Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekly Report 12.04.09

Dear Friends,

This has been a busy week, as we gear up for our 50th Anniversary in 2010. Here are some highlights:

50TH ANNIVERSARY: The Steering Committee for the re-dedication of Lloyd Street Synagogue, chaired by Vice President Jerry Doctrow, met this past Monday to discuss details of the re-dedication. Meanwhile, Anita Kassof, Deb Weiner, and Jennifer Vess sent a full exhibition text to the designers this week, as we prepare for the opening of our new core exhibition, The Synagogue Speaks.

This coming Sunday, volunteers and staff will resume filming for our new video initiative, Stories We Live By. This week, the topic will be Chanukah foods and celebrations. We will be at the Lifebridge Health and Fitness Center and at the JCC in Owings Mills. We have also completed work on our 50th Anniversary logo and tagline, which will appear on our letterhead throughout the anniversary year.

GIFTS AND GRANTS: We are delighted to report that we have received a $9,000 grant from M&T Bank in support of our Museum-School Partnership program and a second grant, also in the amount of $9,000 from the Baltimore National Heritage Area for stabilization of the archaeological excavation in the Lloyd Street Synagogue's 1845 mikveh complex.

Warm thanks to Jason Davidov, son of Museum Docent Howard Davidov and owner of J.D. Outdoors Landscaping. Jason is donating labor and materials to spruce up the plantings and beds in our courtyard and around the Museum. We are very grateful to these generous supporters.

PROGRAMS: Today, the JCC and JMM partnered on a Hands-On Holiday program for Chanukah geared for downtown families of very young children. Young children, along with their parents, caregivers and grandparents were actively engaged in craft activities, songs and stories and a yummy snack all in connection with the upcoming festival. These Hands-On Holiday programs and Tot Shabbat programs are part of the JCC initiative, "JCC Beyond the Borders," funded by the The Jacob & Hilda Blaustein Fund for the Enrichment of Jewish Education.

This Sunday 6 December, 1:00-4:00p.m., the JMM is hosting a special series of free book talks by local authors. At 1:00 p.m. JMM Education Coordinator Lauren Silberman will talk about her book, The Jewish Community of Baltimore. The volume chronicles the history of Jewish Baltimore and features numerous photos from the Museum's collections. At 2:00 p.m., Mark Carp will discuss his new novel, The End of Hell, the story of a man who has experienced life to the fullest as he has seen everything from the storming of Normandy Beach to the bombing of the World Trade Centers in NYC on 9/11/01. And, at 3:00 p.m., Steven Luxemberg will talk about Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret, a non-fiction book that is part detective story, part social history, and part memoir about his mother's decision to hide the existence of a disabled sister. Join us for a stimulating exploration into the nature of family secrecy. For reservations or more information, call 410-732-6400 x 214 or

Also, on Monday 7 December, the JMM and BJC are co-sponsoring with the Baltimore Hebrew Institute (BHI) at Towson University, The Phenomena of Holocaust Denial and the New Antisemitism at 7:00 p.m. in Hawkins Hall. The program features Ephraim Kaye, Director of International Seminars for Educators at Yad Vashem, Israel. The JMM/BJC/ BHI team looks forward to collaborating on many more programs focused on the Shoah. RSVP to to receive a parking code for free parking at a nearby lot.

The JMM Program Committee, chaired by JMM Trustee Carol Glusman, met on Tuesday evening to continue discussions on enhancement of the visitor experience at the Museum and to review ideas for new modes of orientation. This was, as usual, a fruitful discussion. Our thanks to all of the participants.

COLLECTIONS: Archivist Jennifer Vess reports that she has reached 94.4% in the archives inventory. Jennifer spent much of this week scanning institutional archive photographs, partly due to a need for images of past LSS archaeology for The Synagogue Speaks. To date we have complete catalog records with attached images for 804 Lloyd Street Synagogue photographs. Jennifer has also been gathering objects, which will be photographed by Shelby for an exhibition interactive for The Synagogue Speaks. Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink spent time on the paperwork for three outgoing loans this week, including the loan of 14 styrofoam heads to the Gregg Museum of Art and Design at North Carolina State University.

EDUCATION: On Sunday 22 November, the Jewish Downtown Families made their first visit to the Museum in a series of monthly programs. Additionally, a group of 4th graders and their parents from Beth El toured the Museum and participated in the Paving Our Way: Early Maryland Jewish Life, 1632 - 1845 resource kit program. Krieger Schechter Day School 3rd graders participated in their annual field trip on Monday 23 November. During their visit they participated in a scavenger hunt in the Lloyd Street Synagogue and toured Voices of Lombard Street.

VISITORS: On Sunday 29 November, a group of young Russian Jews from EZRA USA, based in New York, toured the Museum. In the afternoon, over 100 people attended a bat mitzvah reception for the Leventer family.

STAFF ACTIVITIES: On Thursday, Lauren Silberman attended the monthly Greater Baltimore History Alliance education and marketing meeting. Deborah Cardin and Jeanette Parmigiani were busy completing the final plans for the December 14th teacher-training workshop, Echoes and Reflections. More than 30 area teachers have registered for this program. Intern Jessica Levine began researching the history of property ownership and occupancy for the six lots comprised in our parcel at the corner of Lloyd and Lombard Streets; intern Nicole Paterson continued to plan for archaeology exhibits in The Synagogue Speaks; and intern Heather Besch began marketing our programs and resources to Jewish organizations throughout metropolitan Baltimore.

Best wishes to one and all for a delightful fall weekend and a peaceful Sabbath.


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