beautiful dancing dress because she likes to be fancy; and a glue stick. She also packed her best friend Monsieur Croc and the bear, Aloysius, “to keep Monsieur Croc company.” She (with a little help from her mom) used glue, construction paper, and crayons.

Right: Azreal, Age 10 – “I would want to bring my blanket and my stuffed animal to keep me comfortable. I would bring my camera, diary, and music player.” Azreal used lot of materials in creating her packing list. She used markers, glitter, yarn, paint, and pencil.

And, just for fun, we think you’ll love these two behind-the-scenes videos:

Drawing on Tradition: The Book of Esther from Jewish Museum of Maryland on Vimeo.


We Are Here: A Celebration of Resilience, Resistance, and Home

Sunday, June 14, 2020
at 2:00pm EST

We’re teaming up with 60 museums and cultural institutions around the world to present a free program celebrating resilience, resistance, and hope.

More info here.

Celebrating Immigration

Sunday, June 14, 2020
at 3:30pm EST

Honor and learn about refugees and immigrants ahead of World Refugee Day 2020 through world music, story time, and other activities. This program is best suited to children ages 3 to 8.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

History is Now: Share Your Story

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
at 7:00pm EST

Join us for a special Covid 19 inspired writing workshop where we will come together to record our experiences for future generations.

Register for this Live Stream Event here!

The Associated Annual Meeting

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
at 5:30pm EST

Reflect on an unprecedented year and enjoy secial appearances by Barry Levinson, Marc Platt, Governor Larry Hogan, Senator Ben Cardin, Senator Chris Van Hollen, HaZamir Baltimore and more.

More info here.


Don’t forget to pick up some Summer Reading!

Remember – Members of the Museum get their membership discount by using promo code “member” at checkout.

Don’t see something you’re interested in at the online shop? Contact Shop Manager Chris Sniezek at and let us know.


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