Lucky Number Seven

Celebrating the wonderful work of local students is always a win-win and we are thrilled to announce that for the seventh year in a row, a student from the Baltimore Jewish community has been selected to be part of the 2021 My Family Story International Exhibition in Memory of Manuel Hirsch Grosskopf at ANU Museum of the Jewish People (formally Beit Hatfutsot) in Israel.

My Family Story offers an opportunity for students along with their families to learn about their family history and delve into the past of the Jewish people, creating a sense of belonging between their own family and the Jewish people all over the world. The program is celebrating its 26th anniversary and connects families and Jewish communities from over 40 different countries.

Students are tasked with interviewing family members to learn about their family history and stories. The students create art installations that represent his/her family history with the help of teachers and families. The students celebrate their work at the My Family Story exhibition at the JMM! The projects are judged by volunteers at the Museum; and two winning projects are selected from each participating school and are submitted to ANU – The Museum of the Jewish People. The winning projects have the chance to be picked and be part of the International My Family Story Exhibition in Memory of Manuel Hirsh Grosskopf in Israel.

During normal times we would celebrate the students and their projects in person at the JMM! It is such a special evening- watching the students share their projects and family stories with such pride; and seeing family members beaming as to how these stories are being shared from generation to generation. L’dor V’dor.

My Family Story Celebration at the JMM in 2020! Photo by Will Kirk

This year we want to extend a hearty mazel tov to the 45 participating students, and their teachers from Ohr Chadash Academy and Krieger Schechter Day School who worked so hard over Winter Break and the early weeks of 2021 to complete their projects. The winning projects from the two schools were announced at the 2021 My Family Story Exhibit Opening Virtual Program on March 1, 2021. We invited students, families, and the school communities to the digital unveiling of the My Family Story exhibit. Over 80 participants attended the virtual event where they heard remarks from Sol Davis, JMM’s Executive Director, Ilene Dackman-Alon, the students’ teachers, and Shula Bahat the CEO of the American Friends of ANU. The students’ projects are on display on the digital My Family Story Exhibit: https://myfamilystoryjmm.tumblr.com.

Since 2014, students from the Baltimore area have been chosen to be a part of the international exhibition at ANU Museum of the Jewish People, and we are so pleased to announce once again, for seven years in a row, a student from the Baltimore Jewish community has been chosen. Mazel Tov Eliana (Ellie) Berlin and Krieger Schechter Day School to be chosen as one of the winning projects 2021 My Family Story International Exhibition in Memory of Manuel Hirsch Grosskopf at ANU Museum of the Jewish People.

Each students writes an artist statement about their project. Ellie’s statement was personal and really explains why her project means so much to her and her family.  

“My project shows the bima of Beth El Congregation, in Baltimore, MD. It emphasizes the importance of “Shalshelet Hamesorah” when you pass down the traditions through your family.  This is what my family did with passing down the tradition of going to Beth El. This is where my Dad had his Bar Mitzvah, my parents had their wedding, my twin sisters and I had our B’not Mitzvah. When I am at Beth El, I feel like I can see my family’s Jewish history and Jewish future.”

Ellie Berlin’s Project: The Berlins on the Beth El Bima. Photo by the Berlin Family

Due to the pandemic and the Israeli Ministry of Health restricting international flights and mass gatherings, the winners and their families are invited to a virtual ceremony instead of the in-person celebration that had been done in previous years. This year KSDS students, families and their school community are invited at attend an online international ceremony that will announce all of the winners of the competition and to congratulate all participants and feel the excitement of this global program. The ceremony will be held on Wednesday June 9th. We are so proud of all of the area students that participated in the 2021 My Family Story exhibition and we are grateful to the Ronnie and Alli Russel Charitable Foundation for their support of the project.

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