Friday, March 9, 2012

Purim Pandemonium 2012!!

Purim at Club Pandemonium
Gin & Jews: Speakeasy Style

Enter the speakeasy and go back to Prohibition- 13 years when America was dry, but the parties never stopped. This year's Purim Pandemonium revives flappers, bootleggers, pleasure-seeking socialites, gangsters, and Prohibition agents. Who do you want to be? Take your pick and come out to live the Roaring '20s.

Party-goers over age 21 (with I.D.) can enjoy DJ Matt Statler, dj sheeno, an open bar, and refreshments.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $15 each for groups of 10 or more. Click below to purchase tickets or contact Jennifer Vess at


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once Upon a Time 9.24.2010

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

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: 9/24/10

PastPerfect Accession #: 1989.109.011

Status: Identified. Group of Azoans, c. 1955. Front: L-R Ernestine “Tine” Stiffman, Dorothy Bark, Dora (Naviasky) Rockman, Mrs. Diener Back L-R : Mr. Bark, Mr. Diener / Alternate ids: Hannah Kotzin, Numa Levy, ? Katzen, Betty Goldstein, Rabbi Rosenblatt, Manny Shenker

Special thanks to: Steve Steinberg, Rabbi Jeffrey Stiffman, Shelia Friedman, Debbie Rockman Greenberg, David Earle, Helen Naviasky, Harriet Naviasky Sollod

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once Upon a Time 9.17.2010

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

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: 9/17/10

PastPerfect Accession #: 2007.016.010

Status: Partially identified. Talmudical Academy boys with their dean and principal. Adults: L-R Simon Isaacson (principal) and the man wearing the glasses is Hyman Sampson (dean). Seated row: 1. Leon Levin 2. Jerome Joseph Mondell 3. Simon Isaacson 4. Hyman Sampson 5. unidentified 6. unidentified Standing row 1. unidentified 2. unidentified 3. unidentified 4. Barney Kandel 5. unidentified 6. Leon Milner 7. unidentified Standing row back: 1. unidentified 2. Irving Milner 3. unidentified

Special thanks to: Arnold Levin, Ben Mondell, Michelle Kandel, David Milner

Monday, December 20, 2010


A blog post by shop manager Esther Weiner.

One of the best parts of my job at the Jewish Museum of Maryland is meeting the people who take the time to come and visit the museum. Granted, it is a very special place, or so we think (those of us that work and spend a great deal of time there)…so I have always felt that visitors deserve to see our “best face forward”. After all, in a way, they are our guests in a unique kind of way.

Managing the Museum Shop has its share of difficulties, which I won’t touch on now, but my favorite thing is to be in the shop and meet and greet our visitors. Our special volunteers are most often there, but when they cannot come, that means I get to talk to the children, their parents, the visitors from California, France, Israel, Brazil, and most of the states all across the country. So now I can show off our hand-picked pieces of jewelry, menorahs, seder plates, artwork, listen to music on our CD player, and make the visitor feel comfortable and at home.

Let me tell you about a recent visitor to the museum who moved to the Baltimore area from Raleigh, North Carolina. As she looked at the merchandise in the shop we started to chat. I told her that I was born in Raleigh, and that my father started his rabbinical career in Raleigh. She told me about an exhibition in Raleigh at the North Carolina Museum of History called Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina. Interesting, I thought.

In about two weeks, an envelope arrived from my new friend from North Carolina, with a brochure from the exhibition. I read it with much interest, then on the very last page of was a small picture of a group of children, standing on steps with adults in the last row. The picture was labeled “Raleigh Sunday School, 1928”…..I could not believe my eyes, there was my father, standing in the very last row of the picture! I had never seen that picture, in fact, I knew very little about my parents life in Raleigh.

I phoned the museum in Raleigh and spoke with a really helpful Education Chief, who turned out to be Jewish, and when I asked if it would be possible to get a reprint of the picture, he made it possible for that to happen. I was thrilled, and so was our family.

Finally, to round out this incredible tale, there were oral histories taken of people who lived through the time period when my father was the rabbi of the House of Jacob. I was able to read those stories, read what the congregants thought of my father, and how much they respected him, and the work he did while he served the people of Raleigh. I felt so good about it, my father would have been so pleased to read these comments. Our family’s history has been enriched by this experience.

All this because a visitor came to the Museum Shop of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. And we made her feel welcome. Because that’s what we do.

I love it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A New Look!

Ladies and Gentleman, boys and girls, we have exciting news! This week the JMM launched a new website and, in conjunction, a new blog! As such, we'll be moving our operation over to the new blog url, which is

So refresh your feed, change your bookmars, and follow us over to the new site. To read all about the redesign, read the newest post on the blog, and to see the new JMM site, visit

Hope to see you over there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once Upon a Time 9.10.2010

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

Date run in Baltimore Jewish Times: 9/10/10PastPerfect Accession #: 2009.040.5192

Status: Unidentified. Past presidents of the (Baltimore Hebrew University) Sisterhood.

Monday, December 13, 2010

When Cholent Goes Bad

A blog post by Sr. Collections Manager, Jobi Zink

Some people would argue that all cholent* is bad. But some cholent is badder than others.

Genuine cholent recipe from our
Voices of Lombard Street exhibition

Take for example, the full, unopened can of cholent beans that was accessioned into our collection in 1992. This can of beans is probably more than 20 years old because, let’s face it, the can was probably in someone’s pantry cabinet for at least 2 years before they decided to give it to the Museum rather than to the Boy Scouts’ canned good drive.

In its early years, said can sat quietly on our collections shelves with various other kitchen-related items, including packaging from many garden variety Kosher foods, c. 1980s.

Then one day, Karen Falk, curator of the upcoming Chosen Food exhibition was perusing the collection for available artifacts. I can’t believe we have this in our collection. A full can? Who has a full can of cholent beans? she thought, holding the can in her gloved hand. Well, we have other, odder things in our collections, she shrugged.

Months went by and Karen continued collecting, planning and developing the exhibit. Then, during a routine inventory of items to be used in the exhibit, she noticed that the can would not sit flat on the shelf. That’s not right, she thought. Was it like that before? she wondered. Nope. The top and bottom lids were distended. Puffy. Ready to blow! Botulism?! Time to bring in the collections manager, Jobi Zink.

No need to panic, I told Karen. I know exactly how to handle this. (Thanks to Things That Go Bump in the Night: When Collections Strike Back, a session presented by Rosie Cook, Registrar (The Chemical Heritage Foundation and Museum), Anna Dhody, Curator (Mutter Museum) and Michael Leister, Director (Air Mobility Command Museum) at the 2010 MAAM Conference.)

It’s a simple 12 step program:

1) Confirm with the Collections Committee that the contents of a collections item potentially containing botulism should indeed be properly disposed of, while the container and its packaging should be saved if possible.

2) Gather the entire collections staff outside to the parking lot on a super-cold day to observe the event. Remind them to stand back to avoid splatter.

3) Charm the custodian into assisting with a very important collections project.

4) Have said custodian pierce the top of a can with a drill to relieve pressure.

5) Flip the can over and employ a standard can opener to open the bottom of the can, releasing 20 year old beans onto newspaper.

6) Discard contents. Preferably wrapped in layers of newspaper. Then industrial strength- plastic bags. Bury deep inside dumpster. Do not inhale. Do not attempt to touch with bare hands.

7) Without using the new kitchen sponge or Esther’s dish towels, wash the inside of the can thoroughly with a lot of soap and hot running water in the industrial sink.

8) Wash again.
9) Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

10) Contemplate ways to eliminate the odor. (oooh yeah, 20 year old beans smell much worse than you imagine!)

11) Do not store the item in your office. Do not store the item in your collections storage. Make sure you identify the can as part of the collection and not something to be recycled!!!!

12) Congratulate yourself on:

a. saving the collections from a potential explosion (… now about that nitrate film)
b. not poisoning yourself with botulism
c. writing an exciting blog post about a can of beans

*Cholent is a stew made of meat, vegetables (onions, carrots), and a variety of beans such as red kidney beans, white beans, cranberry beans, etc. Many people love cholent because it takes hours and hours (like 18 hours!) to make in a crockpot and is therefore Shomer Shabbes friendly.