Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekly Report: 2.5.10

Dear Friends --

It seems that as the week draws to a close, everyone at the Museum is rushing around trying to complete projects and tie up loose ends before this weekend’s forecasted storm arrives. If possible, everyone seems to be even more productive than usual.

Speaking of snow . . . Due to the weather, we have RESCHEDULED Hutzlers: Where Baltimore Shops, our booksigning event with author Michael Lisicky, for next Sunday 14 February at 2 p.m. If you have questions or would like to make reservations, please contact Ilene Dackman-Alon ( or 410-732-6400, ext. 214).

Here’s some other news from around the Museum:


We aren’t kidding when we say that we couldn’t do all we do at the Museum were it not for the hard work and dedication of our interns and volunteers. A sampling of what some of them helped us accomplish this week:

In coordination with the upcoming book program, Hutzlers: Where Baltimore Shops, JMM volunteers Debbie Farthing and Charlotte Knight curated an exhibit in the Samson, Rossetta and Sadie B. Feldman Gallery. Both Debbie and Charlotte are volunteers in the Collections Department and have experience working with textiles. The exhibit will be on display through 14 February, the date of the book program.

We welcomed new intern Richard Conlan this week. Richard, who hails from Damascus, Maryland, graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2008 with a degree in history. He has interned at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy and is interested in learning more about the work of museums before committing to a museum career. During his 12-week internship, he will be working with Karen Falk on the Chosen Food exhibition.

Nicole Paterson has been ably assisting the Synagogue Speaks team with all aspects of exhibition development. In addition, she is conducting research on the history of the Museum’s vacant lot on the corner of Lloyd and Lombard Streets, where several row houses once stood.


This week, the collections staff de-installed and packed the Drawing on Tradition exhibition in preparation for its travel to the Yeshiva University Museum in New York. We are readying The Synagogue Speaks and Nancy Patz: Her Inward Eye for March openings, and are continuing to develop Chosen Food, a major exhibition that will open in 2011.


Jobi Zink reports that this week, we received a wonderful new donation of Judaica, ephemera, and photographs from Beth Jacob Congregation.

Jennifer Vess reports that she made significant progress organizing the exhibition photographs in the institutional archives.


Deborah Cardin met with Mark Potter, executive director of the Basilica of Baltimore, and Jennifer Frieman, coordinator of the Teaching American History grant for Baltimore City Public Schools, to plan for an upcoming March workshop. The topic of the workshop is the history of religious tolerance in Maryland, and teachers will have the opportunity to tour both the JMM and the Basilica.

On Thursday, Deborah facilitated a workshop for Baltimore City elementary school teachers on immigration history, demonstrating how they can incorporate lesson plans developed for our Voices of Lombard Street exhibition into their curriculum.


We are very grateful for two new pledges of $5,000 each in support of 50th Anniversary programs: The first, from the Greif Family Fund, supports our exhibition Nancy Patz: Her Inward Eye, which is scheduled to open in the Samson, Rossetta and Sadie B. Feldman Gallery in March. Mr. and Mrs. Steven L. Weintraub made a gift in support of Lloyd Street Synagogue rededication events. Among the planned events is a ceremonial rededication of the synagogue’s mezuzah, which was donated by Steven Weintraub’s mother, Florence, in 1964. Special thanks to Barry Lever for securing these generous gifts.


Avi Decter attended the Council of American Jewish Museums’ annual conference. He was elected as CAJM treasurer and steering committee member and appointed to chair CAJM strategic planning. The conference was very meaty—Avi will report on this in his quarterly report to the Board.

Deborah served as a field reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Museums for American grant program.

On Thursday, Ilene Dackman-Alon attended the Greater Baltimore History Alliance meeting at the Maryland Historical Society. The meeting focused on how history museums benefit from partnerships and collaborations with other museums and institutions locally, statewide, and nationally.

I’ve been invited to serve on a panel at an upcoming symposium entitled, “Collections and Communities: Baltimore Today,” sponsored by the Program in Museums and Society at Johns Hopkins University.


Join us for a booksigning/author talk with Professor Elisa New of Harvard University on 21 February at 2 p.m. In her new book, Jacob’s Cane, Dr. New traces her family’s history as she unravels the mysterious etchings on her great-grandfather’s elegant cane. For reservations, please contact Ilene Dackman-Alon ( or 410-732-6400, ext. 214).

Best wishes for a snowy, cozy weekend!


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