Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | August 2010
In This Issue
2011 Conference Theme
Judaica Europeana
AEJM in Rome
JHSGW Museum to Move
CAJM is ...
Jewish art and history museums, historic sites, historical and archival societies, Holocaust centers, synagogue museums, Jewish Community Center galleries, children's museums, 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.
Our Stories, Our Museums: New Chapters for Jewish Culture

Those attending the 2011CAJM conference in Philadelphia will  explore Our Stories, Our Museums:  New Chapters for Jewish Culture, a theme that evokes the primacy of narrative in museums. The particular story conveyed by the dazzling new National Museum of American Jewish History (our host) is that of the Jewish experience in America, a story also illuminated by CAJM's other institutions, as well as a story with universal implications for the shared American experience, revealing the promise and challenges of liberty.  The conference theme also looks to the future, addressing emerging trends.  Special activities are planned for other local CAJM members (l-r) 

Jewish Art Phila

TJKI Beth Sholom

the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, the Temple Judea Museum at Congregation Keneseth Israel, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Beth Sholom Synagogue

Digitizing European Jewish Culture

CAJM's members and friends will be interested to follow the progress of Judaica Europeana.  This project, supported by the European Commission, works with European libraries, archives and museums to identify content documenting Jewish contributions to the cities of Europe.  Plans are to digitize thousands of photographs, postcards and recordings, and several million pages from books, newspapers, archives and press clippings, for EUROPEANA, the European digital library - thus facilitating access for anyone interested in the history of European cities or Jewish culture.

AAM header

The project is led by the London-based European Association for Jewish Culture and is coordinated by the Judaica Collection of the University Library of Goethe University, Frankfurt/Maine.  Among the Partners and Associate Partners in Europe and Israel are the Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest (archival document below); Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw; Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam; Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens (textiles above); Jewish Museum London; Paris Yiddish Centre-Medem Library; and the Sephardi Museum, Toledo.  A prototype can be accessed on

Hungarian Jewish Archives


European Jewish Museums to Convene in November 

The Association of European Jewish Museums invites its North American colleagues to participate in its upcoming annual conference, scheduled to take place in Rome, Italy from November 20 to November 23, 2010.  Past and Present-The Contemporary Role of Jewish Museums in Europe will convene at the Jewish Museum of Rome, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and will include sessions and sightseeing visits at the Synagogue of Ostia Antica, the Jewish Catacombs, andJM Rome other sites of Jewish interest.  There will also be a visit to the Vatican Apostolic Library and a dinner of honor at City Hall, with speakers including the Mayor of Rome.  Keynote sessions, panels and workshops will address contemporary collecting practices, ways to make art and history personal, the craftsmanship and symbols of ritual objects, the Judaica Europeana project (described above), and, resonating with colleagues on this side of the Atlantic, too, "how to manage on a tight budget."  Those interested in attending the conference should contact the AEJM administrator at

Small Museum to Relocate ... Once Again

Continuing a lively history that includes service as home to two Jewish and one Greek Orthodox congregation, conversion to a grocery store and barbecue restaurant, the prospect of demolition, rescue, relocation, and recreation as a Jewish museum, Adas Israel, the first (1876)  synagogue in downtown Washington, DC, is once again on the move.  The Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington has signed an agreement with a property developer to uproot and transport the 273-ton structure so as to free up space for a new deck above an entrance to Interstate 395.  The historic structure will land at a new permanent location
Small 8-10Moving synagogueat Third and F Streets NW.  The building
survived a similar journey in December 1969, when an urban renewal project required that it be lifted and transported three blocks on a dolly.  Laura Cohen Apelbaum, JHSGW executive director and Small museum director, remarks that the landmark has "always somehow been saved by its geography ... [if] hindered by it, too."  Along with trustees, she looks forward to the increased exposure and opportunities that the new location - and media attention - will help make possible.

Sign On to the Website as a CAJM Member

... and visit the rich library on our Member Resources page.  There you'll find provocative material like David Shneer's recent Association for Jewish Studies journal article about Jewish Museums on the American Ethnic Museum Landscape.  If you have difficulty logging in on the website, please
write to us at  To become a member, please see the link below.
Some of the Ways CAJM Can Help You

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on its website and at its annual conference ...

CAJM offers information exchange and models professional standards ...

CAJM advocates on behalf of Jewish museums like
The Elizabeth S. and Albert I. Fine Museum at The Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco, where this work is currently displayed ...

Fine, Michael Cohen
(from Orthodox in Meah Shearim: Photography by Michael Cohen)
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