JMM Insights: Welcome to the Team
This month’s JMM Insights is from our newest team member, Lorie Rombro.
I have always enjoyed museums and, after college where I studied Archaeology and Anthropology, I went for a Masters in Museum Studies from George Washington University. That was an incredible experience; many of our classes were at the Smithsonian. Getting a chance to explore behind the scenes in the museums after they closed to the public really sparked my love of collections and archives.
I have spent the majority of my career until now working in historic house museums as well as assisting a donor in starting a museum in San Antonio, Texas. My free time is spent with my husband, my two boys and our dog, Bowzer, which keeps me very busy!
This is my third week as the Archivist at the Jewish Museum of Maryland and so far this has been an amazing experience. I didn’t have a chance to physically see the JMM archives before I accepted the job, and now that I’ve had a chance to dive in I’m overwhelmed by just how much information is housed here! Our archives cover the rich and vibrant history of the Jews in Maryland, and there is a lot of it.
So I am exploring, which has always been one of my favorite parts of working in a museum. I am from Baltimore and, although I think I know my own history, I have been learning so much about the Jewish history of Maryland and the institutions, organizations and people who built our community.
As an explorer, of course I had to look up my own last name in the Past Perfect Collection Database (which is available online). I wasn’t expecting to find anything, so I was pretty excited when a Bluefeld Caterers receipt from my father’s Bar Mitzvah in 1958 came up! It seems like such a small thing but that one piece of paper led to an amazing conversation with my father.
My father showed me his Bar Mitzvah photo album, which I had never seen before. It was the first time I had ever seen a photo of his great grandmother and some of my own great grandparents. I learned more about my history from a catering receipt then I thought possible. It’s why preserving the past is so important and shows how much one piece of paper may mean to future generations. (Also as a parent of a 12 year old boy and planning a Bar Mitzvah myself I was really impressed with the $4 dollar a person catering price.)
I can’t wait to see what else I will discover as the archivist at the Jewish Museum of Maryland!