Posted on March 4th, 2014 by Rachel
The Baltimore Jewish Times publishes unidentified photographs from the collection of Jewish Museum of Maryland each week. If you can identify anyone in these photos and more information about them, contact Jobi Zink, Senior Collections Manager and Registrar at 410.732.6400 x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: August 30, 2013
PastPerfect Accession #: 1996.063.045
Status: Unidentified – do you know these young immigrants, associated with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)?
Posted on February 10th, 2014 by Rachel
The most exciting part about visiting a museum is getting to view various artifacts within the exhibits, especially if the museum is featuring a new one. I myself had only been on the outside, until this January when I was asked to help break the featured exhibit down here at the Jewish Museum of Maryland.
Forest and Jobi prepare packaging.
The museum currently has an exhibit called “Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War”. But as spring rolls around, so will new artifacts, and the process of packing up the show, in someways is as thrilling as seeing it as a visitor.
To start, there had to be photos taken of every artifact. These photos were then color coded based on their lenders. Lenders were a variation of individuals, museums, and historical societies.
The Color Code List
Once each photo was matched to the lender, I then filed the loan form for each artifact with its picture. What sounds like slow work, was actually informing. I was able to read the descriptions and learn a little more about the artifacts and the Jewish involvement in the Civil War as well.
Following this, Jobi and I determined how the artifacts would be returned to their lenders. We organized and labeled boxes, for packaging, to be sure that everything was returned to it’s original owner. There was a lot of measuring and labeling to do, but I was able to check out artifacts that were not put into the exhibit. This was a really cool advantage.
The last step of course, is to take the actual artifacts down, pack them up, and send them back! This of course will not happen until the exhibit is officially over. So before the final step is taken, be sure to stop by the museum and check out “Passages Through the Fire: Jews and the Civil War”, which ends February 27th at 5 pm.
A blog post by Collections Intern Forest Fleisher. To read more posts by interns, click HERE. If you are interested in interning at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, you can find open internship opportunities HERE.
Posted on January 29th, 2014 by Rachel
Everyone has their favorite section in the Jewish Times. For some it’s the Jewish View, others it’s the milestone life events. If you’re like me it’s the Snapshots photograph in the Mishmash section. Will this be the week that you’ll recognize someone—maybe even yourself—in the photo?
Snapshots photographs are located just about the “Overheard at Goldbergs” column.
I might be biased as my volunteers and interns help select which images are reproduced, but I genuinely love the excited phone calls from first-time identifiers. They feel like they’ve won a prize when they proudly tell me who they know! On the other hand, I am sad someone says they recognized folks in the past but they didn’t want to call in because they figured someone else called, or that I already knew who was in the picture before we printed it. (Trust me: we have thousands of photographs that need IDs so I wouldn’t waste your time with those that are already identified.)
No one has identified this group standing in a parking lot in August 1988.
There is also no penalty for (unintentionally) getting it wrong. In fact 6 people in 5 different photos have been given a “double identity.” Both names are recorded.
Double trouble! Two out of three women have been identified with conflicting names. Left to Right: 1. Nan Rothhultz 2. Dottie Levin OR Reba (Rebecca) Cohen 3. Lucille Colliver OR Laura Rubin Lafferman
And while I prefer that you provide the whole name, this year we had 3 first names and 5 last names given. Perhaps this will spark someone else’s memory.
The JCC volunteers were on a first-name basis. Left to Right: 1. Esther Pugauski 2. Gertrude Deitz 3. Lee (last name not provided) 4. Sam (last name not provided)
I thought I’d run some year-end statistics on this popular feature for your consideration. Since beginning this column in 2007 there has been a steady 63-65% identification rate. This year 91 people called in to identify someone—132 someones! This means on average, each caller identified 1.4 people. 63.4% of the images published in 2013 were at least partially identified. And of those 33 photos, 64 % of the people depicted (132 of 206) were identified.
Ten people called to identify the attendees at Samuel Neistadt’s 60th birthday party. Seated Left to Right: 1. Reuben Livov 2. Samuel Neistadt 3. unidentified 4. Doris Weikers Kahn. Standing Left to Right: 1. Hyman Winnik 2. Carl Friedler 3. Jacob Jaffe 4. Isaac H. Taylor. Thanks Susan Weikers Balaban, Fay Adler, Dorothy Livov, Barbie (Livov) Weiss, Ronald Taylor. Richard Taylor, Deborah Taylor, Bruce Taylor, Ellen Friedler Eisenstadt, and Norma Wollod!
I asked my favorite statistician, Ben, why our identification rate is so consistent. His response was: With enough of a randomly selected sample you can minimize the error [in this case, no identifications]… As you continue to increase your sample, you will get closer to the underlying probability or “natural rate.” In the case of your photographs the true underlying probability that a photo will be identifies is around 2/3. That seems to make sense, right?
Can you identify the other 33%? The B’nai Brith award recipient is among the people who aren’t identified.
Callers provided a few clues about these Hadassah ladies. Left to Right: 1. [man] unidentified 2. unidentified 3. unidentified 4. Brownie Cummings (past president of Hadassah) 5.[standing behind] possibly Sarah Kapiloff 6.____ Grief 7. Sara Jacobs 8. Jenny Ehrlich 9. unidentified
Naturally I was intrigued so I looked a little deeper into our identifications. It seems that photographs with 5 or more people are more 14.6% more likely to have even one person identified (69.6%) than photographs with 4 or fewer people (55%). Personal photographs of an intimate group might go entirely unidentified, but pictures from an institution, organization, or school almost always get at least one identification. The one major exception: there seems to be a black hole of knowledge related to photos taken at the JCC in the 1970s.
No has identified anyone in this photo of a JCC art class, March 1977
The Babysitters Club might have been a popular book series in the mid-1980s, but no one has identified these babysitters at the JCC in August 1977.
Armed with this new-found knowledge I can probably increase our identification rate slightly by choosing group photos from fun community events dating after 1950s. How can you help our efforts? Call or e-mail me if you recognize someone in a Snapshots photo. Even if you don’t subscribe to the Jewish Times, the JMM posts the photos on all of our social media outlets. You can also search our database jmm.pastperfect-online.com and enter keywords such as “Walk for Israel”, “Beth Tfiloh” or “Summer Camps.” Click the “send feedback” button and tell me who you recognize. Using this feature, three callers identified 55 out of 57 people in four photographs – a 96% success rate. Now that’s a statistic we should strive for ever year!
This photo of formerly unidentified people at Baltimore Hebrew College commencement exercises, 1975 was ID’d by a researcher. Left to Right: Unidentified woman, Dr. George Berlin, Mr. Aaron Leibtag, Rabbi Levi Smolar, and Dr. Barry Gittlen. Thanks for your help, Susan!
A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink. To read more posts by Jobi, click HERE. To see more “Once Upon a Time”/”Snapshots” photos, click HERE.