Council of American Jewish Museums
In This Issue
Two Friends of CAJM
Slingshot Honors
Concluding Plenary
A Public Ritual
Join Us: CAJM 2010

Don't miss inspiring contributions from architect Frank Gehry, Rabbi David J. Wolpe, and museum scholar Selma Holo. Register for the CAJM conference in L.A.

What We Do
Through training of museum staff and volunteers, information exchange, and advocacy on behalf of Jewish museums, CAJM strengthens the Jewish-museum field in North America.
Visit us all over ...
   NMAJH visitors
(At the National Museum of American Jewish Military History)

or visit us on the web at
If you let us know ...

... we will let others know

(From The Power to Play, at               The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Atlanta, GA)

There's always something beautiful, meaningful or eye-opening going on at Jewish museums.  Please be sure to share your museum's news and events!

CAJM means ...
Jewish art and history museums, historic sites, historical and archival societies, Holocaust
centers, children's museums, synagogue museums, community centers, and university galleries ... the professionals and volunteers who work in them ... the children,adults and families who visit them ... the patrons who support them ... the organization that keeps them vital.
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Honoring Two Special Friends
CAJM's upcoming conference in Los Angeles will offer some thoughtful strategies for conducting Jewish museum business in the 21st century.  In addition, it will provide an opportunity to celebrate two much admired LA-based fouNancy Bermannders of CAJM:  Nancy Berman (right) and Grace Cohen Grossman (below).  Berman is Director Emerita of LA's Skirball Museum and its Founding Curator.  With vision and energy she led the growth of the museum from its original location at Hebrew Union College to its extraordinary expanded home at the Skirball Cultural Center. She is currently Chair of the Museum Exchange of the Los Angeles-Tel Aviv Partnership Cultural Committee.  Grace Cohen GrossmanGrossman, long-time Senior Curator at the Skirball, has overseen Project Americana and more than 50 temporary exhibitions.  Her numerous publications include Jewish Museums of the World and National Jewish Book Award winners Jewish Art and Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural Politics as Cultural Model.  Both women have been inspiring mentors to younger Jewish museum professionals.  Join us on February 1 for a special luncheon tribute and thank them for their contributions to the Skirball - and our field.
Slingshot:  Kudos to Colleagues
Congratulations to the Foundation for Jewish CuSlingshotlture and to three CAJM member institutions, the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, the Jewish Women's Archive, and Mayyim Hayyim, for their inclusion in the 09-10 edition of Slingshot.  Published by a network of "next generation" leaders and philanthropists, this annual compendium highlights fifty inspiring and innovative Jewish projects, programs, and organizations in North America.
LA Museum Directors Conclude Conference
Given a fraught economy, major shifts in audience, and changes in donor behavior, museum professionals have become increasingly resourceful and creative problem-solvers.  Five eminent museum directors from Los Angeles will address this topic as we cap off the conference with an illuminating plenary session on February 3.  The discussion, moderated by Robert Kirschner, Museum Director of the Skirball Cultural Center, will feature four other distinguished colleagues. Steven Koblik, President of the Huntington Library (and formerly President of Reed College) has overseen major expansions of facilities, collections, and funding base for this library, botanical garden, and art museum.  As President and CEO of the Autry National Center of the American West, John Gray headed a merger of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and the Women of the West Museum.  Anthropologist Akemi Kikimura Yanobecame CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in 2008 after serving the museum as curator, development officer, and senior Vice President.  The Executive Director of the California African American Museum, Charmaine Jefferson previously worked for Disney Entertainment Productions, led the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and served as a commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She has been appointed to the California Arts Council by Governor Schwarzenegger.  These thoughtful experts will address enduring lessons that should continue to serve the museum field once the financial forecast is sunnier.
Female Scribe at CJM in San Francisco
Beginning last month, 34-year-old Julie Seltzer began preparing a Torah scroll - in puCJM-Seltzerblic - as part of the Contemporary Jewish Museum's exhibition As It Is Written: Project 304,805.  Over the course of one year, Seltzer will replicate this most sacred object of Jewish life in the same manner carried out since the sixth century - customarily by men.  In an activity that brings together ritual, exhibition and public program, she will complete 248 columns, 10,416 lines and 304,805 letters, using a quill of turkey feathers and kosher ink.  Once the Torah is completed, the CJM will invite emerging Jewish communities to apply to use the scroll on a rotating basis.
Here's What You Will Find
... on CAJM's website:  What's showing at CAJM museums and galleries across the United States and Canada, news on colleagues' activities and accomplishments, a roster of Jewish museums around the world, a collections showcase featuring objects from the holdings of more than 85 member institutions, traveling exhibitions available Hanukkah Housefor rental, a library and links to more than one hundred online resources ... and lots more reasons to visit, join and support Jewish museums like this one (bound to be busy next month):  the Hanukkah House at Temple Concord in Binghamton, New York.