JMM Insights: Explore Our Stories

Our New Website: Part 2
Website Homepage with menu, slider, and widget.
JMM’s website Homepage.

Welcome to part 2 of our new JMM website tour! Missed part 1? No worries – you can get caught up here.

We also want your input – at the end of this edition of Insights you will find a link to a poll. Please take a moment to tell us what would be helpful to know about our new website. Are you interested in a video tutorial about any of our digital tools? Looking for some more behind-the-scenes info on the process of making the website?

Let us know!


"Explore our Stories" webpage with introductory text, main menu, and sidebar.
Explore Our Stories.

This week we’re diving in to explore our stories, specifically what, in the past, we’ve referred to as “the blog.” The blog was one of the few pieces of the old website that we wanted to save (that’s over 2,000 individual posts by the way!). With that much content – and new posts going up multiple times a week – we wanted to make sure our website users had multiple ways to find and enjoy our stories.


Snapshot of a webpage. Sepia class photo in the background with "Once Upon a Time... Photo Identification from the Collections" on top of the image. Below says "ON THE BLOG. Once Upon a Time....03.06.2020 The Baltimore Jewish TImes publishes unidentified photographs from the collection...[more]"

You can always find the most recent post on the right side of the screen on the explore our stories page. 

We post new blogs 3-5 times a week. Keep an eye on this page so you don’t miss a single post!


Snapshot of a website showing menu options: JMM News, Museum stories, Lloyd Street Synagogue, See All stories, See all categories. "See all stories" is circled.

Want to see every post we’ve shared, in reverse chronological order?

Select see all stories from the menu on the right side of the page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you can travel backward through time.

Webpage showing previews of blog posts.

Snapshot of a webpage showing menu options: JMM News, Museum stories, Lloyd Street Synagogue, See All stories, See all categories. "See all categories" is circled.

Looking for all our stories about a particular topic?

Try the see all categories option on the right side menu – these categories group together larger topics like JMM news, stories related to our Jonestown community, stories about our Upstanders initiative, etc. 

List of different Categories that can be selected on the website.

Preview of blog post with Title, date, image, and the beginning of the first sentence. At the bottom are italizied, bold, words "bakeries, collections, Maggie Hoffman, Silber's Bakery." These tags are circled.

Read a post and are interested in more related content?

You’ll find the tags at the bottom of the post a great resource.

In addition to the tags on individual posts, you will also find the categories each post fits into at the bottom of the page.

Tags are also a great way to find all the posts in a particular series, like our Once Upon a Time photo identification series or every edition of Museum Matters.

Snapshot of webpage that shows the end of a blog post with Tags listed and Categories listed. To the right is a widget.

Snapshot of webpage. On the left is the menu title "Support JMM." On the right is a magnifying glass. The magnifying glass is circled.

Looking for a very specific blog post? The search box is here to help! This tool searches the entire website, not just the explore our stories section. You can find the search box in the upper right-hand portion of your screen – click the small magnifying glass icon and a search box drops down. 

Tell us what you want to know about our new website!


Start Exploring!

Ready to start exploring? We asked the staff to share their favorite blog posts of the year – we think their recommendations are the perfect way to get started:

From Project Manager Paige Woodhouse: Some of my favorite blog posts come from our volunteers. This past year, JMM Docent Harvey told us about his family’s personal connection to the Lloyd Street Synagogue in “Dad’s Bar Mitzvah,” our volunteers shared the stories behind some of their favorite objects in “Exploring History at Home,” and they answered your questions in our “Ask Our Docents” series. I love our volunteers’ passion and commitment to storytelling, and I think it is showcased in these examples. 

I also enjoy diving into stories about our collections. Two of this year’s highlights for me were Joanna’s research about the history behind the chandeliers in the Lloyd Street Synagogue and past-Archivist Lorie’s look at class photos in our collections. 

Finally, JMM’s commitment to being a museum for everyone crops up in our blogs regularly as well. Talia’s post, “Being Welcoming is Much more than Saying Hello” is one of my favorites from the past year. 

Archivist Maggie Hoffman shared her top three as Cosmic CuisineCelebrating September 131 Years Ago, and We Need to Talk About Working Mothers.

From Visitor Services Coordinator Talia Makowsky: My two favorites of the year were (1) My Animal Crossing blog post – What’s better than playing and writing about a video game for work? Especially one with a beautiful museum like Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I’m still playing the game almost daily, with my partner joining in as his own virtual villager to help me beautify the island and make friends with the adorable villagers. While the museum collecting has slowed down a bit since the rush from the beginning of the game, it’s still incredibly soothing and lovely to visit the digital space and check out all my hard work since March.

(2) The Upstanders mental health Mondays blog series. It’s a bit of a cheat, to choose the whole series, but writing these posts weekly really did help me with my own mental health, as we all adjusted to our new normal under lockdown. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who was struggling to figure out my day-to-day routine. Doing this series not only grew my blog writing skills, as I managed to post two a week with the addition of my voter’s series, but also helped me to figure out ways to take care of my own mental health. And I hope I helped some of you too!

Administrative Specialist Sue Foard cited our Traveling with Grace series as her favorite reads for 2020.

From Shop Manager Chris Sniezek: My favorite blog post which I wrote this year was the post We need more history, not less, because it allowed me to elaborate with the larger community the importance of history both in my life, communally, as well as nationally. My favorite blog post I read was Marvin’s post Reflections, and I really enjoyed Tracie Guy-Decker’s post on In the Shadow of Statues.

School Program Coordinator Marisa Shultz’s three favorites this year were Squad GoalsJMM Insights: Yiddish, Hebrew, Ladino…and Klingon? And Ask Our Docents: A Blog Series Part II.

From Director of Collections and Exhibits Joanna Church: My favorite blog post of the year (that I wrote) was my recent post about the chandeliers of the Lloyd Street Synagogue. It took a lot of time and research – and really fun to write! Talia’s post about the museum in Animal Crossing was another favorite, it’s got me thinking about getting a Switch of my own. Tracie’s post talking about working mothers has also stuck with me.

From Development and Marketing Manager Rachel Kassman: I have to admit to a real bias towards the collections related posts on our blog! If I had to pick just one, I think Joanna’s post After the Great Baltimore Fire  is the one that I keep thinking about. I also think our series of Museum from Home activity packages is a resource that just keeps on giving. And I have to laugh every time I see the lead image on Laura’s post Kids in Museums.

From Program Assistant Laura Grant: Two of my favorite blog posts of 2020? The first is Tracie’s blog post, “What pronouns taught me about belonging.” I liked how Tracie shared a personal insight into her journey of understanding the importance of normalizing the sharing of your pronouns. My favorite blog post that I wrote in 2020 was “Space from the Sunshine State” as it was fun to reminisce about the uniqueness of growing up where I did and look through old family photos.


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Museum Stories News

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