Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekly Report 11.20.09

Dear Friends,

This has been an unusually busy and productive week for the Museum. Here are some highlights:

50th ANNIVERSARY: On Wednesday, Trustees Manuele Wasserman, Sarah Manekin, Carol Sandler, Judy Langenthal, and Duke Zimmerman, staff, and interns involved in the Museum's video interview initiative, Stories We Live By, met for a training session with consultant Jayne Guberman. Pilot interviews will be conducted this coming Sunday at Trader Joe's and later on at a second uptown location. Rachel Kassman convened a steering committee meeting for next year's Purim Pandemonium that included JMM Trustee Jonathan Mogol.

THE SYNAGOGUE SPEAKS: Anita Kassof and Deb Weiner continue to conduct research and to refine the script for our new Core Exhibition at the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue. The project team met this week with the prospective fabrication firm. Intern Nicole Paterson continues to plan for a hands-on archaeology element; staff are also working with Fr. Bob Albright and the CJE to create an interactive card game featuring religious objects. The public opening of The Synagogue Speaks is confirmed for Sunday 21 March; please mark your calendars!

LEADERSHIP: The JMM Finance and Development Committees met jointly on Monday evening to review our current budgets and fundraising progress. The joint committees also began discussion of projections for the coming fiscal year (FY2011).

EDUCATION: On Sunday 15 November, 60+ 6th graders and parents from Congregation Beth Or in Pennsylvania visited the Museum and participated in several programs on immigration. That afternoon, our second group from Kol Ha Lev brought children to experience the resource kit, Paving Our Way: Early Maryland Jewish Life, 1632 - 1845. On Tuesday, a group of 12 adults from Revitz House in Montgomery County toured the Museum, as did groups from the Kaleidoscope program with Roland Park Country School and Atrium Village on Thursday. On Wednesday, Deborah Cardin and Ilene Dackman-Alon participated in American Education Week at Baltimore City partner school Fallstaff Elementary by reading to two separate classes of students

Katherine Lyons portrayed Ida Rehr in the Leo V. Berger Immigrant's Trunk for 40+ 3rd graders at Kreiger Schecter Day School on Thursday and then for a group of 24 3rd graders from Calverton School at the Museum on Friday. The Calverton School group also toured our exhibits.

A group of families attended our regularly scheduled Tot Shabbat program, held in conjunction with the JCC. Our next Tot Shabbat will be on Friday, December 4th and will feature Hands-On-Holiday Chanukah activities. To register, please contact Cindy Neuman at 410.356.5200 x344 or

COLLECTIONS: Collections Committee Chair Duke Zimmerman reports that a dozen interesting items have recently been offered to the Museum for possible accession into the collections. Archivist Jenn Vess has completed 91% of the archives inventory and has just finished another new finding aid (we now total 180 finding aids-critical tools for all researchers). Deb Weiner sent two more cemetery lists to the Jewish On-Line Worldwide Burial Registry, a fully-searchable database used by people around the world. They now have 70 percent of the JMM's cemetery listings entered into their system.

STAFF ACTIVITIES: Deborah Cardin and Deb Weiner met with Thomas Howell and Patricia Anderson at the Maryland Historical Society to discuss possible joint publication projects. Education and program staff met with Molly Ross of Nana Projects to refine plans for our winter break family program taking place on 30 December. Nana Projects will be leading a shadow puppetry workshop using images from our Voices of Lombard Street exhibition as a backdrop. The program is designed for children aged 5-12.

This week, intern Jessica Levine has been researching the history of our lot at the corner of Lloyd and Lombard Streets. Jessica started with our in-house records and will be at the Maryland Room of the Enoch Pratt Free Library today. Holocaust Educator Jeanette Parmagiani spent time arranging speaking engagements for Holocaust survivors, doing preparation work for Lessons of the Shoah, the Holocaust Denial program at Towson (7 December), and a workshop at JMM (14 December).

Jobi Zink and I conferred with community leader Neil Gordon from Howard County on a prospective exhibition on Israel at the Howard County Library. On Tuesday, Anita Kassof and I met with Trustee Len Weinberg and architect John Srygley to brainstorm about scenarios for future expansion.

Program Director Ilene Dackman-Alon attended the Israel Education & Engagement Summit this past Monday evening which was held at the Park Heights JCC. Israel educators Michael Wegier and Jonny Ariel spoke to the summit about ways to engage American youth to care about Israel. Ilene facilitated a roundtable discussion on ways to engage youth through arts and culture. Ilene also attended "Knit One Learn Two" at Chizuk Amuno led by Melton educator Judy Meltzer. And, Education Coordinator Lauren Silberman attended the annual meeting and awards ceremony for Preservation Maryland at the Maryland Club on Wednesday 18 November.

That was the week that was. Best wishes to everyone for a peaceful Sabbath and an enjoyable fall weekend.


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